Fair Play: Art Miami

The posts so far:

The Art Miami tent with, yes, clothes in the trees
Of course it's somebody's installation (and if I hadn't been so preoccupied with my little sciatica issue, I would have been able to tell you whose)

This is the second post for Art Miami, the previous one being the Bloggers' Tour led by Franklin Einspruch and myself. Franklin and I have very different tastes—a good thing for a tour such as the one we led—because the differences brought our group into a variety of booths with very different work.

This is probably a good place to say, apropos of different tastes, that each venue, while allowing in a range of galleries and esthetics, has its own particular sensibility. In part that's because of the physical space. Art Miami, under a white tent, offers a lighter, brighter and more spacious viewing experience than the big box maze of ABMB at the Convention Center, for example, as well as a particular esthetic. One of the things an art fair selection committee does is try to retain that particular esthetic while embracing new galleries with new work.  Art Miami offers a pleasant and relaxed viewing experience, while AMBM typically offers edgier fare. I'm not saying one is better than the other, just that they're different. Personally, I like the differences. Here you know you're not going to accidentally back into a bronze turd.
Above and below
This is what I mean a about the lightness and open space

I’m opening with some wide-view shots to give you a sense of the space and some of the booths. And since I saw a lot of painting I liked, I’m going to show you a lot of paintings. My favorites were two oldies and a contemporary goodie: a Joan Snyder from 1969, a Jack Tworkov from 1976 and a contemporary installation by Sanford Biggers. Who am I kidding? I can’t get that specific. I also loved two Ward Jackson diamond paintings, two Trudy Bensons (she uses glop better than any contemporary painter I’ve seen), the glittery irony of Nancy Baker and a photographic diptych that riffed on the Renaissance. Here, let’s look:

A couple more general-view shots before I get into specifics
Above: Spanierman Modern, New York

The theatrical design of the Douglas Dawson Gallery, Chicago

Corner booth of David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, with Rana Rochat painting and Greely Myatt sculptural screen

At Galerie Renate Bender, Berlin: Robert Sagerman paintings, Bill Thompson sculptures

The tightly refined esthetic of the Charlotte Jackson Gallery, Santa Fe

At Mark Borghi Fine Arts, New York: Louise Nevelson and John Chamberlain

Chamberlain is an art-fair staple. One year virtually all the booths paired his work with Albers paintings. This year the pairings were more diverse. I thought this one was great. even if the Nevelson was a bit high

At Denise Bibro Fine Art: Daniel Borlandelli sculpture, foreground, and two Nancy Baker collages

A closer view of Baker's work below:

Baker's sparkly collages undermine brand names and corporate logos. Love them!

One thing I love about the artfairs is that glitter can be cheek by jowl with serenity
At Cynthia-Reeves, New York: Shen Chen painting

At David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe: Ward Jackson

These paintings by Jackson were a find. Inspired by Mondrian and Albers, Jackson (1928-2004) had his heyday in Sixties New York City as a contemporary of Jo Baer, Robert Ryman and other reductive or geometric painters. Like many artists then and now, he maintained a 9-5 job; for almost 40 years he worked as an archivist at as the director of the viewing program at the Guggenheim.

Homage to JFK, ca. 1963, acrylic on canvas, 37 x 37 inches
Image from the David Richard website (it's so much better than the one I had)

Added 12.16.11: Louise P. Sloane emailed to add this remembrance of Jackson: "He was a very dear friend of mine and we used to brown bag our lunches in his office at the Guggy and look at slides of our work around once a month for several years, back when I was a young artist conquering the world . He was one of the most encouraging people I had ever met and helped me emotionally through the turbulent waters of being an artist. I learned a great deal from him about the integrity of making art and supporting other artists. He was at every exhibition and visited my studio on several occasions. He was truly a lovely supportive man. Her was underrated in his time. I know that it would've been gratifying to him to see so much attention focused upon his work."

