Art Basel Miami Beach crates (make your own Raiders of the Lost Ark joke here)
As expected ABMB looked the best of all the fairs and the name galleries seemed to do quite well on sales, though NADA significantly upped their ante
and was probably the most rewarding edgy fair now that theyve grown up a bit beyond trying to corner the hipster clique art market. Both Aqua fairs
looked good for the most part and most of the Portland artists I met milling about Miami had sales to brag about. Matt McCormick
has done probably the best (besides Chris Johanson). Overall, sales at the other fairs were significantly saner or worse (ie less than 2006... there will be a weeding out of fairs for 2008) and on the whole I felt the general quality/excitment of the work available was lower than in 2005
. Scope was pretty terrible with a few notable exceptions... I'll have more on the other fairs. Right now I want to focus on the main event, ABMB:
Damien Hirst and John Chamberlain at Richard Gray's booth at ABMB looked great and I generally hate the spin paintings (though Im admittedly an advocate for Hirst)
Corban Walker at Pace Wildenstein channels Smithson and Judd and maybe a bit of Isa Genzken's skyscraper works from a few years ago.
This vinatge Francis Celentano at Adler & Conkwright Fine Art showed off the Op-Art pioneer well. With all the recent work of Ara Peterson
and Bridget Riley it makes sense there would be renewed interest in Celentano's work, which continues to rock hard
btw. His recent sculptures are particularly excellent.
The best thing I saw in Miami this year was Catherine Sullivan's B&W video at Catherine Bastide. The video follows the very strange activities of a band of gypsies who have been hypnotized. Really strange and incredibly well done.
The obligatory nice Richter, Judd, Warhol and Calder one expects from ABMB. These were at Seoul's Kukje gallery.
Mickalene Thomas (a onetime Portlander) at Rhona Hoffman was key to one of the best booths I saw all week.
(l) and Mickalene Thomas (r) at Rhona Hoffman
Stephen Dean at Casa Triangulo (Brazil)... lots of Brazilian galleries at thet Art Nova section of ABMB for 2007
File this Reena Spaulings' booth under "be careful what you wish for..."
Brian Jungen at Catriona Jeffries
Nuno Ramos at Galarie Fortes Vilaca (Brazil)
Works by Daniel Arsham (fg), Murakami and a new Bernard Frize (bg)
Terence Koh at Peres Projects (mirrors were big this year)
Paul McCarthy's "loveable" chocolate santa's at Maccarone (with inspired placement right across from Peres Projects)
Peter Kogler's sly installation in the front of the Art Supernova section. Yes, art fairs make you feel like a rat in a maze... so this silver factory-esque installation seemed relevant but hardly inspired.
Julieta Aranda at gallerie Michael Janssen (Berlin) The work blows dust around from flattened ammunition and Sci Fi novels (part of the scrappier new Art Supernova section of ABMB which wasn't as good as NADA or Aqua Fairs)
Michael Darling curated a lot of Portland artists into the ABMB video lounge this year including Matt McCormick
, Vanessa Renwick, Miranda July's old Portland era work and Terry Chatkupt
... (when Michael brought up the idea to me last summer I thought it was a great idea and the actual execution garnered a great reception).
Portland artist Terry Chatkupt watching at the ABMB video lounge. This year Portland artists were more present than ever at ABMB... and that's good, though one couldn't say they've seen much of Portland's scene by being in Miami (most of Portland's best artists don't have representation because the city is a somewhat a-commercial art community, though that is changing).
Overall ABMB was the most solid fair but didnt have the energy of NADA. ABMB should probably restructure Art Supernova to be a showcase for alt-space non-profits as a way to beat NADA and the Aquas on the "edge" front. I also suspect there will be a weeding out of the other sattelite fairs for next year but those at ABMB and NADA did well. Many of the Aqua galleries I talked to seemed to break even or better (some were slow) but other fairs like Bridge and Red Dot were nortoriosly slow. Scope was painful but had a few good things Ill show later, though their tent itself was a nice venue.
(Ill have more on all the other art fairs including NADA, the Aquas, Scope and the Art Positions containers in 24 hours or so)