Art Fair Week 2015 in Pictures.
I am sure there was
the coolest smart art that I missed out on, these are works that were most visceral initially or came by frequency in tune with my radar and frequency. Beginning with Spring Break, moving on to Volta, a quick tour of the Armory Show, and Pulse. Spring Break was a break from the frowns and furs of the Armory, but really it wasn’t a break—I was there for hours upon hours. Volta had my attention for two visits. Pulse was home to a few of my favorite galleries, including Odetta (Bushwick) and Garis & Hahn (LES), and a nod to SVA for including the works of photographer Clay Patrick McBride. While over at Volta, LYNCH-THAM (LES) was presented the gallery’s current exhibiting artist Quisqueya Henríquez, and Jenkins Johnson (CA and NYC) chose to be a magnet at Volta, wisely selecting from their roster, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle. At Spring Break, artist Sarah G. Sharp curated USE VALUES.
Volta’s new space next door to the Armory is filled with plenty of natural light, that same kind of light that most artists would love to have their studio filled with. So I’ve heard, an art collector may not have enjoyed the overall camaraderie of the VOLTA VIBE, but isn’t it refreshing when a gallery owner or her attendant approaches you (the 99%) with the same kind of appreciation and engagement that they would demonstrate to a savvy collector?
Quisqueya Henriquez, born in1966 in Havanna Cuba, is a leading figure among Caribbean artists. Raised and living in Dominican Republic, Quisqueya’s work is mesmerizing with bold patterns and familiar works. Frames within frames, she creates geometric patterns with images from works of art. For me, Henriquez’s work discloses a perspective informed by a set of cultural practices and beliefs that vary from the predominant understanding of value and beauty. She does so with the utmost respect for works of art and a subtle dose of witticism.
Inspired by architectural lines, Czech artist Ira Svododová’s work blurs the line between 2D and 3D. She works masterfully with acrylic on linens, which is no easy task. Los Angeles-based CES and the artist were listed as a must-see by Artnet.
If you missed the chance to meet Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, well then that’s just your loss. Miss Hinkle is genuinely warm, happy, and inclusive. Her work transcends cultural ideologies, reminding us that art can be a great equalizer. Her collages of black and white postcards of African women, as portraited by the Colonial French, with their ever so slight poses of seduction, lure, and African mystique, are recompensed of Colonial French savagery with headdresses made of entire urban landscapes. You will have also missed out on the story of Kentifrica.
Sarah G. Sharp’s work, ideas, and curatorial structure always encompass multiple perspectives, bringing them to mediated junctures. Use Values contemplates the contradictory status update: I am the 99% // Look at my new shoes (house, car, party lifestyle). “The commodification of everything.” Those abstract moments that find us questioning our ways of valuing in a participatory system of capitalism that is eating up democracy.
There was a line to get into their booth and I could hardly get a moment of Ellen’s time, I did manage. Not a problem, there was plenty to adore at her booth. And there I went, drawn to the collage works of Ryan Sarah Murphy. Cardboard collages that look like miniature mappings of parcels of land or objects like an aerial view of a cityscape and everything it contains. Book covers splayed wide open, interior bindings exposed, painted in bold and cool primary colors, gutted of pages, and cardboard layered and beveled creating an archeological effect. Books, even the NYPL wants to ship them off to Jersey. Odetta is an artist owned gallery in Bushwick on Cook Street.
Grace and kindness go a very long way, in any “World”. True story… there I was at the booth of Garis and Hahn and overheard the man of a young couple ask if the artist would cut 2 inches off of the top of a piece of artwork! Me in my head: ((GASP!!!)) Upon hearing the request Sophie Hahn stuttered a bit, which the young man took as an opportunity to sweeten the deal “…or off of the bottom.” Me still in my head: (((*%#@!*))). Sophie kept her cool, the young lady of the couple let out a nervous laugh, another break in the conversation for him to keep piling it on, “We need it to fit on this one wall!!” At which point I felt claustrophobic and desperately wanted an escape, but also wanting to chat with Sophie a bit more, I lingered. Sophie graciously gave the gentlemen a diplomatic response, something like having to consult with the artist. It’s not easy doing what these folks do at fairs, and as much as it reminds me of my suburban shopping mall days (I called the cafe area at Volta a food court… slip of the tongue), I am thankful to be able to take in too much art.
Going, going, sold Samuel Stabler’s hand-cut paper works appear painstakenly intricate. Little red dots accompanied his pieces, contact the gallery for availability. Guided by their gallery-cum-Kunsthalle mission exhibiting group shows with a conceptual narrative, the young gallery’s curatorial eye is steadily evolving and as such will help to un-crowd the walls with fewer artists giving a stronger punch.