Julian Jackson, painter and nephew, left this comment, which I moved here into the text: " David Richard Contemporary will be hosting a retrospective of 50 years of his work at their beautiful Santa Fe gallery opening,  January 6, 2012. There will be a catalogue with poetic and informative essays by critic Lily Wei and painter/critic Stephen Westfall. My wife, Rene Lynch, and I have worked very hard to preserve and promote his work. The show is going to be a beautiful resurrection!"

At Leon Tovar Gallery, New York: Jesus Rafael Soto

Soto is as ubiquitous at the art fairs as John Chamberlain. I'm not saying that as a bad thing. I really like his geometry, which is energized by the kinetics of suspended rods.

At William Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis: Joseph Havel sculpture; cut-up American flags, needles and thread, app. 36 inches diameter

Above and below
George "Hairbrush" Tjungurrayi at Gallery for Fine Aboriginal Art

At LewAllen Galleries. Santa Fe: Joan Snyder, Vertical Strokes with White Ground, painting, 1969, oil, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 72 x 72 inches
 Love this!

At Schuuebbe Projects, Dusseldorf: maybe Heinrich Prem

Above and below

At Mike Weiss Gallery, New York: Trudy Benson
I'm not a fan of Glop Art, but Benson pulls it off, creating work that embraces drawing, painting and what feels like tapestry with an explosive energy that is, at the same time, completely composed in relatively shallow space

Detail below

At Now Contemporary, Miami: Amy Mayfield

As I reviewed the images after the fair, I remember this painting as being enormous, so it was a surprise to see in my photogaphic notes (I shoot the wall label) that it is just 17 x 27 inches

Detail below

At Spanierman Modern, New York: Dan Christensen

At Rudolf Budja Gallery, Miami Beach: Zevs
This is not my kind of work, but there was a strong comsumerist bent at the fair, and this represented it perfectly

At Graham, New York: Max Jansons

This painting has a Fifties sensibility from somewhere in the heart of geometric Latin America. Would it surprise you to know it was painted in 2011 by an American born in 1974?
It surprised me

At Mark Borghi Gallery, New York: Jack Tworkov

Now this is my kind of work: the order of the grid, a fracture of the picture plane with geometry that appears to float in dimensional space

Detail below

I love how the Tworkov painting leads us to this dimensional installation
at Goya Contemporary, Baltimore: Sanford Biggers repainted quilt with redefined space via tape . . .

. . . and two trompe l'oeil paintings: 

At Aldo de Souza, Buenos Aires: Raul Mazzoni

At Piece Unique, Paris: Sophia Vari painting

Detail below

At Robert Mann Gallery, New York: Maria Alche y Ramon Teves, Ushuaia (diptych), 2006

This is the odd one out for the post, but coming upon it was a smart little jolt. Maybe it will do the same thing for you.  I love Piero, but I always thought this couple was only slightly less creepy than the Arnolfinis in their wedding portrait. Finally, a makeover

Next up:  The new black

If you feel that my reports from New York and elsewhere around the country, including the Miami art fairs, bring the art world to you, or that Marketing Mondays offers professional information of the sort you never got in art school, please support this blog. I am a painter with a full-time studio practice; every post represents a significant expenditure of time, travel, photo editing and writing. A one-time annual donation of $20 (though any amount is welcome) will help support my effort. See the Donate button on the sidebar. Thank you.


Nancy Natale said...

What wonderful paintings! I think my favorite shot is the one with the Nevelson and the Chamberlain but the paintings are just fabulous. Great post with a lot of variety. That Jack Tworkov piece is mind boggling. Love it! And the Guston-esque piece from Dusseldorf - great! Thank you, Joanne!

Rossana Taormina said...

Bellissimo post,grazie a te posso ammirare le opere di tanti artisti...


julia schwartz said...

wow, nice coverage!! thanks

Oriane Stender said...

Thanks for the report!

Norman Engel said...

awesome post!

ska said...

Thanks for giving us a chance to see these wonderful paintings and an idea of what the fair is like. Ward Jackson had connections with Richmond, Va before he went to NY, so his name is well known here. Thank you.