Sometimes the fairs are not about the big picture so much as they are about about smaller, idiosyncratic expressions. That's the case with these five works. I found them all compelling. If I had to give you one formal word for them, it would be materiality; one personal word would be uneasy. And I mean that in a good way. I didn't instantly like several of them but I found myself circling back to view them, and then spending time thinking about how I wanted to show them to you. What do you think?
At Independent: Artist unknown, at GB Agengy, Paris
The Independent fair was short on information, so I don't know whom to credit (or blame) for this work, which consists of toothpicks stuck into a crudely shaped block of mattress foam, kind of an art fair hedgehog. I think I like it.
At the Armory Show: Hilary Harnischfeger at Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York
The whole booth was given over to smallish pieces like this, which resonated with a sense of geology and geometry. The artist works with paper over plaster, embedding materials like glass, crystals and stones. I also like that a small Lower East Side gallery run by a young woman--Rachel Uffner and her gallery are clearly on the ascent-- features the work of a (presumably young) woman on a similar trajectory.
I think this is a wig, but no matter, it's the quirkiness of the painted object--creepy, like a scalp, yet clearly synthetic..
This is a substantial work for a painting that measures about nine by six inches. I love the slather, the undulation and the odd palette. The artist was new to me, and while he's not an art household name, he's been painting in San Diego for about 50 years. ..
Is it me, or does this painting suggest lingerie? And does that flesh pink suggest sex? And does that cigarette placed at the top left of the stretcher suggest the post-coital puff? Or maybe this cut-canvas painting is simply about geometry and negative space.