12.10.2007

FAIR FACTOR: Aqua Art

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Looking in at Morgan Lehman, New York: My pick for best installation at Aqua. Paul Villinski's repurposed records, replete with turntable, are at right.
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The 36x36" sculpture is by John Salvest. I know its dimensions exactly because it's made from antique yardsticks. To its left, Salvest's light sculpture of adaptor plugs.
(I will think differently about Home Depot after this.)
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Another great installation at Bodybuilder and Sportsman, Chicago: Charles LaBelle's compound (i.e. collaged) photograph dominates the far wall, while Diane Guerrera-Macia's vinyl "tiles" hold the floor

It’s hard to overstate the scale of events in Miami during Fair week. Fairs take place in two locations: on beach-side Collins Avenue, a couple of blocks away from The Mothership at theconvention center, and across the causeways in Wynwood, the arts district. Because Basel/Miami is the biggest fair, I always see it first, followed by visits to the hotel fairs on Collins, each with its own look and sensibility. In theory, this helps me remember what I saw and where. But because the galleries often switch fairs from year to year, and because the fairs also switch venues, it’s not easy to remember who-what-and-where.

Here’s the order I’ll follow: Aqua, Flow, Red Dot, Art Now, Bridge, Ink, one post per venue. To give you a measure of how new the Miami fair scene is, Aqua first appeared three years ago and made a big splash. "Favorite Fair" is how many described this 44-gallery venue, which is located in the Aqua hotel. And it didn't hurt that the venue has a courtyard and second-floor balconies, so that any sense of claustrobia is offset by the sky. By last year it was considered an "established fair." And by this year, it was right up there with Pulse and Scope. (So big, in fact, that it established a second venue in Wynwood right next to them. But more about that when we cross the causeway.)

Installation is everything with these small fairs. If you don’t find it interesting as you pass by, you’ll keep walking.

Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, had a suite--a splendid way to show art in an uncluttered, gallery-style installation. Above: framed works on paper by Sarah Walker and a shaped painting by Jovi Schnell

Below: in the bedroom, a framed work by Chris Duncan, surrounded by a selection of work from gallery artists



At Romo Gallery, Atlanta: Loved the installation. The combination of large works that dominated and smaller works organized salon style was effective for viewing a lot of work in a small space. Foreground: Nancy Blum, Tip, 2007, ink, colored pencil, graphite and gouache, 48 x 38 inches


At Lemon Sky, Miami Beach: Terri Friedman's painting on plexi


At Pentimenti, Philadelphia: The installation was blessedly spare, dominated by Jackie Tileston's painting on linen, and a pyramid of paint cups by Sara Hughes. It was a perfect pairing.