FAIR WEATHER: Deal or No Deal
FAIR WEATHER: Prologue
FAIR WEATHER: Art Basel
I don’t know about you, but after several days of looking at art, I become unable to focus on the small picture. Instead, I start looking at the installations first. If I’m drawn in, then I can look at individual works and details.
This is certainly true in a big venue like Art Miami, where the site lines open onto wide vistas and generous views of the booths. I like this fair. The translucent roof panels let in natural light (you don’t realize the difference it makes until you’ve been in the closed world of the Convention Center). The installation lighting is great, not only for viewing art but for shooting it. And there are amenities for the fairgoer, like a well-planned layout, directional kiosks like the one above, plenty of places to sit, carpeting, and a restaurant in the middle of things so that you’re never too far from what’s going on. (The one thing I didn't like: Maybe I'm being picky, but the sheetrock seams are sloppy in the booths, and it's distracting. The dealers could not have been happy about it, either.)
As with ABMB, the work broke no barriers—and that’s fine with me. Here’s some of what I liked:
. The booth installations: Some dealers take hipper, edgier work to the fairs, perhaps to test the waters or to satisfy the fair jurors at whose mercy they are held. In the best installations you get a real sense of the gallery's program because their fair offerings are of a piece with what they show regularly. I can't always provide titles and other information of the work in these installation shots--in some instances I don't have even have the artists' names--but the point here is to give you a sense of the ambience, the "fair-ness," of this venue.
Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Miami: I loved the clean-lined modernist geometry here
Sundaram Tagore, New York: An enormous space that opened to aisles on both sides. I'm pretty sure the two framed works at left are ink on paper by Sohan Qadri. The tower in the center and the large ochre-hued work on the right are by Nathan Slate Joseph
Wall of five small paintings by Stuart Arends at James Kelly Contemporary, with a a closeup of one, below
. Modern and contemporary painting and sculpture: There's no theme here. I just shot what interested me. The Jasper Johns lead embossing below is similar (perhaps from the same series--this is #7 of 60) to one I saw and liked at his Gray show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier this year. There's no photography at the Met, and I'd despaired of getting a shot, so I was thrilled both to see it again and to get this shot. There's a detail, too. (I believe Sculpmetal was the material onto which the lead sheet was pressed.)
Deja Vu: John Chamberlain with Josef Albers, here at Leonard Hutton Gallery, New York (I saw the same two artists paired at Galeria Eva Gonzalez at ABMB)
Sundaram Tagore, New York: Merrill Wagner's yellow geometry with a neat slice taken out (rust preventative paint on steel)
. Material abstraction from two galleries I particularly like: Lausberg Contemporary, Dusseldorf and Toronto; and Galerie Renate Bender, Berlin. It's formal, fairly reductive. I find the physical substance of the work--layers of plexi, resin or silicone, folds of fabric, and dollops of paint--viscerally appealing.
Lausberg Contemporary: From left, Michael Laube grids in layered plexiglass (full view below); two striped resin sculptures by Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer; five silicone relief paintings by Frank Piasta
At the Lausberg Contemporary booth, looking into a wide open area
Intallation at Galerie Renate Bender: From left, Peter Weber felt sculpture, two Regine Schuman plexiglass sculptures ; two vertically aligned chromograms by Victoria Coeln; Robert Sagerman painting
At Galerie Bender: Robert Sagerman painting, 7373, 2008, 21 x 20 inches, oil on canvas, with detail below.
I particularly wanted to show this detail because in the Material Color show, which we're both in (Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, New Jersey, through January 30) I didn't have a good detail to show of that work--and you really need to see the surface up close
. Latin American geometry: This is a little taste. I'll have more in a big Geometric Abstraction post next week. Latin American geometric abstraction was a major movement in the mid-20th-century and continues today. Cities like Buenos Aires, Caracas, Montevideo and Mexico city all had major artists and work, such as that from Jesus Rafael Soto and Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt)
Leon Tovar Gallery, New York:
. Last but not least: The fabulous Bernice Steinbaum, the new York dealer who a decade ago became a Miami dealer. Tres elegante in filigree tunic, scarf and earrings--and accessorized with plush sharpei puppies on her feet.
Miami dealer Bernice Steinbaum standing before paintings by Hung Liu
Below: a painting and tapesty by the artist. (Look for the post on tapestries next week.)