Hundreds of art enthusiasts and collectors strolled the aisles of the Palm Beach County Convention Center for last night’s VIP opening of the esteemed Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair. Perusing corridors named for local streets (Australian Ave., Worth Ave., South Lake Drave), visitors encountered an almost overwhelming array of the best and the brightest from 90-plus galleries and “special projects.” The experience was not unlike a casino of high culture, with much of the same glitz and with perhaps just as much money being exchanged.
I can easily recall my last experience with this fair, in January 2020—it was one of the last great pre-pandemic events in Palm Beach County—and the 2022 slate featured both familiar and new offerings. Trends from the ’20 fair, such as a heightened focus on optically tricky lenticular art, persisted, though painting, in both hyper-realistic and abstract forms, seems to be making a comeback. Enormous showpieces inevitably drew the eye, and the influence of street art and Pop art—of Basquiat, Banksy and Warhol and their innumerable imitators—loomed large.
Below, you can cycle through a few of my favorite selections from the fair, which runs through Sunday.