A Few Installations

Fair and Loathing: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times 
Fair and Loathing: Coincidences, Trends and a Coupla WTFs
Fair and Loathing: Big Paintings
Fair and Loathing: Art? Not Art?
Fair and Loathing: Small and Mid-Size Paintings

Martin Creed at Gavin Brown, New York City; ABMB

After several days of non-stop looking looking, it's hard to concentrate on individual works unless they're very strong, even when the booth is beautifully curated. Installations, on the other hand, deliver the dealer's idea a bit more dramatically--and for the viewer who's brain fried, a bit easier to absorb. I can't say I loved most of these installations, but they did get me to stop and look. Here's a roundup, if only to give you a flavor of the range of what was shown at the fairs this year. (With an apology to the Peter Blake Gallery, whose black-and-white booth I  missed at Art Miami; I saw the photos and it looked sublime.) 

Urs Fischer, Small Rain, at Sadie Coles Gallery, London; ABMB

Nice wallpaper: More Creed, this time at Hauser & Wirth; ABMB
Detail below

Above and below, Travesia Cuatro; ABMB

Ivan Serpa at Galerie 1900-2000; ABMB

Brian Kokoska, Cocaine Coral (Snake Bite), at East Hampton Shed; NADA

Artist unidentified at The Sunday Painter, London; NADA

Above and below:  Artist unidentified at Whitespace, Atlanta; Aqua Art

Ghost of a Dream,  The Center of Convention, Davidson Contemporary; Pulse

Above and below: James Stirling Pitt at Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston; Untitled

The curated selection at Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco
Back wall: three by Heather Wilcoxon; foreground: Lauren Di Cioccio
Below: Full view

Frank Hyder at Projects Gallery, Miami; Aqua Art

Above and below: Ebony G. Patterson, Invisible Presence: Memories at Monique Meloche, Chicago; Untitled
Patterson looked to Jamaican funerals for her inspiration, when members of poorer communities are celebrated in death: "You may not have notioced me when I was alive, but you will damn well see me as I leave."

Above and below: Unidentified artist at Industry Gallery, Hollywood; Aqua Art
(Dealers: Will you please put all pertinent information--like the artist's name!--on your wall labels?)

Above and below: Jennifer Dalton, Skin in the Game, at Winkleman Gallery, New York City; Pulse

Dalton created a real estate office in which she shows then-and-now photographs of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Her real estate office shows a portion of that gentrification. In true Daltonian fashion, there is a message here: In 2004 each of those locations was on the EPA's list of potentially hazardous conditions; in 2014 many of those sites hold upscale restaurants and condos.

"The piece, says Ed Winkleman, "is ultimately about "how much information do you truly want about where you live, given you've chosen to live there one way or the other."

In the WTF Department: Artist unidentifed (perhaps for the best) at Mendes Wood, Sao Paolo; ABMB

No information on artist or gallery, at ABMB, but the body language of the live person in the tableau (preseumably he's part of the installation) says it all


Fair and Loathing: Small and Mid-Size Paintings

Fair and Loathing: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times 
Fair and Loathing: Coincidences, Trends and a Coupla WTFs
Fair and Loathing: Big Paintings
Fair and Loathing: Art? Not Art?

Eten Adnan's small paintings at Galleria Continua, San Gimignano; ABMB

The thing about small paintings at any fair, but especially the big fairs, is that they draw you close so that seeing become a rather intimate act. That kind of engagement is difficult to achieve otherwise because the experience of walking through a fair is a bit like walking the midway at a carnival: You take it all in from a distance, unless you decide to shoot the mechanical ducks. Well, I shot the ducks with my camera, and I extend this opportunity to you to engage with them as intimately as your screen allows.

At a closer viewing range its obvious that good small work is visually powerful.  I'm going to keep my comments brief, but let me say that Etel Adnan's  paintings were the sleeper hit of the recent Whitney Biennial, and I loved seeing them here. I also loved seeing Pius Fox's small paintings (disclaimer: I have one in my collection); and I loved seeing the small work of Anne Appleby, Squeak Carnwath, Jeff Kellar, Imi Knoebel, Andrew Masullo and others. "Small" extends to mid-size paintings, some of the best examples of which were in the booth of New York City's Lennon, Weinberg Gallery--a visual tour of abstraction, from gestural to structural to geometric, with some sculpture in there as well.  And we're off.

Above and below: Etel Adnan at Calleria Continue; ABMB

Pius Fox at Patrick Heide Contemporary, London: Pulse

Above and below: Pius Fox

Alain Biltereyst at Jack Hanley Gallery, New York City; NADA

Above and below: Alain Biltereyest

Elaine Reichek at Zach Feuer Gallery, New York City; NADA
What you can't tell from a distance, but you can from close up, is that these little paintings are in fact embroideries. Look closer and you see that each approximately 10-inch-square work reflects the work of a well-known artist

Reichek channeling Louise Bourgeois, above, and Ellsworth Kelly

Bruce Price at David B. Smith Gallery; Miami Project 

Above and below: Bruce Price

Installation of small paintings and framed works on paper at Marissa Newman Projects, New York City; Untitled
Below: Meg Cranston painting

Abiove and Below: Mike Carroll at Dolan Maxwell, Philadelphia; Ink

Above and below: Shara Hughes at American Contemporary, NADA

Angelina Gualdoni at Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York City; Untitled

Sara Sosnowy at Lesley Heller Workspace, New York City; Miami Project
Corner detail below

Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art, New York City; Pulse

Alfredo Volpi at Galerie Bergamin, Sao Paolo; ABMB

Above and below: Alfredo Volpi

Sarah Braman at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York City; ABMB
Closer view below

Imi Knoebel at Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne; NADA
Closer view below

Imi Knoebel and Andrew Masullo at John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco; ABMB

Aaron T. Stephan at Samson Projects, Boston; Untitled

Matt Magee at Richard Levy Gallery; Miami Project

Gallery view with Magee at right and Jeff Kellar  on far wall
Below: Jeff Kellar

Anne Appleby at PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon; Miami Project

Joanne Mattera at Projects Gallery, Miami; Aqua Art
Closer view below

Unidentified artist at Proyectos Untravioleta, Guatemala City; NADA

Helen O'Leary at Lesley Heller Workspace, New York City; Miami Project
Installaton view, with another work below

Jessica Stockholder at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York City; ABMB
Closer view below

Augusto Sandroni at Maloney Fine Art, Los Angeles; Untitled
Closer view below

Lorenzo Mardaresco at Fouladi Projects, San Francisco; Miami Project

William J. O'Brien
Brien at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; NADA
Closer view below

Jason Karolak at Robichon, Denver; Miami Project

Alicia McCarthy at Jack Hanley, New York City; NADA

Jill Moser, Stephen Westfall and Harriet Korman at Lennon, Weinberg, New York City; Miami Project

Below: Harriet Korman

Continuing around the booth: Stephen Mueller and Roy Dowell (sculpture and painting)
Below: On outside wall, Richard Kalina (left) and Melissa Meyer

Thomas Nozkowski at Pace, New York City; ABMM
Closer view below

Squeak Carnwath at Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, California; Aqua Art

Alyse Rosner at Rick Wester Fine Art, New York City; Pulse
Closer view below

Clara Broerman at Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome; NADA

Installation view of Federica Schiavo Gallery with another Clara Broerman below

Lisa Levy at Schroeder Romero, New York City; Pulse
 The last word (at least for today):