Will Art Basel Miami remain the same without Keanu Reeves and 100 pound plastic trophy wives in stiletto heals? I haven’t seen any movie stars or body modification victims this year (though I’m told they are here), which almost seems a shame since I wasn’t overly moved one way or the other by a lot of work in the fair either. In as much as I can do without spectacle, a certain amount of it isn’t a bad idea for an art fair. From Urs Fischer’s single booth installation of a crane dragging a cigarette at Gavin Brown Enterprise in 2006 to last year’s ShanghART supermarket, the thrill of a total booth transformation (or lack thereof) is notably lacking.
Organized in a grid pattern with contemporary art at one end of the cube, secondary market at the other, and the strongest galleries typically in the center, the sheer size of the fair remains as overwhelming as ever. Collectors reliably migrated to old timey early to mid 20th century end of the convention center this year, though it’s hard to draw any conclusions from this given that these observations were made over the course of a few hours, while the fair itself extends several days.
Meanwhile, CRG put together my favorite booth over all, Brian Tolle’s draped plastic house on an ironing board a highlight. Does the maintenance of routine house hold chores ultimately collapse the larger structure of the home? I’m not sure one narrative is meant to be imposed on the piece, but I like its melty form, 60’s style red chimney, and solid craftsmanship.
I’m also including this Mindy Shapiro piece because the folded paper patterning is so impressive, though the picture I took makes it look as though it is an outgrowth of the carpet. Apologies to the artist. A better image of the work can be found on the gallery’s website.
Another favorite piece at the fair comes from General Idea at Schipper. The above suite uses both found and custom made photographs under a series of headings including, Voice Over, An Illusion of Control, and Commercial Viability. The latter seemed particularly appropriate for this fair given our earlier lamentation over the lack of spectacle and its effect on the fair.
Text: We test marketed our VB gowns for commercial viability in this suburban mall. With their high mobile and maximum visibility, we determined consumer confidence to be at an all time high.
Struggling exhibitors take note: Old research shows triangle house dresses displayed on mall escalators perform well.
Richard Dupont, Untitled, 2008, Cast pigmented polyurethane resin, Carolina Nitsch.
Work using new technologies seems to be popular trend in this year’s fair. Most of these investigations are pretty bad, amongst the worst, the above Dupont sculpture. 3-D rendering with the distortion tool is the new photoshop art. I’m guessing the market for this kind of work will last about two years before even the slowest in the art world see this as a cheesy parlor trick.
In related news, notable exhibitor absentees this year include Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
and Andrea Rosen Gallery. Update: Proving my fallibility. Looks like I missed Andrea Rosen’s booth.