Fair and Loathing: Structure and Material, Part 1

Fair and Loathing: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times 
Fair and Loathing: Coincidences, Trends and a Coupla WTFs
Fair and Loathing: Big Paintings
Fair and Loathing: Art? Not Art?

Fair and Loathing: Small and Mid-Size Paintings
Fair and Loathing: Mid-Century Abstraction 
Fair and Loathing: A Study in Contrasts

Detail: Judy Pfaff at Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York City; Miami Project

Back when I was in art school, I presented an unstretched canvas for crit. I'd painted directly into the canvas and hung it with a slight drape as befit the nature of the fabric. The professors went ballistic."You can't do that!" they declaimed almost in unison. "Paintings have to be stretched!" The clash of generations in one neat vignette. I think of that professorial rigidity sometimes as I make the round of the fairs. Ballistic? Those old farts would be positively apoplectic at the concepts, structures and materials we now employ for painting. Good!

I've got about 80 images to show you, so I'm breaking the topic into two parts, one today and the second in a couple of days. There's a visual logic to the progression--sometimes flowing with the material, other times with the technique or concept--in a collection of artwork that nods to Arte Povera, the Provisional, the beautifully crafted, the intentionally quirky, and which often embraces the materials of craft in the execution of art.

Judy Pfaff, The Path to the Center Was Clearly Marked, 2012; honeycomb cardboard, expanded foam, steel wires, plastics, fluorescent lights (the detail of which opens this post); at Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York City; Miami Project

Richard Tuttle at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; ABMB
You may not be able to tell from the image, but the work, from the Seventies, I think, is made from corrugated cardboard

Frank Stella, Rakow II, 1971; felt, textile and acrylic on canvas on cardboard mounted on wood; at VanDoren Waxler, New York City; ABMB

Detail below with felt and corrugated

Josephine Meckseper, Untitled (Shelf No. 39), 2014; acrylic on denim, cast concrete, blackened steel, bronze, and pigment on anodized aluminum on wood shelf laminated with aluminum and steel bracket; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City; ABMB

Steven Shearer, Conduit Cell for the Elevation of Harmonic Alignment and Geometric Healing, Model II, 2013, polished copper on pedestal, at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; ABMB

Jose Luis Landet. unstretched paintings with centers cut out, at Document Art , Buenos Aires; Untitled

Guillermo Mora, hinged stretchers, at Casa Triangulo, Sao Paolo; ABMB

Margie Livingston, acrylic paint in sheets tacked to stretchers, at Luis de Jesus Los Angeles

Livingston's Falling Grid with Under Painting, 2014, acrylic paint on string

Detail below

More Livingston, above and below at Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle; Pulse

A sculptor with paint, Livingston paints sheets of acrylic paints, which she builds up in layers and then uses as "fabric," as above, or cuts up and uses as construction material, below

Jeremy Wafer, Strate, 2014, wood and wax, at Goodman Gallery, Capetown, South Africa; ABMB

Detail below

Rachel Lachowicz, title of work unavailable, cast wax and lipstick, app. 48" in length, width and depth, at Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles; Pulse

Detail below

Ruairiadh O'Connell, Monte Carlo, and MGM Grand, both 2014, silkscreen on wax in welded steel tray, at Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco; ABMB

Center detail above
Corner detail below

More printing on unusual materials: Adam McEwen, Untitled, 2014, inkjet print on cellulose sponge (the untitled chair with beer cans is also his), at The Modern Institute, Glasglow; ABMB

At Salon 94, New York City; ABMB
Art or furniture? I'm not sure, as no one was sitting on the chairs

Detail below

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, South 7th,  2014, wood,veneer, and shellac on panel, at James Cohan Gallery, New York City; ABMB

Detail below

Sam Ekwurtzel at Simone Subal Gallery, in the Nova section of ABMB
Above: Detail of inset pine knot
Below: Full view below of two 96 x 48" birch panels with thousands of inset knots

Sarah Braman at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York City; ABMB

Jason Middlebrook, painting on wood, at Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin; Untitled

Detail below

Adrian Esparza, yarn construction from unraveled serape, at Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York City; Untitled

Esparza creates shaped frames into which he sets the pins that hold the threads of his constructions. The geometry of the frame echoes the geometric patterns of the serape. For Esparza, a Mexican-American raised in Texas, the deconstructed serapes are a recontextualization of cultural identity 

Detail below

Robert Lansden, fiber-tip pen on paper, at Robert Henry Contemporary, Brooklyn; Aqua Art
This is a work on paper, but I love the structure and materiality it depicts. Detail below

Ramekon O'Arwisters hosts a "Crochet Jam," bringing art into craft at NADA
Give this man a TV show! 

Li Gang, Things to Eat, 2014, oil on handmade canvas, at Galerie Urs Meile; ABMB
I'm not wild about the painting, but I love the handwoven canvas
Detail below

Olga de Amaral, Vestigio No. 7, 1994; gold leaf, gesso and woven natural fibers, app 13 x 12 inches, at Tresart, Coral Cables; Miami Project

Giorgio Griffa at (I think) Casey Kaplan; ABMB
The father of Provisional: Griffa's paintings from the Sixties and Seventies are all shown unstretched, often with their fold marks

Hy Qingyan, A roll of Plaid Cloth and A Roll of Blue and White Striped Cloth, both 2012, acrylic on canvas, at Galerie Urs Meile; ABMB

Detail below

Sheila Hicks at Sikkema Jenkins; ABMB
I'll open the next (and final) Miami post with her work

Next and last post: Structure and Material, Part 2


Oriane Stender said...


anna Wagner-Ott said...

My goodness Joanne, what a lot of work bringing these works and comments to an audience that could not go to the conference. I looked forward to all of your interesting accounts of the exhibits and your commentary. Insightful dialogue. Thanks so much.

Sue Marrazzo said...

I LOVE your posts! I am so Inspired! Thanks = )

markcreegan said...

great post as usual! Thanks for all the hard work putting this together!