Artsy: Is Aspen’s Gallery Scene Here to Stay?
August 4, 2021
After the Hamptons last summer and Palm Beach this past winter, Aspen is the new art gallery destination that’s moderate in size, yet abundant in opulence. As the art market slowly heals from pandemic trauma, the summer of 2021 is on a path to enter the history books as the industry’s busiest for a typically sleepy season—and the tiny Colorado ski hub is a hotbed for QR-coded checklists.
Aspen has long been synonymous with America’s one-percenters. The crème de la crème of collectors have so far decorated their luxe châlets mainly with art from galleries in Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York. But this summer, powerhouses Almine Rech, Lehmann Maupin, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and White Cube, as well as auctioneering giant Christie’s, have popped into town to encourage the collectors to shop local. Intersect Aspen, which has been revamped from the decade-old local art fair Art Aspen, made its debut on August 1st with 30 exhibitors spread across Aspen Ice Garden. The Aspen Art Museum’s annual fundraising bash ArtCrush launched a four-day event on August 3rd with a lineup of the art world’s who’s who, including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Doris Salcedo, and Precious Okoyomon, while Mary Weatherford will claim the Aspen Award for Art at the climactic gala. The season is as compact as the 3.85-square-mile town itself, but the programming, like the champagne, is ample and top-notch.