Fair Game: Blogger Walk-Through of Art Miami

The posts so far:
Painting in the Big Box
More Painting at More Fairs
Small Works in a Big Week
Brains: Who Knew? 
This is the second year in a row I was invited to give a Blogger Walk-Through of Art Miami. I love doing it, as the Walk-Through offers an opportunity to slow my pace and consider a small number of selected works in a deeper way. I invited David Cohen, editor and publisher of, the online magazine, to do the Walk-Through with me. We spent some time separately at the venue in the days before the Walk-Through and then worked out an itinerary the night before.
Stop #1: Hunt Slonem rabbit paintings at Dean Projects, New York City

When we met on Saturday morning our group consisted of artists, bloggers, and several collectors who were interested in seeing the fair through different eyes. The two principals from the blogazine, Hyperallergic, publisher Veken Gueyikian and editor Hrag Vartanian, were part of the group as well (and co-sponsors of the event), so as someone noted, it was actually a Blogger, Blogazine and Online Magazine Walk-Through of Art Miami.
I didn’t take notes so I won’t be quoting exactly, but I can convey a sense of what we saw and talked about.
We started at Dean Project, from New York City, where David Cohen asked us to look at the rabbit paintings of Hunt Slonem. Cohen noted the prevalence of multiple works throughout the fairs, and the particular appropriateness of this lively installation. “Rabbits multiply,” he put it. And that green wall was a visual standout.  

Stop #2: Glassmeister Tim Tate at Blue Leaf Gallery, Dublin
We then visited Blue Leaf Gallery, from Dublin, where Washington, D.C.-based artist TimTate talked about his work. Cofounder of the Washington Glass School and widely collected by museums around the country, Tate brings together blown glass objects with videos he conceives and shoots himself, creating what he describes as “electronic reliquaries.” .
Getting away is the theme in this work, from the walking woman in the video to the figure with handcast glass suitcases at her feet inside the handblown bell jar

Stop #3: David Cohen standing before Beatriz Milhazes prints at Durham Press, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Next we stopped at Durham Press, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, specifically to view the prints of Beatriz Milhazes (shown here) and Polly Apfelbaum. While many print publishers show at Ink, the print-specific fair on Collins Avenue, a number of publishers cast a wider net. This seems in keeping with Cohen’s observation that complex multicolor works of this sort are unique works in their own right. (And pricy, I would add. I'm pretty sure I remember reading on the wall label that this print, in an edition of 40, is $45,000.)

Above and below, the two section of Milhazes' Sal (Salt), 2010, woodblock and screenprint. Images (separated from the diptych so that you could see each component larger) from the Durham Press website

Stop #4: Rana Rochat, Untitled L804, 2012, encaustic on panel, 60 x 48 inches, at David Lusk Gallery, Memphis

Since I paint mostly in encaustic, and since several members of our group also do, including the artist Jeff Schaller, we stopped to look at work in the medium by two different artists.
Represented by a succulent red painting at the David Lusk Gallery, Rana Rochat works in a way you might expect from a medium known for luminosity. Her paintings are full of saturated color and translucent layers; those layers create the optical sensation of looking deep into into the picture plane. Rochat is a painter who works a fluid medium (the wax paint is applied when it is molten) with a loose, lyrical line.
Below: Detail of Rochat's Untitled L804

Stop #5: James Little, Desert Delivery, 2011, oil and wax on canvas, 72.5 x 94 inches, at June Kelly Gallery, New York City
How fortunate we were to be able to view the work of James Little just a few booths away at the June Kelly Gallery. Where Rochat works fluidly and transparently, Little works opaquely, and geometrically with a hard edge. This is tour de force painting, not only for the graphic power of the image but for the way Little wields his material so masterfully in opposition to its nature.
Below: Detail of Desert Delivery 

Stop #6: Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1998, four lithographs, edition of 75, 15.25 x 14.25 inches each at Nikola Rukaj Gallery, Toronto

Separately, both Cohen and I came upon these exquisite prints at the Nikola Rukaj Gallery. Considering that most work at an art fair is large and/or chromatically dramatic by intention, it was a sweet surprise to find that we'd both selected these four lithographs to discuss. When I'd gone to scout the fair, I'd asked Rukaj if the works were available separately. "No, " he replied. "These are all the same number in the edition, and I want to keep them together." Was I interested, he asked. Of course I was, but at $55,000 for the four, it would remain an unrequited romance.

