Art Miami Exhibitor Highlight: James Barron Art

James Barron

Owner of James Barron Art

17 Old Barn Road
PO Box 2
Kent, CT 06757

Beverly Pepper,  Tetrachord Altar,  1985 - 86 stainless steel, 81 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 26 1/2 inches (2017.6 x 42.5 x 67.3 cm)

Beverly Pepper, Tetrachord Altar, 1985 - 86 stainless steel, 81 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 26 1/2 inches (2017.6 x 42.5 x 67.3 cm)

What is the gallery's focus at this year's fair?

We have several focuses this year for Art Miami.

1. We will feature sculptures by Beverly Pepper that have not been exhibited in decades to celebrate the upcoming 95th birthday of the artist.  Beverly is still going strong, making art every day, and living life with her usual gusto.  It's with great pride that we also celebrate having recently placed a major outdoor Pepper sculpture in the New Orleans Museum of Art outdoor sculpture garden.  The work should be installed late next year, and it points to the resurgence of interest in Pepper's work. This will be our third feature of Beverly Pepper at Art Miami.  Each year, we place these works with major US collectors and museum trustees. For Art Miami 2017, we will exhibit a major Altar sculpture that has been in the artist's private collection and hasn't been seen in decades.  It's a masterpiece.  We will also continue our exploration of her totemic Messenger series.  These have found their way into our top clients' homes and are wonderful works to live with.

2. We will continue to highlight American and Italian art, and the relation and cross references between the two counties' art.  Having lived in Rome for 11 years, from 2003 to 2014, and continuing to divide my time, I am continually amazed by the cultural fluency and influence between American and Italian art.   (See below for particular works.)

Sol LeWitt,  Color Brushstrokes , 1994 gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.88 cm)

Sol LeWitt, Color Brushstrokes, 1994 gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.88 cm)

Are there specific artists or works that collectors should pay attention to at your booth? 

For Art Miami 2017, we are pleased to exhibit a major Kounellis wall relief that has never been exhibited in the US.  The artist died this year and was given a state funeral in Rome.  We will also exhibit a major Cy Twombly work on paper, "Study for the Triumph of Galatea," which was in one Italian collection since it was created.  It is one of a series of studies for the painting, 'Triumph of Galatea,' at The Menil, Houston.  This work refers also the Raphael fresco in the Farnesina, a five-minute walk to Trastevere from the artist's studio in Rome.

We will exhibit the relationship between American Color Field abstraction, such as Jules Olitski Spray paintings, from 1965-68, with the glass sculptures of Laura de Santillana, who has created works from her Tokyo-Ga series especially for our booth at Art Miami 2017.

What trends have you noticed in the art market over the past few years?

Collectors find us more frequently through our gallery site and through on-line sites, Artnet and Artsy. Then it is up to us to forge the sort of relationship with a collector that we pride ourselves in -- not just in one sale, but in developing an ongoing relationship that can continue for decades. We also find that collectors we met at Art Miami, sometimes even 5, 6, 7 years ago, will email us out of the blue and remind us of a work they saw and a conversation we had.  

We are also pleased to see more collectors sharing their collection as private museums.  Done correctly, sharing the art with a wide viewing audience, this is a high form of philanthropy and can create cultural growth in a rural area.  I will point to Magazzino in Garrison, NY as the epitome of what can be done with passion and love for art, and it's contagious in the best way.  It is now leading to music and readings series, and it helps form, with our gallery, a cultural trail between Magazzino, Dia Beacon and MassMOCA. People are busier and spend less time going to the actual gallery exhibitions.  One hears this from nearly everyone in galleries across the US.  So it's essential to have excellent installation photos of exhibitions and a strong event program to build the culture around an exhibition and promote the ideas behind the art.

What are some of your favorite aspects of being a part of Art Miami?

I like that Art Miami opens the night before the Art Basel Miami fair.  We see everyone at the opening, including some of the top collectors and their art advisors, museum curators and directors.  Often, the day after Art Basel Miami, these same collectors hurry back to our booth, realizing that we exhibit quality art priced fairly. Art Miami is less pretentious than some fairs, which to me is important.  It's a friendly fair and it is attracting better galleries every year.  

Jannis Kounellis,  Untitled , 2001 Iron, jute sack, gypsum, 39.5 x 27.5 x 16.5 inches (100 x 70 x 42 cm)

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2001 Iron, jute sack, gypsum, 39.5 x 27.5 x 16.5 inches (100 x 70 x 42 cm)

Please give our readers a few tips for making the most of attending art fairs based on your experience

1. Be sure to attend the Art Miami opening. If you see something you love, don't wait too long and think you can see every fair and that the work will still be available.  It often is not.  

2. Return to the fair on successive days. We re-install our booth several times, replacing works we have sold with works of equal interest.

3. Ask questions.  Don't be intimidated.  We want to have an art dialogue.  We have shelves for viewing and bring many works for our in-booth storage area.  Once we understand the sort of art a client is looking for, we often spend time refining what we can show, first hand.  Many of our sales at Art Miami are through this sort of prolonged dialogue, not just walking in and seeing the art that is on view.

4. Find a dealer you can trust and then spend as much time as possible learning. A dealer should be fluent in art history, and not just art of the recent past.

5. Arrive at 11 AM when the fair opens and be the first to a booth.  You will have time when it is quiet and you can see the art and feel the art more clearly, and know what moves you and what you want to live with.

6.  Go back to a dealer over the final weekend, especially on Saturday afternoon and any time on Sunday. The fair is more crowded but there are fewer collectors. You will have good quality time with a dealer, who can spend more time with you, unlike at the opening, when there are many people to see and attend to. The weekend can be an excellent time to find a work, especially one from our on-site storage area.

Buy your tickets to Art Miami 2017 here: