Fair Enough: Art Basel Miami Beach, Part 1

The posts so far:
Fair Enough: And I'm Off
Fair Enough: Traveling Incognita?
Fair Enough: All Over But the Posting
Fair Enough: Art or Trash?  We have a winner!
Fair Enough: Prologue to the Report

The floor plan of ABMB (click pic for larger view), which covers 500,000 square feet
In Manhattan apartment terms, that's 1,000 studio apartments, though not all the square footage is specifically for exhibition

I made three visits to ABMB, for a total of about 12 hours of viewing time. That’s more than enough for the casual visitor, but writing about the fair means doing more than giving a booth the once-over as I walk by. During the press preview, I allowed myself to wander. It’s a kind of dream state where I leave the floor plan behind and just follow my eye. Everything, then, is a surprise. On the subsequent visits I pursued a quadrant-by-quadrant reconnaissance of the venue. Some installations changed from day to day, so I found myself looking at new work in booths I’d visited before. And I’m pretty sure that despite my best intentions I missed a few things. There were 259 galleries representing some 29 countries and the work of—I’m guessing—some 2400 artists.
The fair consist of four degrees of participation, which you can see from the floor plan:
. White: These gallery booths constitute the largest number of square feet in the fair
. Yellow: These galleries showed the work of a single artist, or they created a smaller space within their booth, an Art Kabinett, dedicated to the work of a single artist
. Green: Clustered in one corner of the venue, these smaller booths consitute Art Nova, dedicated to emerging galleries. Art Nova used to be sequestered in an annex, unpleasant for both visitor and exhibitor, like the kid’s table at the holidays
. Pink: The smaller cluster in another corner consituted Art Positions. In past years, these galleries would have occupied cargo boxes on the beach, open in the evening when the other venues had closed. This year the beach was given over to, well, loud music and a focus on such important art centers as Detroit. I’m guessing things will change again next year. But I do like seeing Art Positions here in the mothership.
I don't love everything I'm going to show you, but I do want you to see some of the range of what's here. OK, ready? Let's go in.
The crowd waiting to get in on Thursday morning. I entered on the heels of an exhibitor, so I had a few crowd-free minutes to photograph. We're going to start with some shots of the venue:

Those little boxes on the floor plan can translate into some very large booths. Above: Suzan Frecon's painting at David Zwirner, New York

You can always count on Neuger-Riemschneider, Berlin, for spectacle in their big corner booth. These flayed figures . . .

. . . are an interesting counterpoint to Thomas Zipp's Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon, above and below,  at Baudach, Berlin/Harris Lieberman, New York

Installation view of Nicole Klagsbrun, New York, with Patrick Jackson tsotschke sculpture, below

Two gallery views: Chantal Crousel, Paris, above (note the book forms emerging from the wall; I'll have better pics when we get to the dedicated post); Below: Klosterfeld, Berlin (I think)

I hope you agree that the booth views give you something of a you-are-there experience.  The typographic composition is by Gert &Uwe Tobias at Sies & Hoke, Dusseldorf. There were other typographic works scattered around the fair, but by the time I'd realized it, I'd already made two long passes through the venue. I guess typography is the logical counterpart to all the book references I saw and which you will see

The counterpoint of small and large, newly exhibiting and secondary market
Above:  Jorge Mendez Blake in a solo installation at Messen DeClercq, Brussels, whose booth suggests a stage set. Mendez Blake's work includes two elements that were much in evidence: bricks and a reflective surface

Below: the corner booth of Edward Tyler Nahem, New York. The large paintings are by--you know who they are--Joan Mitchell and Frank Stella

An oasis of calm within the thrum, above and below: Helen Frankenthaler at Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe, New York

One of my favorite booths from one of my favorite New York galleries: Cheim & Read
Above: Juan Usle (on dark wall), the classic Lynda Benglis dildo photograph and one of the artist's sculptures; Hans Hartung painting

