12.16.2008

FAIR WEATHER: Aqua Hotel

Miami Art Fairs, Art Basel Miami, Aqua, Art Miami, Bridge, Pulse, Red Dot, Scope, Rubell Collection
Already posted:
FAIR WEATHER: Deal or No Deal
FAIR WEATHER: Prologue
FAIR WEATHER: Art Basel
FAIR WEATHER: The Containers
FAIR WEATHER: Art Miami
FAIR WEATHER: Art Imitates Art
FAIR WEATHER: Pulse
FAIR WEATHER: Trends and Coincidences-Animals
FAIR WEATHER: Trends and Coincidences-Cut Paper
FAIR WEATHER: Trends and Coincidences-Looms with a View





Faced by multistory hotels that block its view of the ocean, the modest Aqua Hotel is home to one of the coziest fairs in Miami

.
Directors Jaq Chartier and Dirk Park have hit a double bull's eye with their two Aqua fairs, the venerable little Aqua Hotel fair in the small, two-story venue on Collins, and the larger warehouse space across the bay, Aqua Wynwood. I'd heard through the artists' metaphysical phone line that the Aqua fairs were scrambling to fill their booths, but nowhere did it look as if galleries has been put in as space fillers. Everyone seemed to belong. Exhibiting in both venues were small to midsize galleries with well-defined programs--some emerging, some at the very top end of the group.
.
This post is about the Aqua Hotel fair.
.
The small rooms are accessed by entry via the courtyard on the first floor or balcony on the second
.
First off, let me say that I really like the small size--particularly in relation to the behemoth ABMB a few blocks away--and the indoor/outdoor flow, which never allows you to feed confined, even though most of the rooms are quite small. While some large works were shown, typically the offerings were of a smaller scale to encourage up-close viewing.
.
Bearing in mind that I'm hoarding much of the geometric stuff for a mega post later in the week, take a look at some of what I liked:
.
. Work that echoed the curving form of the inflatable sculpture in the courtyard, shown below. I'm sure this was a coincidence, but when looking at a lot of work, the mind wants to give it some kind of order

Doreen McCarthy, Archimedes Spiral, from Heskin Contemporary, New York


Jovi Schnell paintings, foreground above, at Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco


Cecilia Biagini sculpture, below, at The Hogar Collection, Brooklyn


Jen Stark, Cosmic Dust, at Johansson Projects, Oakland



Jane Masters groovy nickel-plated, etched-brass Groovy at Miller Block Gallery, Boston, with detail below
(can you see me reflected on the surface as I shoot the detail?)

.
. Similarly defined space, without the curves, plus color and geometry. I found the small scale of these works most appealing


Michael Dee's recycled plastic cup sculpture at Western Projects, Culver City, California

David O'Brien watercolor and ink works at Cerasoli: LeBasse, Culver City, California
(Where is this Culver City? It sent five galleries here)

At OH+T Gallery, Boston (I know where that is), I liked the clean installation and the work: Matthew Rich's quilt pattern in painted paper, and Ryan Steadman's oil-on-canvas "books"

Closeup of one painting, below:





At Howard House, Seattle, a beautiful installation of geometries by Robert Yoder. Most are reassembled wood signs
.
.
. Best installation in a small space that I have ever seen: by Jack Fischer, San Francisco. The guy's had plenty of practice. His gallery at 49 Geary Street is far smaller than this room. But look at how much he has squeezed into it and how cohesive and airy it appears

My favorite work has to be the rethought and reworked newspapers by Lauren DiCioccio, above and below. Especially below. And in what has to be its own little trendlet, another appearance by our president elect.


.

2 comments:

Barbara J Carter said...

Culver City is in Los Angeles, nestled just south of the 10 freeway, some ways east of the 405 and Santa Monica, but not as far east as South Los Angeles.

There are about 30 galleries in Culver City, according to the latest Southern California "ArtScene".

Los Angeles being such a sprawling non-centralized city, there are numerous neighborhoods with good concentrations of galleries. I've been visiting some of these areas lately, but haven't yet made it to Culver City.

Joanne Mattera said...

Thanks, Barbara.