Verge Art Fair
"Verge is an international platform for the most exciting and interesting in new and emerging art. Verge exists to establish boundaries of the extraordinary as a counter to the natural compulsion towards stagnation in the way art is evaluated and delivered to the public. Staying true to this necessary state for the advancement of art requires a sustained focus on the best new ideas and practices of those marginal or newly emerging to international art audiences. The satisfaction of this fixed requirement for a healthy and competitive artistic culture is at the core of Verge as an international exposition of the highest quality artistic production and the galleries, museums and audiences who sustain it."
Verge is an ongoing experiment in art, markets, ideas and the art culture.
This abstract, written in 2009, encapsulates the simple philosophy behind Verge. While Verge is in fact an art fair, where galleries and exhibitors pay for space, basically utilizing the "real estate" model of other fairs to present artworks for sale, it is also integrally something more. It is vacuous, we contend, to presume the possibility of a critical engagement with this model for presenting art in and of itself. The product of a writer--Michael Workman--and an artist--Edouard Steinhauer--the intial vision to take this model into experimental territory beyond the trading floor concept has at times challenged audience and participant expectations alike. While the pay-to-play necessities of an art fair are unavoidable, those who judge and critique fairs have failed to realize their complicity in employing only a single yardstick in their evaluation of this standard model--that is, the amount of capital behind it. Form and content are out of alignment. Verge plays with the idea of of an art fair by making art available through special programs, such as Tomorrow Stars and specially-devised artist's platforms, to provide something more for living artists: an objective and critically evaluated opportunity to participate in the marketplace on the merit of their own ideas, without ascenting solely to the oft-stunting measure of mercantile intervention that is the hallmark of all other fairs. In service to this concept, Verge has actively reached out and sought to build relationships with museums, art schools, critics and curators to provide all of our exhibitors with an audience who care for ideas and the essential process of human inquiry of art, not just its price. This may rile those comfortable with the hierarchies of capital (and the artists who slavishly support them), but that's the true cost of an experiment in pursuit of something better.