Below: a full view of the Hartung and a Benglis resin sculpture

One more Cheim & Read view: Pat Steir painting, Louise Bourgeois bronze floor sculpture, the Benglis

Two views of Gagosian's booth
Above: a peek into the space; below: Franz West sculptures

Don't you love the visual segue from the West sculptures to the cactus? This is a Dennis Hopper by Dennis Hopper.
(Note the patterned wall in the background, also part of the Shafrazi booth. Wallpaper consituted a minor theme this year. Look for more wallpaper pics in Part 2)

My kind of booth: Projects SD, Barcelona, and Galerie Jocelyn Woolf, Paris. Pieter Vermeesch paintings and painted wall; I'm working on the names of the sculptors

Anish Kapoor sculpture as Lisson Gallery, London

Petah Coyne wax flower sculpture (also shown at ABMB in 2008) and Angelo Filomeno embroidery on burlap

Below and below: Details of Filomeno and Coyne

This next grouping shows installations of painting and sculpture.  Of course this is not a new idea, but in the limited space of a booth, good juxtapositions are visually satisfying
Above, at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin: Tal R painting and Thomas Kieswetter sculptures

At Pace, New York and elsewhere: Bridget Riley painting and John Chamberlain sculpture. (This is a nice change; usually Chamberlain gets paired with Albers--effective, but overdone) 

Corinne Wasmuht painting and Helen Mirra sculpture at Meyer Riegger, Berlin

Jules de Balincourt painting and (I think) Betty Woodman sculpture at Salon 94, New York

At Sies & Hoke, Dusseldorf:  I think the painting is Federico Herrera; don't know the sculptor. (I do an efficient job of shooting the work and then the wall label, but every time I stopped to talk with someone I knew, there was a break in my rhythm. Sometimes, as here, I missed information.)

At Stephen Friedman, London: Wayne Gonzales painting, Tara Donovan paper plate sculpture

At Regen Projects, Los Angeles: Lari Pitman painting, Manfred Pernice sculpture (foreground), Liz Larner wall sculpture

At Eva Presenhuber, Zurich: the chameleon Urs Fischer, with paintings and sculpture

Moving into sculpture now
At Almine Rech Galerie, Paris and Brussels: Ugo Rondinone, a ubiquitous presence at the fairs, typically with diverse work. I loved/hated this beautiful/creepy head

At Galerie Karsten Greve, St. Moritz: Louise Bourgeois fabric totem, with detail below

How do I love LB? Let me count the ways. And let me show you more.
At Carolina Nitsch, New York: Bourgeois in pink marble
Above: a view of the work from the aisle
Below: a view from the booth looking out

At Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris: Rachel Whiteread sculpture
 Looks like styrofoam and Jell-o, but it's plaster, pigment, stainless steel, wood and other materials

Here's your styrofoam: the stuffing in Ernesto Neto's smurfy little sculpture (I'll show you more when we get to the big thread, fiber and fabric post). At Parkett, New York

ABMB, Part 2 coming as soon as I can post it


Joanie Gagnon San Chirico said...

Funny, we both called Art Basel "the mothership" in our posts! Great review, looking forward to the other installments.

Ian MacLeod said...

fabulous post Joanne - some very beautiful work. I especially like those Urs Fischer paintings.

annell said...

Thanks so much for the post. I almost, in the tiniest way, feel like I was there. Looks like a very good job.

bevie said...

Amazing! Thank you for giving me a taste of Miami!

Tamar said...

The Bourgeois totem is wonderful--and thanks for the close up. I'm eagerly awaiting your next post.

Ted Larsen said...

Franz West! Thomas Kieswetter! Keep 'em coming!!!

Richard Bottwin said...

Thanks Joanne, that was a treat! I especially enjoyed the Whiteread piece, it is yummy!

jane o'hara said...

thank you joanne..i love the way you present this..its as if i wasnt even there, you are so comprehensive!fabulous!

Tim McFarlane said...

Thanks for the great post! It's been interesting following the various ways the fair has been presented and commented on. Looking forward to part 2!