Fair Enough: Aqua Art

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?  Post updated with captions and a Winner
Fair Enough: Prologue to the Report
Fair Enough: Art Basel Miami Beach, Part 1 
Fair Enough: Art Basel Miami Beach, Part 2

While other high-rise hotels are cropping up around it, the Aqua Hotel remains small, the perfect venue for a fair
Below: the interior, where every room opens onto a balcony or the coutyard

What I love about Aqua is the scale. Unlike the big fair, with its rows of booths—each essentially a stage set with the fourth wall open—Aqua is more intimate. You enter someone’s room to see the work. The art is typically smaller and more closely spaced. What you might miss on a cursory walk through the big fair, you really get to see here. And unlike other hotel fairs, which can feel cramped, the openness to the courtyard gives you light and fresh air.

The work at Aqua tends to have a strong material sensibility. Or maybe I just notice it more. In any case, viewing the work is more intimately experienced—somewhere between entering a gallery and entering someone's home (a perception enhanced when the beds are still in the room).

We start with the quirky and material, which I happen to l-o-v-e, and then peek into a number of rooms, sometimes entering and walking around.

Jim Dingilian at McKenzie Fine Art, New York
This bottle once contained distilled spirits. The spirit in here now is much more transcendent. Using smoke on the inside of the bottle--I have no idea how he draws onto or into it--the artist has created an eerie and evocative image of a slightly seedy area, perhaps resembling one where a bottle like this might have been tossed 

Valerie Hammond at Walker Contemporary, Boston
Hammond draws on paper which she then dips into wax. Her hands would seem to be metaphors for life, or magic, or both

Diem Chau at G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle
You'll see more farther down the post, so here I'll just tell you that Chau has embroidered sheer fabric that's stretched over a small saucer

Laura Moriarty at Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson
Moriarty has created small topographical landscapes out of layers of wax. Though she references maps of her Upstate New York area, these are geologically fabulous impossibilities

Platform Gallery, Seattle
 Why does a floormat seem to welcome, even when it's well, a floormat?

McKenzie Fine Art, New York
From left: Paintings by James Lecce, Gilbert Hsiao, Reed Danziger, Chris Gallagher;  Jean Lowe books

Below: Lowe books and Don Voisine paintings. You'll see more from each artist in about a week in the curated posts

Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York
Paintings by Hendrik Smit, Ian Hughes and Peggy Bates; Tatjana Busch sculpture

Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson
My paintings on the back wall; Miles Conrad paintings at left

Two views of Conrad Wilde Gallery, above and below
The chromatic theme allowed the small room to accommodate a lot of work

PDX Contemporary, Portland, Oregon
The exhibition was a solo for Nell Warren, whose printmaking approach to painting and work on paper is apparent above and below, and below that

Nell Warren at PDX Contemporary, Portland

Toomey Tourell, San Francisco
On bed: Michael Russell stitched work and William Edwards sculpture

Below: Tom De Groot paintings, Brian Dettmer altered books

Randall Scott Projects, Washington, D.C.
Sometimes I go right for the painting, which is what I did here:

A grid of paintings by Robert Kingston (love those grids), which I perused individually, one of which is shown below:

Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis
I can't tell you who the individual artists are here, but the installation provided many long minutes of looking

Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco
Love this gallery and its artists
Below I've focused on paintings by Sarah Walker and Barbara Takenaga, left and right of door respectively

Stephanie Breitbard Gallery, Mill Valley, California
Jylian Gustlin's stitched rubber hanging and Jhina Alvarado's photographically inspired images

Below: Alvarado's oil paintings are treated with an atmospheric scrim of wax

Fouladi Gallery, San Francisco
Lisa Solomon's mandala is made of tank-shaped felt elements pinned to the wall. How do I know this?

Paperless journalism, baby

Also at Fouladi: my buddies Gregg Hill and Omar Chacon. Hill crushes and paints oil drums; Chacon--you remember his painting from Traveling Incognita?--works with layered drops of resin

Diem Chau at G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle
Love this installation of stitched fabric stretched over small plates

Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia
Rebecca Rutstein paintings above; Tim McFarlane paintings below; both artists working in acrylic on paper

Robischon Gallery, Denver
Linda Fleming reflective work on back wall, Jae Ko sculpture in profile (shown full view below), and Ted Larsen sculpture

Below: Wendi Harford painting, Jae Ko sculptures (of adding machine paper rolls), Larsen sculpture

Also at Robischon Gallery: Derrick Velasquez sculpture of bookbinding tape over a dowel (that book influence is everywhere); detail below

Beth Urdang Gallery, Boston
In the closet, cake sculptures by Pat Lasch
Closeup below

Birch Libralato Gallery, Toronto
Peeking into the room, with Ed Pien cut paper pieces

Why you need to enter the room: You wouldn't have seen Ginette Legar's faucet-and-brush sculpture from the doorway

Walker Contemporary, Boston
Casey Roberts gouache paintings above; Valerie Hammond's hand drawings below, and below that

Miller Block Gallery, Boston
. This pierced-paper piece by Jane Masters--like embroidery without the thread--reminded me just how hungry I was at the ends of a long day of looking

William Baczek Fine Arts, Northampton, Mass.
Jaq Chartier, one of the fair's founders, is also an accomplished painter. Her three paintings are visible in the foreground, with Sean Greene's painting to their right; in the window, Cynthia Consentino's Girls with Guns


annell4 said...

A wonderful post! Thank you so much, you've done a wonderful job!

Nancy Natale said...

This was so fabulous that I can't stand it. The setting itself, with the courtyard full of palms and tropical vegetation and the balcony that reminds me of Dexter - and that bluish-aqua color, is so perfect. But the work you've shown is just lovely and inspiring. The materiality of it all really grabs me. Standouts for me: the grid of paintings by Robert Kingston@Randall Scott Projects, the stitched rubber piece by Jylian Gustlin@Stephanie Breitbard Gallery, and the embroidered fabric over plates by Diem Chau@ G. Gibson.

Thank you so much for posting all this, Joanne. Even with paperless journalism, it's an enormous task but seeing it through your eyes is a tremendous gift to your readers.

Wendy Rodrigue Magnus said...

I just want to thank you for all of your hard work in sharing the Miami Fair with your readers. I spent the past hour or more lost in your photos and descriptions (love the red pants and the hotel-room installations), and it made for a delightful Sunday morning.

Scott said...


Thanks for this post. I have wanted to see this show in detail. You are the only place I have found who took the time.

Take Care

Tim McFarlane said...

Joanne: Thanks again for your coverage of the fair and for the mention.

Oriane Stender said...

Joanne, you are fabulous. Once again, I don't feel like I'm missing out by not going to Miami because you go and do all the work and bring back all the details.
Thank you!

WaxWorker said...

JM thanks for your myopic, biased, incomplete and suspect journalism... I love looking at art through your eyes.
T. McDowell

Stephanie Clayton said...

This post is outstanding! From all the satellite fairs I've seen in person, Aqua is my favorite. In fact, I believe it's where I first saw your work, a few years ago.

I feel like Nancy: " fabulous I can't stand it."

Thank you for all this hard work! It's great to see the Miami fairs through your eyes, for those of us unable to attend.

Bradley Hankey said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post all the images with your thoughts. That was a visual feast!

Frank Zweegers said...

The bookbinding piece is nice, I want something similar on my wall.