12.10.2007

FAIR FACTOR: Flow

JG Contemporary, New York. The large work is by Joe Fyfe, Jaetok, 2006; acrylic on muslin, burlap and felt

Collins Ave, which runs along the coast, was chockablock with hotel fairs from 21st Street down into South Beach, so everything is within walking distance: Basel Miami, all the hotel fairs, your own hotel (if you're lucky), and plenty of restaurants. And there’s that other thing people come to Miami for …give me a minute…um…it’s got sand…waves…oh, right, the beach. But if you’re focused on the fairs, you might not even know it exists.

Flow Fair was in the Dorset hotel this year. It's an invitational event, which means that organizers Matt Garson of Garson Fine Art and Julie Baker of Julie Baker Fine Art selected and invited the galleries they want to participate. (Those galleries pay for the privilege, though; invitations go only so far.) The result is a well focused uber-exhibition with enough esthetic and geographic diversity to keep you looking from room to room. Flow also lives up to its name as an "attitude-free fair." Everyone from the organizers to the dealers to the exhibiting artists is extremely friendly, so while there's plenty of A/C in the building, there’s not a cold shoulder anywhere.

Let’s start with the galleries that acknowledged the wallpaper--a celadon and black giant pineapple fleur-de-lys pattern (what was the hotel designer thinking?!)-- and made installations that worked over and around it. Actually, the result was fabulous. You're clearly not in a gallery, Dorothy, but you knew that going in.


Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta. Collages and babies by Marcus Kenney; assemblaged dog in foreground by Mary Engel


Hemphill Fine Art, Washington, DC. Framed work by Steven Cushner and Jason Gubbiotti


Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, New York. Paintings by Jackie Tileston, center, and Andrea Kantrowitz, right


Some galleries brought their own white walls--or wallpaper--and made gallery-like spaces:



Mulry Fine Art, West Palm Beach. Work by gallery artists includes a sculpture by Luis Castro, foreground

Linda Durham Contemporary Art, Santa Fe. The gallery-like installation included the work of Robert Kelly, foreground

All the surfaces get used in these fairs. At Winston Wachter, Seattle and New York, it's the bed; at David Lusk, Memphis, it's the floor; and at PDX, Portland, Oregon, it's the desk. (The bathrooms get their own post, Feeling Flush.)


At Winston Wachter: paintings on bed by Betsy Eby; on the wall by Susan Dory


At David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, Tad Lauritzen Wright floor
drawing , brush marker on oak



At PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon, a selection of small work, including a sculpture by Marie Watt, next to the lamp

Then there were individual pieces that I loved: Anne Seidman's small geometries crammed with color; a Sheila Berger painting in encaustic redolent of Kashmir; Lisa Kokin's assemblage of photographs stitched and connected with thread--a family tree, except that the photos are found and the only family ties are those made by the artist's hand; and Tim Tate's oddly poetic sculpture of a glass heart atop a blown glass sphere containing a video of a beating heart.



Anne Seidman at Schmidt Dean, Philadelphia




Sheila Berger at Winston Wachter, New York



Lisa Kokin, Forget Me Not, with detail below. Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael




Tim Tate's Heart of Glass Denied at Duane Reade Gallery, St. Louis