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Artnet News
Feb. 22, 2008 

The Flow art fair, one of the flurry of satellite events coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach in December, has been cancelled for 2008, according to a representative of Julie Baker Fine Art. Flow was founded in 2006, hosting close to 30 dealers. Last year, the fair was held at Dorset Hotel in South Beach, with exhibitors including Arthur Roger Gallery (New Orleans), Belloc Lowndes Fine Art (Chicago), Nancy Hoffman Gallery (New York), Scott White Contemporary Art (San Diego) and Winston Wachter Fine Art (Seattle). 

The four-year-old Affair @ the Jupiter Hotel in Portland, Ore., will not return this September, fair organizers Stuart Horodner and Laurel Gitlen announced earlier this week. Horodner, who moved across the country to take a post as director of the Atlanta College of Art Gallery in 2005, told the Oregonian newspaper that larger national fairs had left little room for smaller, local fairs, adding that, "I'd rather end something because it's completed what it initially tried to do before it gets harder and harder to deliver what we want." Held at the "retro-hip" Jupiter Hotel, the event had in the past attracted dealers including Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery (Brooklyn), Platform Gallery (Seattle), Jack Hanley Gallery (San Francisco) and White Columns (New York).

However, no sooner had the cancellation been announced than the co-owners of the Jupiter Hotel, Kelsey Bunker and Tod Breslau, stepped forward to say that they were starting an initiative to revive the Affair, perhaps with a different focus. "We are brainstorming forward-thinking concepts that will help continue to put Portland on the national art map," they say, adding that Breslau is meeting with gallery owners, collectors and art event promoters about the initiative "as early as next week."

The hotel has also set up an email address for those with ideas about directions the fair should take:

Bitterness lingers around ShContemporary, the Shanghai-based art fair which debuted at the Shanghai Convention Center last year to generally positive reviews. After being banned from participating in the 2008 edition of the fair [see Artnet News, Feb. 5, 2008], ShContemporary co-founder Pierre Huber issued a press release on Feb. 5, 2008, stating that he was pursuing legal action to prevent the other organizers, Lorenzo A. Rudolf and the Italian exhibition company Bologna Fiere, from continuing with the event without him. Referring to the pending arbitration, Huber seemed to warn against participation in the fair: "Under these circumstances nobody can predict whether or not, depending on what the arbitrators or judges will decide, BF [Bologna Fiere] will be in a position to organize -- or not -- this  event for 2008."

Rudolf and Bologna Fiere hit back with their own statement, challenging the claims of their one-time collaborator. Among other things, the pair asserts that Huber "has no individual right whatsoever to ShContemporary or its concept" and that he is "fully bound by a strict non-compete clause with ShContemporary, prohibiting any competing action, even in case of contract interruption." It concludes by saying that in order to maintain "professionalism and seriousness," ShContemporary’s principals "will not address such non-factual assertions in public," stating firmly that the Chinese fair will return Sept. 9, 2008.

Seafair, the "fine art mega-yacht" that was launched last year to bring a travelling art fair to high-end marinas up and down the Eastern seaboard, is now in dry dock for physical modifications and reballasting. "The ship has returned to the boatyard to complete modifications which require U.S. Coast Guard supervision and approval," fair co-organizer Lee Ann Lester announced at the end of January. Seafair suspended much of its planned inaugural 44-week run in early December 2007. In addition to physical problems, the fair apparently had some organizational difficulties as well, such as the fact that the ship was open to collectors by "invite only," with mandated boarding times.

"We want to positively respond to dealer suggestions as has been our practice over the years," Seafair’s David Lester said in a press statement. "Some of these suggestions, however, will take us a period of time to successfully implement."

Nevertheless, Seafair has an ambitious series of stops listed for 2008-09 on its website, beginning in Greenwich, Conn., on June 5, 2008, and ending in New York in May 2009. The schedule allows for a month’s break after Art Basel week in Miami in December, but otherwise shows near-continuous activity in between.

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