Something about Volta’s all black advertising irritates me, and its position on the 11th floor of a corporate building certainly isn’t helping. If the Armory favors commerce at the expense of supplemental arts programming, its sister fair Volta does nothing but heighten that focus. While Volta’s special projects appear on their website, (what makes them so special is anybodies guess since they are all commercial endeavors), I couldn’t find anything about lectures or panels. I called the press office to find out about this side of the programming, but their representative could only tell me that Paige West had given a talk yesterday about collecting and some vague details on a panel put together by a consulting firm. Clearly the support non commercial projects isn’t a priority, a position I’ve always felt to be rather short sighted, given its ability to not only enrich the fine art community but to create a healthier market.
William Pope L at Kenny Schachter / ROVE Projects LLP
As for the quality of the show itself, despite VOLTA’s success in recruiting a number of reputable galleries in a short amount of time, the results were underwhelming. The fair was difficult to navigate, it lacked character, and I found a lot of the art average at best. As a result, I wrote almost nothing about any of the galleries, but for the small cluster in the South East corner of building worthy of note; Roebling Hall exhibited the photographs and pop bottle sculptures of David Ellis, TravesÃa Cuatro displayed the abstracted architectural constructions of Jose DÃ¡vila, and Kenny Schachter / ROVE Projects LLP were promoting the conceptual artist William Pope. L, and photographer Muir Vidler. William Pope. L’s pop tart drawings and peanut butter collages, undoubtedly spoke with the greatest clarity, the material a staple of those who live off food stamps, and a marker of empty consumer culture. Of course, such art making materials were also chosen for their inherent instability as a means of resisting the market. It seems in keeping with the fair, that these desires would ultimately be consumed by the saleability of the object, the pop tarts and collages now hermetically sealed and tastefully on display.
Itamar Jobani at Noga Gallery
While the sale of such work may create a number of conceptual problems they didn’t have when they were made, this is pretty low on the list of VOLTA’s concerns. If I were them, I’d spend a lot more time considering how they ended up with a show including Noga Gallery’s Itamar Jobani. But, you know, that’s just me.