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Accounts Manager Theo Windish, who represented Mana Contemporary at artMRKT Hamptons this past July, recently returned from a trip to Houston where he worked with clients at the inaugural exhibition of artMRKT’s Texas Contemporary Art Fair.  Sixty galleries presented work between October 20th – 23rd. Theo recently shared his observations about the art climate at the fair.

Mana Log: Mana Contemporary was one of a number of sponsors at Texas Contemporary this fall.  Who were some of the clients you worked with at the art fair?  What kind of services did you provide on behalf of Mana Contemporary?

Theo Windish: Mana worked with 17 different galleries from the United States and Argentina, including Susan Inglett, Fredericks & Freiser and Mindy Soloman.  We provided transportation, installation and storage, as we did at artMRKT Hamptons.

ML: This was the first year of the Texas Contemporary Art Fair. How did it compare to other art fairs you’ve seen in the New York area and beyond?

TW: Texas Contemporary was right on par with other arts fairs.  For a new company, artMRKT created an impressive space.  It was well-organized and represented some of the most significant galleries across the world.  They turned the George R. Brown Convention Center into a beautiful exhibition space.  The setting made you feel like you were inside an art installation.

ML: What were some highlights of the work on exhibit?

TW: Cynthia Reeves presented a massive lounge sculpture made out of wood tree trunks by the artist Jaehyo Lee.  You could sit on the piece, and visually, it was incredible.  The fair also included an interesting series of panel discussions on the roles of the artist, gallerist, collector and patron in shaping the art market, as well as artist talks.  Paul Villinski, whose work is represented by Morgan Lehman Gallery, gave an inspiring presentation on  his Birds and Butterfly series made from wood and recycled beer cans.

ML: Beside the art fair, did you get a chance to see any other galleries or art venues in Houston?  How would you describe the arts environment in the city?  Did you have the opportunity to meet some new artists, gallerists or collectors?

TW: I went to the home of a collector who held a private party for people involved in artMRKT. Her collection of contemporary work was fascinating and mind-blowing, such as an installation made of sponges that looked like ocean crustaceans and a light sculpture by the New York-based artist Leo Villareal.

ML: This was your first trip to Texas. Did it make you want to go back?

TW: It was a great experience and opened my eyes to the artists and market there, not to mention, excellent food and hospitality.

Theo Windish outside Mana Contemporary, photo by Tema Stauffer

– Tema Stauffer