Miami Art Fairs, Art Basel Miami, Aqua, Art Miami, Bridge, Pulse, Red Dot, Scope, Rubell Collection
Already posted:
FAIR WEATHER: Deal or No Deal

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.

An installation view from the Danese Gallery, New York. The painting in the foreground is by Warren Eisensee. The yellow and orange painting in the distance may be by Julian Stanczak (correct me if I'm wrong)

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


Charlotte Jackson Fine, Santa Fe:
Above, Michael Rouillard, Charles Arnoldi, Frederick Hammersley, Helen Pashagian; on floor, Jeremy Thomas
Below: Tony DeLap collages

James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe: A portfolio of 30 screenprints by Agnes Martin

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.)

Evo Gallery, Santa Fe: Jasper Johns Flag, 1969, embossed lead, 17 x 23 inches
Detail below


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)

Schmidt Contemporary Art, St. Louis: Ann Pibal's reductive rectangle in red

Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco: Robert Motherwell and Sean Scully. Funny, in my memory this Motherwell painting, Catalan Elegy, is enormous; in reality it's 24 x 36 inches

Wilde Gallery, Berlin: This painting by the Canadian painter John Brown, from the Grimm series, is about 16 x 14 inches. The image is achieved as much by scraping away the oil on panel as it is by building it up. I like the way it relates to . . .

. . .Helmut Doerner's small abstraction in oil, 12 x 16 inches, at James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe . I love the materiality of this painting--lush without being luscious. And that brings us to . . .

. 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:

Above, Jesus Rafael Soto, Mural Cinetico; 1983, painted aluminum, metal, formica, wood; 98 x 122 inches
Below, two from Soto and a small metal sculpture on wood base in acrylic cube by Gego, circa 1965


. 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.)




Stephanie Clayton said...

Excellent post. Thank you for sharing. I see some of my favorite artists' works & galleries featured....Scully, Motherwell...Charlotte Jackson Fine Art. Art Miami will be near the top of my list for next year.

Jeffrey Collins said...

Digging the photos. Kinda makes me wish I could see it in person. I'm surprised I didn't see any Joseph Marioni paintings in your photo essay. He's usually got paintings at all these shows. And Yes you spelled Julian's name right. Hope you had a blast down there.

Joanne Mattera said...


I don't remember seeing any Joseph Marioni paintings. Sometimes, though, the subtle works gets lost in the visual shuffle.
Re Julian: It's not the spelling O was concerned about; it's who actually made the painting. I think it was he.

Kate Beck said...

Great work, as always, Joanne. Btw, what's with Bernice Steinbaum's feet?

Anonymous said...

Interessante Fotos, klare Kommentare, guter Geschmack!
Nice to see my own pieces in your fotos!
Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer

Joanne Mattera said...


Thanks for the kind words on the photos and the commentary, but what's Geschmack?


Anonymous said...

Excellent collection of posts and pics. For those of us, like me, unable to visit ABMB this year I'm grateful for the comprehensive virtual tour.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great virtual tour. Thank you. I will do a post to link this one.

eminogrande said...

Eines der Austellungstücke von John Brown wird gerade vom Ökostromanbieter verrätselt. Der Künstler übergibt dem, der das Rätsel löst und gewinnt, höchstpersönlich das original!