Fair Play: Pulse

The posts so far:
Art? Or Not Art?
Lean Times
Black is the New Black. Again
Art Miami

Inside: At Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles: Chris Martin paintings

Outside: The Ice Palace building, home to Pulse

Everything started out well enough at Pulse. After a tasty breakfast for the press outdoors under umbrellas, I entered the building and began the process of consuming some visual fare. The building where Pulse takes place is a large, high-ceilinged soundstage for TV and film, and booths are set up throughout. As I walked deeper into the building I noticed that the light was getting dimmer. In fact, some booths had no light at all. One section of booths was entirely in the dark. This is not a good way to view art.

No electricity also means no air conditioning, so it was getting uncomfortably hot. If it was difficult for me, I could only imagine what it was like for the dealers, many of whom had come thousand of miles and spent many thousands of dollars to set up. A few resourceful folks focused flashlights as makeshift spots, but that illumination was not nearly enough for the work to be seen properly. Work I sort of saw and liked, but have no way to show you, were Emil Lukas’s string paintings at Hosfelt Gallery (fortunately he had work at ABMB at Sperone Westwater), Elana Herzog's cloth-and-staple collages at LMAK Projects, Brian Dettmer’s books at Packer Schopf (he also had books in a gallery at Aqua Art), Johannes Girardoni's wax sculptures at PDX Gallery, and many others.

Let me take you on my trip into the heart of darkness and then out again:

The main walkway, with plenty of light and space

A peek into the booth of Thatcher Projects, New York: Lights are on and sunlight is streaming in. Bill Thompson sculptures, Robert Sagerman paintings

Lights were on in some booths, not in others. I heard that city workers had hit a cable, which clearly compromised some circuits. The Pulse people--whose own pulses must have been in the hypertensive range--calmly kept dealers apprised, and I overheard that they were bringing in generators

Above: Kliendeinst Gallery, Leipzig, had an eye-stopping wall, but the light seemed to stop at their booth

Below: Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, had light where its neighbors did not

Less than optimal viewing conditions here.

Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, made a valiant effort to illuminate the work

At Mixed Greens, New York: Sometimes the dark is exactly right, as here, for viewing Rob Carter's videos of grass growing

Hosfelt Gallery, New York, whose booth was in the dark, had a second space where the walls were meant to be dark--but lights were on

Above and below: Jim Campbell installation

Best booth!

The Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, had light in its booth. Still I pulled the image above from its website because I wanted you to see just how elegant it was. Chris Martin's painting, which opens the post, was on the other side of the big wall, but most of the work was small to easel size, as you see here, visually compelling, and arrestingly installed

Steve DeBenedetto painting top, with George Stoll wax glasses below; partially visible: a Thomas Nozkowski painting
Below: closeup of the Stoll sculptures

Foreground, two Andrew Masullo abstractions; middle ground: three Darby Bannard abstractions; far left: Thomas Nozkowski 

At Kudlek Ven Der Grinten Gallery, Cologne: an installation of gouache paintings by Alexander Gorlizki

Closeup of one below

At Pavel Zoubok, New York:  Al Hansen vintage collage of Hershey wrappers

The gallery specializes in collage and assemblage, some of it with a quirky bent. The booth is a magnet for fairgoers and it's rarely empty, as you see below

Zoubok posted one Facebook the funniest reports I'd read about the fairgoing experience from the dealer's point of view. I hope he won't mind that I reproduce it here:

Typical end-of-fair questions include: "Are these works for sale?" (A: Sir/Madam, everything is for sale.); "Are you the artist?" (A: Yes, and as you can see, I work in over twenty distinct styles.); "Would you take half?" (A: Would you?... I didn't think so.); "What do you people do all day?" (A: Mostly gossip, post on Facebook and shop on Ebay.); "Isn't it illegal to deface U.S. currency?" (A: Yes, so please don't report Mark Wagner to the authorities.); "Is your shirt part of the exhibit?" (A: I usually pretend I didn't hear that.); "What kind of name is Pavel Zoubok?" (A: Foreign. I'll give you a hint...)

You may have noticed that I haven't posted any work by women artists yet. That's about to change, as there are a number of fabulous women in the mix here. We start with Margie Livingston, whose work I have seen in Miami over the years and admired. Here she showed work with layers of acrylic paint--layers, no substrate--which she cut into strips, rolled into logs, or folded like fabric.

View of the fair with the Luis De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, right, which showed work by Margie Livingston and Heather Gwen Martin. The table in the foreground . . .

. . .holds a deconstructed painting by Livingston

Detail of Livingston's deconstructed painting showing the layers of paint film, which she polymer-glued into a thick sheet and then cut into strips. I love the calligraphic fluidity of this paint object, despite what I see to be its substantial weight

More Livingston, above and below

Above: Folded painting, foreground, with a paint  two-by-four on the back wall
Below: End view of the two by four with the same circular "grain" as lumber

"The assignment I gave myself was to make objects out of paint," says Livingston in a video in which she talks about her work

Above and below
Complementing  Livingston's objects were fluid abstractions by Heather Gwen Martin

Looking into the booth of Galerie Stefan Roepke, Cologne

Neo-Op paintings by Julie Oppermann

Detail below

At Schroeder Romero and Shredder, New York: Karin Waskiewicz material abstractions

Closer view of the large work, in acrylic on canvas

Detail below

At Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York: David Poppie split-pencil constructions, with detail below

At Mixed Greens, New York: Suzanne Song paintings--they're flat--of acrylic on wood

At Gallery Joe, Philadelphia: Allyson Strafella carbon paper drawings

Closer view below: the carbon paper is typed on to create the textured surface

At Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago: While the booth was in darkness, natural daylight on the outer wall illuminated this painting by Besty Stirratt

At Morgan Lehman, New York: Sharon Louden painting

At Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London: Sharon Louden chairs with rubber tubing

Next up, probably on Dec 26: NADA

Big thanks to everyone who sent me to Miami. I am most appreciative of your help. To all my other friends reading this: If you are enjoying my coverage of the Miami art fairs, or the blog at any other time of year, please consider making a one-time annual donation of $20 (though any amount is welcome) to help support my effort. See the Donate button on the sidebar. Thank you.


David A. Clark said...

This post has some of my favorite work from the fair so far. Really interesting stuff. Thanks Joanne.

S.A. said...

Joanne -- once again you continue to outdo yourself. Can't thank you enough for all this amazing coverage! I hope you have a wonderful holiday and hope to see you in the city very soon. Steven

harold hollingsworth said...

Wonderful post, great to see a highlight on a local here in Seattle of Margie's work!

kalm james said...

Gees, after all that great work, it's time for a little break. Happy holidays.

Ben Stansfield said...

My favourite work from your Miami reporting. Thanks so much for the introduction to Margie Livingston and David Poppie.

Susan Schwalb said...

beautiful work. I wish I had seen this fair in person.

Tamar said...

Another excellent post Joanne. Thanks for the detail shots of Margie Livingston's work--helpful to see it up close. Have a pleasant weekend and get some rest!

Nancy Natale said...

More great work! So fun to see all this. Besides all the fun paintings and sculpture, I loved reading the Pavel Zoubok exchange! Too funny. Where do those people come from? They are everywhere. Also couldn't help feeling bad for those poor dealers and artists in the dark. What a pity after all that expense and time invested in showing. Thank you, Joanne. You are a master of fair reportage.

Jane Guthridge said...

I love the Margie Livingston work. Thanks for your posts. I love seeing the variety of work exhibited.