Art Basel Miami Beach and more
Well, I am slowly recovering from all of the art viewing and the major lack of sleep that occurs during ABMB. Returning to 30 degree weather is not helping. But overall, I really enjoyed the trip. I feel like the fairs were strong, I saw a lot of good work and that galleries seemed to be selling which is always a good thing. However, instead of rambling on about my thoughts, I will let the work speak for itself with a minimal amount of comments. Highlights for me are below.
The main fair:
Art Nova booths
I liked this light work by Scottish artist David Batchelor at the Brazilian Galeria Leme. The artist is interested in investigating the properties of color as well as its symbolic meaning and people’s emotional responses to it.
These works by Peruvian artist Sandra Gamarra also caught my eye. Gamarra, who lives and works in Madrid, based the paintings on newspaper clippings and painted the exact image directly below. Very interesting and beautiful work that is in the $20,000 range.
I really liked these intimate works by Pakistani artist Murad Khan Mumtaz at Tracy Williams booth. Trained in miniature painting, he got his MFA at Columbia and uses Native American imagery in these works which had almost sold out on Saturday of the fair.
Moroccan artist Mounir Fatmi created quite a buzz at Lombard-Fried’s booth with his work “Maximum Sensation” made of skateboards covered in prayer carpets.
Iranian born Tala Madani grew up in the United States and went to Yale for graduate school. Her work was included in PS1’s Greater New York exhibition and the work at Frieze with the holes you could peer through to see video was also hers. Her drawings are rare and were a steal at $2500.
I was drawn to these works by Polish artist Pawel Ksiazek at Berlin Gallery, Zak Branicka’s booth. The artist merges film imagery with modernist architecture imagery and a dark palette creating haunting architectural works.
White Cube had the usual suspects but I surprisingly enjoyed this clever wall installation called “My Major Retrospective II,” 1982-1992 from 2008 including miniature images of her drawings as well as photos.
This beautiful and unique aluminum work at Karsten Greve by Louise Bourgeois is $170,ooo.
This gorgeous work was on view at Anthony Meier’s booth.
And then I had to include the Dennis Hopper work at Tony Shafrazi’s over the top booth.
This wonderful Tara Donovan is made up of thousands of white labels.
There was a booth made up entirely of Spencer Finch works on paper much like the one we have in our current show. The booth was wonderful and had a large hanging piece in the center. Many of the works had sold.
Miguel Abreu had a booth with a turning feature which was something I had never seen before. It gave them more display space and looked cool.
Pace Gallery might have been my favorite booth. They had a wonderful Fred Wilson black glass piece, a small three bulb Flavin, and a Sugimoto photo of an elaborately decorated theater in Ohio.
NADA art fair
Again this year the NADA fair did not disappoint. Sales were plentiful and the work on view was interesting.
Ambach and Rice, a Seattle gallery had work by two artists whose work I liked quite a bit. Abigail Reynolds uses photos from old books of various iconic subjects which are photographed from the same vantage point so by folding and collaging, the artist is able to create wonderful 3-dimensional works.
Martina Sauter’s work grabbed my attention the moment I walked in the booth. Sauter combines film stills and photographs in her pieces. Jpegs do not do the work justice because the artist cleverly adds three-dimensional elements in the work. There is a bit of a voyeuristic element to the work.
Seven art fair
This was probably my favorite fair. Above is the film section of this fair that included seven galleries. Not only was the fair small and manageable but there were no booths and much of the work was hung salon style. A cool way to see work by emerging artists.
I first saw Chris Astley’s work at the Margulies Collection where there is a large sculpture on view. This smaller tabletop work was offered at the Seven Art Fair for $8000. I love the idea that he collects and alters bags and containers to use as molds. He fills them with concrete, stressing the shape and they become misshapen and imperfect.
Atlas Gallery had some wonderful photos on view in their booth. Steve Macleod shoots trees and forest scenes with wonderful light pouring into the frame.
This large work by Floris Neususs is from 1964. He was extremely ahead of his time and influenced many artists working in cameraless photography. He exposed photography paper to light to create abstract imagery–the photogram.
Cool light piece in the common area of the fair.
I really enjoyed Evelyn Aimis’s presentation in her booth with works on shelves. Unique and well done.
This small work on paper by Timothy App is precious. Intimate and delicate the colors are subtle.
I had seen work by the artist James Westwater at a small gallery about three years ago in Miami but then he fell off my radar screen. It wasn’t until I spied a work in Richard Levy’s booth that I remembered how much I liked his work I had seen in the past.
This simple image by Cig Harvey caught my eye.
Upon entering the fair I was handed a sheet explaining the dance performance that was occurring. Shannon Gillen was performing, “Wall” which “contends with the body’s condition in pressurized states and explores the physical and psychological relationships a person experiences on the plane of a wall.”
In Mark Moore’s booth I found work by Kim Rugg who reconfigures newsprint into almost abstract images with traces of letters, symbols and imagery.
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
The Margulies Warehouse had some of the same art in the front galleries as it did during my last visit a year ago. But there was a lot of new material on view as well including a Michelangelo Pistoletto work and video of him breaking the mirrors in his work at the 2009 Venice Biennale.
This work by Courtney Smith uses furniture fragments to create a parquet floor. With its different levels it has a topographical feel.
Brian Alfred made a very cool video that reminded me of Kota Ezawa in its cartoon-like animation. It is a comment on how our perception of the world is altered by the ubiquity of information that surrounds us. The music that accompanies the imagery “enhances the dreamlike atmosphere of the video.”
Rubell Family Collection
First of all, bravo to the Rubells for having works by a lot of female artists in their current exhibition including their daughter’s “Just Right.” Last year Jennifer provided breakfast for visitors by hanging donuts on nails. This year she invited guests to crawl through hole knocked in the wall to an adjacent building where on one room viewers could grab utensils and bowls, in another, porridge and in the last two, raisins and sugar. So clever and tasty too.
Upstairs one could find videos by Nathalie Djurberg and a room filled with work by an artist named Kaari Upson whom I had never heard of. I was curious to peek into the rock formation in the middle of the space that emitted sounds of women speaking about sex and moaning.
I loved the room housing the Marianne Vitale mixed media works.
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation
CIFO had an exhibition of 90 photos exploring the relationship between the camera lens and constructions of form. Works by Struth, Orozco, Hofer, Becher, Francesca Woodman, Sugimoto, etc. were on view.
In this video Song Dong takes different images of Shanghai projected onto paper and crumples them up so the image disappears.
De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space
On our way to the Fountain Art Fair my friends and I stumbled upon a vacant lot in Wynwood filled with street artists in the process of creating at about 11 pm on a Saturday night. It was really amazing. The streets surrounding the lot were filled with parties, people and music.
Fountain Art fair
I really like the vibe at the Fountain art fair. I always find works I like by Swoon, Greg Haberny (whose work I own), and others.
And I do not have images from the Isaac Julien video installation at the Bass Museum called “Ten Thousand Waves.” But it is a must see. Beautiful and moving–I enjoyed its visual delight.