Art? Or Not Art?
Black is the New Black. Again
Inside: At Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles: Chris Martin paintings
Outside: The Ice Palace building, home to Pulse
Everything started out well enough at Pulse. After a tasty breakfast for the press outdoors under umbrellas, I entered the building and began the process of consuming some visual fare. The building where Pulse takes place is a large, high-ceilinged soundstage for TV and film, and booths are set up throughout. As I walked deeper into the building I noticed that the light was getting dimmer. In fact, some booths had no light at all. One section of booths was entirely in the dark. This is not a good way to view art.
No electricity also means no air conditioning, so it was getting uncomfortably hot. If it was difficult for me, I could only imagine what it was like for the dealers, many of whom had come thousand of miles and spent many thousands of dollars to set up. A few resourceful folks focused flashlights as makeshift spots, but that illumination was not nearly enough for the work to be seen properly. Work I sort of saw and liked, but have no way to show you, were Emil Lukas’s string paintings at Hosfelt Gallery (fortunately he had work at ABMB at Sperone Westwater), Elana Herzog's cloth-and-staple collages at LMAK Projects, Brian Dettmer’s books at Packer Schopf (he also had books in a gallery at Aqua Art), Johannes Girardoni's wax sculptures at PDX Gallery, and many others.
Let me take you on my trip into the heart of darkness and then out again:
The main walkway, with plenty of light and space
A peek into the booth of Thatcher Projects, New York: Lights are on and sunlight is streaming in. Bill Thompson sculptures, Robert Sagerman paintings
Lights were on in some booths, not in others. I heard that city workers had hit a cable, which clearly compromised some circuits. The Pulse people--whose own pulses must have been in the hypertensive range--calmly kept dealers apprised, and I overheard that they were bringing in generators
Above: Kliendeinst Gallery, Leipzig, had an eye-stopping wall, but the light seemed to stop at their booth
Below: Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, had light where its neighbors did not
Less than optimal viewing conditions here.
Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, made a valiant effort to illuminate the work
At Mixed Greens, New York: Sometimes the dark is exactly right, as here, for viewing Rob Carter's videos of grass growing
Hosfelt Gallery, New York, whose booth was in the dark, had a second space where the walls were meant to be dark--but lights were on
Above and below: Jim Campbell installation
The Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, had light in its booth. Still I pulled the image above from its website because I wanted you to see just how elegant it was. Chris Martin's painting, which opens the post, was on the other side of the big wall, but most of the work was small to easel size, as you see here, visually compelling, and arrestingly installed
Steve DeBenedetto painting top, with George Stoll wax glasses below; partially visible: a Thomas Nozkowski painting
Below: closeup of the Stoll sculptures
Foreground, two Andrew Masullo abstractions; middle ground: three Darby Bannard abstractions; far left: Thomas Nozkowski
At Kudlek Ven Der Grinten Gallery, Cologne: an installation of gouache paintings by Alexander Gorlizki
Closeup of one below
At Pavel Zoubok, New York: Al Hansen vintage collage of Hershey wrappers
The gallery specializes in collage and assemblage, some of it with a quirky bent. The booth is a magnet for fairgoers and it's rarely empty, as you see below
You may have noticed that I haven't posted any work by women artists yet. That's about to change, as there are a number of fabulous women in the mix here. We start with Margie Livingston, whose work I have seen in Miami over the years and admired. Here she showed work with layers of acrylic paint--layers, no substrate--which she cut into strips, rolled into logs, or folded like fabric.
View of the fair with the Luis De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, right, which showed work by Margie Livingston and Heather Gwen Martin. The table in the foreground . . .
. . .holds a deconstructed painting by Livingston
Detail of Livingston's deconstructed painting showing the layers of paint film, which she polymer-glued into a thick sheet and then cut into strips. I love the calligraphic fluidity of this paint object, despite what I see to be its substantial weight
More Livingston, above and below
Above: Folded painting, foreground, with a paint two-by-four on the back wall
Below: End view of the two by four with the same circular "grain" as lumber
"The assignment I gave myself was to make objects out of paint," says Livingston in a video in which she talks about her work.
Above and below
Complementing Livingston's objects were fluid abstractions by Heather Gwen Martin
Looking into the booth of Galerie Stefan Roepke, Cologne
Neo-Op paintings by Julie Oppermann
At Schroeder Romero and Shredder, New York: Karin Waskiewicz material abstractions
Closer view of the large work, in acrylic on canvas
At Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York: David Poppie split-pencil constructions, with detail below
At Mixed Greens, New York: Suzanne Song paintings--they're flat--of acrylic on wood
At Gallery Joe, Philadelphia: Allyson Strafella carbon paper drawings
Closer view below: the carbon paper is typed on to create the textured surface
At Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago: While the booth was in darkness, natural daylight on the outer wall illuminated this painting by Besty Stirratt
At Morgan Lehman, New York: Sharon Louden painting
At Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London: Sharon Louden chairs with rubber tubing
Next up, probably on Dec 26: NADA