How Art and Aspen ‘Intersect’

Returning art fair opens July 31

Katherine Roberts
The 'Kick Off, Kick Ass Tour' will be led by Marc Dennis and Paul Laster and co-presented by Aspen Art Museum’s AJAX Members as part of Intersect Aspen. Artwork by Marc Dennis, 2019, oil on linen, 68 x 84 in.
Courtesy of Marc Dennis and Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art

The Intersect Aspen art fair returns to the Roaring Fork Valley this Sunday, July 31 through Thursday, Aug. 4, with more than two dozen gallery exhibitions at the Aspen Ice Garden and collaborations with a number of other arts-related organizations and nonprofits around the valley.

With 31 galleries represented from 21 cities, 11 of the galleries are entirely new to the fair, having not partnered with Intersect Aspen prior to this year. Many are exhibiting new works that have been created specifically for Intersect Aspen and have never been seen before.

“It’s a treat for those of us who are organizing the fair to also have the chance to discover new works at the same time as our visitors and collectors,” said Intersect art and design managing director Becca Hoffman.

Other highlights include seven artist booth talks by Marc Dennis, Jessie Edelman, Kysa Johnson, Kelly Lynn Jones, Suchitra Mattai. Alison Van Pelt and Heijin Yoo.

Hoffman is also moderating a talk, “Buy What You Love? Why? How?” It will focus on art as an asset class, how to create, invest in, maintain, preserve and protect a collection on both the private and public level. The panelists will examine the strategies they have used to build collections as an investment, while also investigating the ethical and financial considerations that play into acquiring artworks.

“It’s a topic that’s very relevant in our current economic climate,” Hoffman said.

The participants in the panel include Laura Smith Sweeney, a San Francisco-based art adviser; Muys Snijders, head of Art Collection Management, American International Group Inc. (AIG); Miami-based collector and philanthropist Dennis Scholl; and Coley Cassidy, a private wealth adviser.

Suchitra Mattai presents a booth talk at Intersect Aspen.
Courtesy of K Contemporary

In addition to the gallery booths, the event includes short film screenings with Aspen Film, an appearance by artist Ajax W. Axe’s Aspen Space Station and pop-up exhibitions, such as a collection of Editions from Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Located in the Aspen Ice Garden, the fair is a mix of ticketed offerings and events that are free and open to the public. The Midsummer Cultural Celebration is presented at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, in partnership with the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and the Red Brick Center for the Arts. Free and taking place on the Red Brick’s lawn, registered guests can expect art activations, cabaret, demos and short performances by Red Brick resident artists. Local nonprofit organizations will also be staged in various locations throughout the evening. Guests are invited to interact with the artists and join in the art-making. Drinks, appetizers, music, mingling and art viewing in the gallery will also be available.

Intersect has events throughout the year, all over the country. Why Aspen?

“The Aspen community is a community that is engaged in the arts as a whole,” Hoffman said. “It’s engaged from the visual arts to the performing arts to the literary arts, and we believe that Aspen is the ideal place for this celebration of creativity.”

Hoffman feels that Aspen is a unique destination for the intellectually curious and the engaged arts collecting public. To that end, the artwork on display will run the gamut, from the top contemporary living artists of today, to lesser-known works by Picasso, such as “Venus et Amour (Venus and Cupid),” a detached fresco from 1918, which the artist painted on the walls of his honeymoon suite after his marriage to Olga Khokhlova. The work speaks of love, classical antiquity and Coco Chanel (his other muse during this time). It eventually found itself in Warhol’s Factory in the 1970s.

The exhibition booths will be open to the public daily through the duration of the fair, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Muys Snijders, head of Art Collection Management, American International Group Inc. (AIG), talks on ‘Buy What You Love? Why? How?’
Courtesy Intersect Aspen