Art Basel in July: Flow Performs Modestly But Gallerists Excel in Exhibition Design

by Art Fag City on August 26, 2008 Events

Art Basel redux!

Flow Fair
Flow Miami, Photograph AFC

Taking hotel fairs up a notch, virtually every location I visited today had the majority of the beds removed from the suites. This improves the viewing experience by a level of magnitude eliminating the burdensome question, “What will this look like without a giant bed in front of it”. Additionally, virtually at the exhibitors at Flow, Bridge and Red Dot (possibly others, I noticing after a while,) used track lighting, which means viewers no longer need bring a mini maglight to view some of the finer details in the work.


Linda Durham Contemporary Art at Flow had the most impressive set up of the day, offering a near complete transformation of their hotel room to an exhibition space. The gallery shows work I'm not overly interested in (photographers who sign the front of their prints need to be told to stop), but they otherwise receive a thumbs up from us on presentation.

Michael Berkhemer, Wildwood Press
Michael Berkhemer in the Wildwood Press bathroom at Flow, Photograph AFC

The prize for best bathroom installation I've seen thus far also goes out to a Flow exhibitor. Again, the art work at Wildwood Press won't be making any headlines, (though I'm sure there's a corporate collection somewhere that will fall in love with it) but the gallery has to receive credit for turning their toilet into an art object. Nothing Duchampian here, just some reasonable exhibition design.

Botero, National Holiday, 2003
Botero, National Holiday, 2003, Oil on Canvas, 39 1/4 x 51 1/4 inches

For those interested in second rate Boteros (the majority of his recent work), KN Gallery has a poorly painted work executed in 2003. National Holiday includes the signature of Álvaro Uribe, the president of Columbia, which may add something to the history of the painting, but nothing to its quality.

David Byrne
David Byrne, at Hemphill

Last but not least, I took a few shots of David Byrne's drawings at Hemphill, initially thinking they weren't overly remarkable. Well, I changed my mind. Later on in the day it occurred to me all that time I spent trying to eliminate the ugly work next to it was influencing how I saw the work. Looking at my photographs, these drawings stand out from a crowd of mediocre at Flow.

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