Fair Play: Black is the New Black Black. Again

The posts so far:

John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, ABMB: Martin Puryear bronze. 15 x 28 x 11 inches

Art history doesn’t repeat iself so much as it keeps showing up in a different suit. At least that’s my experience with all the black paintings and objects I saw in Miami. What we're seeing is a recurring genre. I’m posting here, after having seen and written about a different crop of Big Black Objects during Armory Week in New York City in 2009.

Like most of the themes that presented themselves at the fairs, New Black didn’t hit me upside the head. It sidled up and stuck with me. At the press preview at ABMB I saw a Martin Puryear sculpture, a Michelle Stuart graphite work on paper, and then a painting by Andrew Dadson that stopped me in my tracks. After the first few sightings I started photographing madly. Art Miami I saw three Louise Nevelsons. Everywhere I looked, black. I took a lot of pictures, edited, and voilĂ , this post.

The expressions range from large to small, mysterious to in your face, minimal to obsessively intricate, with a strong sense of materiality and a heavy doses of quirk. The materials employed in these works include just about everything: paint, wood, bronze, clay, resin, leather, rubber, fabric, burnt salt, graphite, vinyl, computer keys, and resin-coated fabric over trash. Take a look.

Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, ABMB: Jason Martin painting
I didn't realize how much this painting read as "coiffure,"  even from a distance, until I saw the photograph 

At Karsten Greve Ag, St. Moritz, ABMB: Pierre Soulanges acrylic on canvas
Detail below

At China Art Objects, Los Angeles, ABMB: Jmaes Hayward (I think)
Detail above, full view below

At Galleria Franco Noero, Torino, ABMB: Andrew Dadson oil on linen
Detail below  . . .
. . . and a sublime perimeter. Side view below

At Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, Art Miami: Trudy Benson oil on canvas

At Gallery Bernier Eliades, Athens, ABMB: Piero Paolo Calzonari; burnt salt, paint and lead
It's hard to read the diptych, but the detail below will pull you in

At Regen Projects, Los Angeles, ABMB: Glenn Ligon; oilstick, acrylic and coal dust on canvas
The artist is working with a textual narrative, which you get a sense of below, but you can get lost in the surface

At Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Propjects, ABMB: Michelle Stuart, #28 Moray Hill, 1974, muslin-mounted paper with graphite, earth and rocks

At Sadie Coles, London, ABMB: Rudolf Stingel, oil and enamel on canvas

At Stuart Shave Modern Art, Londn, ABMB: Tom Burr construction, fabric and tacks

At Leslie Sacks Contemporary, Santa Monica, Art Miami: Alex Weinstein, resin
Detail below

At Suzanne Vielmetter, Culver City, California, ABMB: Rodney McMillan, sewn vinyl

At Galleri Nicoli Wallner, Copenhagen, ABMB: Jonathan Monk, stitched leather
Detail below

At Anton Kern Gallery, New York, ABMB: Jim Lambie, cloth and zippers
Detail below

At Rhona Hoffman, Chicago, ABMB: Carmen McLeod, oil and gold leaf on canvas

At Sikkema Jenkins, New York, ABMB: Leonardo Drew; wood, paper, graphic and other materials in plexi box

At Tyler Rollins FIne Art, New York, Art Miami: Ronald Ventura, fiberglass resin and polyurethane paint
Closer view below

At Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy, ABMB: Pascale Marthine Tayou, charcoal sticks on wood
Detail below

At (I think) Galerie Carlier Gebauer, Berlin / Dvir Gallery Tel Aviv, ABMB: artist unidentified

At P.P.O.W., New York, Seven: Sarah Frost, computer keys
Detail below

At Zeno X, Antwerp, ABMB: Jack Whitten, acrylic (mosaic tiles made by the artist)
Full view below

Galerie Carlier Gebauer, Berlin / Dvir Gallery Tel Aviv, ABMB:  Michel Francois, rubber and glass (or plastic) balls
Detail below

At Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, Art Miami: Marie Watt, cast bronze, app 16x16x16 inches

At Galerie Eigen + Art, Leipzig/Berlin, ABMB: Nicolai Olaf
Detail below

At White Cube, London, ABMB: Jessica Rankin, embroidered sheer fabric
Detail above, full view below

At Mark Borghi Fine Art, New York, Art Miami: Louise Nevelson
Installation above, full view below

At Scott White Contempirary, San Diego, Art Miami: More Louise
Detail below

And yet more Nevelson: At Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, Art Miami
Detail above, full view below

At Annely Juda Fine Art, London, ABMB: unidentified artist, charred wood

At Cynthia-Reeves, New York: Art Miami: Jaehyo Lee, charred and nailed wood. Detail below

At Horton Gallery, Berlin/New York, NADA: Aaron Spangler, carved wood. Detail below

At undetermined gallery, ABMB: Carlos Amorales, cast resin

At Galleria Bianconi, Milano: Carlo Zauli, stoneware

At Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, ABMB: Tony Cragg, bronze

At Jack Shainman Gallery, New York: Arlene Shechet, handbuilt clay

At Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, Aqua Art: Cameron Luft, enamel resined fabric over recyclables and trash

At What It Is Projects, Oak Park, Illinois, Aqua Art: Lisa Haller Blaggesen drawing with glitter

At Toomey Tourell, San Francisco: Mark Paron, material undetermined

At Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NADA: Daniel Turner, possibly resin
Installation view above; detail below

Probably the smallest black objects I saw:
At Richard Levy Gallery, Santa Fe, Art Miami: Anna Hepler smoked stoneware, each piece ranging from about three to eight inches high

I pulled this one from the gallery website so you could see it up close

Next up: Lean

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Susan Schwalb said...

Who knew my new black paintings were "in". Love the post.

Kesha Bruce said...


Kinda reminds me of the Pierre Soulages exhibition at the Pompidou.

Who knew 2 hours of looking at a bunch of black paintings could be so interesting!?

Nancy Natale said...

What an incredible collection of black objects! I love it. Thank you for bringing them all together! This is just great.

ska said...

That's a lot of black. Some were particularly interesting, but Nevelson is still the queen of black.

Julian Jackson said...

Obviously black is the new black! There is so much in the world to be dark about but this work ain't it. Thanks for another great curation!

Admin said...

Fifth and sixth photos down: the unidentified artist's painting sure looks like James Hayward-- Sure enough, he's listed here--

Joanne Mattera said...

Chris: Thanks for the links. I have put Hayward's name in the caption, with an "(I think)". I am pretty good about shooting the work, the wall label and the gallery sign, a procedure I repeat over and over again. But if Someone stops me to say Hi when I'm in the middle of the process, or if I see something else--ooh, more art, shiny, big, pretty, gotta see it--I can lose the system. Usually I go back to the gallery website to see what I can find. But I'll tell you, I ran out of steam on this one.

Admin said...

I feel certain that this really is a James Hayward, especially since the gallery site lists him as an artist they took to Miami.

That'sa heapa black you captured.

Anonymous said...

yes that's a james hayward from china art objects - I think it's an older one (say 20-30 yrs old), it's somewhat thinner that the newer ones, and cracking - apparently he has three refrigerated sheds on his property now, that he either paints in or stores the paintings in while they cure - to prevent sagging I guess, he chills the fresh paintings to hold them still until they semi-cure? I can find out if you like. I was surprised there was less graphite covered work this year, but there was LOTS of black

annell4 said...

Who doesn't love black!