Below: Closer view of the bottom right print
Stop #7: Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, with German Gomez photographs, Jasper Johns prints and Charles Burwell painting
The booth for the Bridgette Mayer Gallery was exquisite, from the Jasper Johns prints given pride of place on the center wall of the large, square booth, to every other work, which complemented those six framed prints. Knowing that very little is left to chance in booth design, I asked Mayer if she would talk to our group about how she made her selections. 
She started with the Johns prints, which she had acquired from the original and only owner. The single ownership accounts for their "pristine condition," Mayer noted. Around these prints she installed a selection of work by gallery artists, such as the  abstraction by Charles Burwell, shown above right, as well as photographs by German Gomez. Gomez, she said, was the first artist to be invited to a gallery-sponsored residency. This is a program that will continue with a new artist annually. 
Jasper Johns, #1-#6 (after Untitled 1975), 1976, lithograph printed with eleven colors on Rives paper, 36.5 x 36.5 inches. Iconic Man Ray print to the left

Below, Mayer talking to our group. A large work by Arden Bendler Browning is visible at right

Stop #8: Banksy Out of Context
There were several of these murals--removed wall and all from sites in London, Bethlehem, San Francisco and Los Angeles--placed throughout the fair. This one, called Stop + Search, was originally sited in Bethelem. It marks the division here between Art Miami and the tent where Context, its sister venue, was taking place.  Context was marked by emerging galleries or artists and adventurous programming.

Stop #9: Connersmith, Washington, D.C.
David Cohen brought the group to Connersmith, where artist Wilmer Wilson IV was surrounded by photographs of his performances. The performances consist largely of Wilson covering his body with stickers or other materials that create a skin or barrier between himself and the viewer. Below, he talks about that experience, which he admitted could feel claustrophobic when he is completely covered. The performances can last the better part of a day, culminating in the removal of the stickers. You can view one here.


Stop #10: Marc Desgrandchamps at Dialogue Space, Beijing
As we paused before this painting by Marc Desgrandchamps, Cohen noted the cinematic quality of movement and Mediterranean light of the setting. More particularly, he noted that that the artist, a Westerner, was featured in a Chinese gallery, an unusual and welcome changeabout when a Chinese gallery comes to a Western fair.

Stop #11: Eran Shakine at Zemack  Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv
For our last official stop, we visited Zemack Contemporary Art from Tel Aviv, where three paintings by Eran Shakine engaged the group. It was an installation of lighthearted work. My favorite, Malevich's Fried Egg, is below: 

Stop #12: Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta
As we headed out of Context we had one more stop: Marcia Wood Gallery, where we almost literally bumped into David Humphrey's Bunnies. Since I'm represented by the gallery, we saved our stop until the end so that we could chat casually with Wood  and see the booth. I showed you a Kim Anno photopainting in the Miami Overview. Here let me show works by David Humphrey and Alan Loehle.
 David Humphrey, Bunnies, celluclay and hydrocal, at Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta. This image from the gallery website

Below: Alan Loehl, Venus I, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 55 x 41 inches

Next up: The Miami Wrapup


annell4 said...

Thanks for the post!

David A. Clark said...

Great post Joanne.
This one is my favorite so far. I love the walk through feel of it. It helps to put the works in context of the whole of the fair.

France Gallery said...

Really interesting to see these works! I have so enjoyed reading your Marketing Mondays for the past few months now too.