Art Miami used to have the city pretty much to itself in January. Then Basel/Miami arrived six years ago and all eyes (and, presumably, wallets) focused on it and the satellites that sprang up around it in early December. Well, Art Miami has muscled into the December lineup with 99 galleries from 17 countries under a gigantic tent-top space in Wynwood and an assortment of VIP offerings for high-rolling collectors, from concierge service to private jet charters. I can't speak to the special treatment, as I entered on a press pass, but I can say that I thought it was a terrific fair.
My favorite was the installation from the New York gallery, Danese--not only the work, but the location: a large space open to a public lounging area, which gave it a stage-like presence. The work lived up to the drama.
As always, I went in search of geometric and material abstraction and was happy to be diverted by anything else that interested me. The German galleries didn’t disappoint with their strong sense of materiality, and there were some nice surprises, like the Solway Jones Gallery from Los Angeles with Robert Walker's material geometries that consisted of sheets of layered paint that had been sliced and repositioned, equal parts quilting and sculpture.
.How is it that the installations from different galleries work so seamlessly? At Envoy, New York, left: Clint Jukkala, Prelude, 2007, oil paint on canvas. On back wall, Neil Williams, Jack O'Diamonds, 1966, at Spanierman Modern, New York
At Thomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago: Lisa Nankvil, With a Twist, 2007, oil on canvas
It turns out Nankvil was in the booth as I was admiring at the painting and, as artists do, we began to chat about our work. "I work with color, too," I offered. I told her I engage a reductive geometry with a sensusous surface, and that I define my work as lush minimalism. "I call my work baroque minimalism," she responded. And you can see from the detail below, exactly what that means.
At Lucas Schoormans, New York: Jolynn Krystosek, carved beeswax.Installation above with a detail below
I saw a solo show of Krystosek's work about a year ago at Lucas Schoormans and was taken by the delicate beauty of the work, by the translucent lushness of the material, and by the baroque maximalism of the sensibility. My pictures of Krystosek's carvings in wax don't do justice to the work, so I urge you to click here to see more on the Lucas Schoormans website.