Sean Kelly offers Kehinde Wiley’s iron sculpture Barthélémy Senghor for $150,000 at TEFAF New York.

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Barthélémy Senghor, made in 2021, depicts a black man in a hoodie, drawstrings dangling slightly beyond where the chest ends, and is presented in the classical tradition.

Wiley, a US artist whose solo show at the National Gallery in London closed last week, openly quotes from the history of European art in his depictions of people of colour. Offered by New York firm Sean Kelly for $150,000, this bust is at once unmistakably contemporary and deeply indebted to the Old Masters.

So too is TEFAF New York, which runs from May 6-10, focusing on Modern and Contemporary art and design but retaining a more traditional side. Staged at the historic Park Avenue Armory, it encourages ‘cross-collecting’, stirring into the mix antiquities brought by exhibitors such as Galerie Chenel of France.

It is the younger sister of traditional art and antiques fair TEFAF Maastricht, and was founded in 2016 along with TEFAF New York Fall, which also offered historical works.

This New York staging is the first TEFAF event to take place in person since the Maastricht fair closed early in March 2020 as coronavirus was on the rise.

It is also the first TEFAF New York to run since the more traditional sister fair was scrapped last year. The event hosts 91 dealerships, 13 of them newcomers, representing a total of 14 countries. Among the fresh faces are Sprovieri from the UK, Galerie Patrick Seguin of France and Yares Art from the US. Of the many returning UK exhibitors are Robilant+Voena, Thomas Gibson Fine Art and Mazzoleni.


This watercolour and ink study, Zwei Frauen als Halbfiguren by Emil Nolde c.1931- 35, measuring 14.6 x 13in (37 x 34cm), is available from Thomas Gibson Fine Art for $350,000 at TEFAF New York.

As well as jewellery and design, there will be a raft of familiar Post-war and Contemporary names on offer, with highlights including works by Richard Diebenkorn, Anselm Kiefer, Keith Haring and Cy Twombly. There are also many works from the first half of the 20th century by artists such as Emil Nolde, Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso.

These will be ranged through the large exhibition hall as well as within the small period rooms of the venue.

Charlotte van Leerdam, managing director of TEFAF said: “We’re thrilled to open our doors again in New York, welcoming guests to an immersive and profound art experience.”

Another nod to its commitment to older works comes in the form of a medieval Hebrew prayer book, the Montefiore Mainz Mahzor, on loan from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It is the recipient of the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund and will go for conservation later this year.