Modern Art Obsession broke most of our observations about the ADAA art fair earlier last week, but I’ll be damned if that stops me from repeating at least some of them. As I mentioned this morning, and MAO Thursday, the fair was far less of a mad house this year – a funny observation given the fact that it seemed like a cake walk relative to taking a stroll through the Armory in 2007. Still, I enjoy the fact that unlike most fairs I end up attending, the art can be viewed without having to ask multiple parents to move their bugaboo baby strollers.
Also mentioned at MAO, the single artist booths this year really stood out. Richard Avedon at Fraenkel Gallery was a particularly strong show, undoubtedly my pick for the best booth at the show. In the end I decided to post the picture above featuring both Suzy Parker, and my, um, awesome shadow, because his Marilyn Monroe shot also on display is so well known, practically everyone and their dog has seen it. That said, it is great.
Olafur Eliasson, at Tanya Bonakdar, Photo AFC
Even though I’ve been known to respond to Olafur Eliasson, I don’t know that I cared all that much for his sculptural pieces at Tanya Bonakdar — the works failed to activate the space in any kind of engaging way due to their sparse arrangement — but they as the only mirrors in the building they certainly satisfied the narcissist in me. My unruly hair was about as in place as it could be thanks to this work.
Franciois-Xavier Lalanne, Mouflon de Pauline (grand) (bar), 1993, at Paul Kasmin, Photo AFC
Anyone else who visited Miami this year recognize this piece? I asked a dealer at Kasmin if this was the same piece they exhibited at Basel in December and was informed the sculpture was editioned, and this was a different number within the edition. Looks like Mr. Kasmin is doing fairly well with this artist.
Julian Opie, Jack Walking, at Barbara Krakow, Photo AFC
I don’t think I know anyone who thinks Julian Opie makes good work, and yet, I consistently see his videos in art fairs. Perhaps when the market for this guy’s work falls, I can bring out the little used, “I told you so” post label we have around here, but then, I’m not sure who I’d be talking to. Certainly you all know these walking men are a bore too.
Probably my favorite installation in the show was curated by Maria Lind at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College as part of the ADAA’s new supplemental contemporary programming. Raskin is Bard’s first artist in residence, and has been making naive reconstructions of bunkers, nuclear power stations, and more. The work has a rather unique charm to it, the artist’s personalized interpretations of “spaces of fear”, one the one hand overly obsessive, while on the other, a rather natural reaction to the unstable political climate around the world. As someone who spent a fair amount of time complaining about the fact that political work tends to find itself neutered by context, or simply edited out from the fairs, this work is a real beacon of light to last year’s art fair gloss.