Welcome to the Art Fag City Pulse Art Fair Awards! Compiled and edited with the help of Karen Archey, we present you with the best highlights and lowlights of this year’s fair.
Yancey Richardson Gallery at Pulse. Installation view. Mirror, Thinking of You Too, by Rachel Perry Welty. Image: Karen Archey
Best Mirror in Show – Yancey Richardson
Mirror, mirror on the wall: Who is the most enigmatic gallerist of them all? Amid the plethora of mirror art found at Pulse, this thought bubble is perhaps the most expertly (and hilariously) placed.
Cordy Ryman at DCKT, Installation view, Image AFC
Best in Show – DCKT Cordy Ryman
DCKT presented a new body of work by Cordy Ryman, which provided a tasteful refuge from the visual cacophony of Pulse. Ryman's work recalls the best moments of Richard Tuttle or Barnett Newman, and pairs them with a contemporary sensibility. Notably, this gallery follows the effective solo show model of Volta.
Eve Sussman, Installation view, Winkleman Gallery
Most Promising Work in Progess – Eve Sussman at Winkleman
I don’t know anyone who liked Eve Sussman and The Rufus Corporation’s film The Rape of the Sabine Woman, a notable contrast to 89 seconds at AlcÃ¡zar, a short receiving nearly universal critical acclaim. The seven minute teaser combined with a shelf of visual assets associated with the production of her newest film White on White, gives me the impression she’s back on track. Winkleman tells me the film relies more heavily on narrative this time around, which would be a good thing. The Rape of the Sabine Woman met just about every non-narrative video art cliche.
Jen Bekman and Jeffrey Teuton in action at Pulse. Image Karen Archey
Best Installation – Jen Bekman
A beacon of shining light at Pulse, Jen Bekman’s booth features a cohesive, flawlessly installed and well chosen body of work. Apparently, her art handler worked overtime to account for the slight incline in the fair's floor. Another gallery brilliantly following the VOLTA solo booth model.
David Harper shows me the benefit print edition. Image Karen Archey
Best Making Something Out of Nothing – BAM
Three track lights given to B.A.M at no cost lit their entire booth at Pulse this year, marking the most impressive exhibition feat we’ve seen. BAM's third benefit photo portfolio is among the highlights of Pulse. Artists include James Welling, Chuck Close, RINEKE DJKSTRA, Candida Höffer, Sophie Calle, and others. Their fourth portfolio is scheduled to launch next fall.
Richard Heller Gallery, Installation view at Pulse
Award for cramming too much stuff in one booth
Not only does Richard Heller Gallery hang far too much on their walls, but they place artists making very similar work side by side. I don’t know how happy I’d be about this installation if I were Neil Farber, Marcel Dzama, and Evah Fan. Their work looks as though it was all made by one person.
THE SCI-FI AWARDS
Installation view including Nicola Verato’s painting at the Bonelli Arte Contemporea booth at Pulse. Image Karen Archey
Grand Prize – Nicola Verato, Bonelli Arte Contemporanea
What’s going on here: A skydiver falls into a Chernobyl circus, becomes sick, and vomits nuclear sludge into a cavernous abyss? Suggestions?
Debanjan Roy, Indian Shining II, 2007. Painted fiberglass. Aicon Gallery
First Place – Debanjan Roy at Aicon Gallery
It takes a certain amount of imagination to juxtapose art this bad. A well-hung blood red buddah/gollum? sits on a pillow-top pedestal while using his cell phone at the entrance of Aicon Gallery. Behind him hangs a photorealistic painting of a black blues musician. Aicon receives an A for effort.
Artist Unknown, Habana Gallery
Second Place – Habana Gallery
We call this piece “Mind Games”. A table in which miniature humans navigate the labyrinthine convolutions of a brain.
Michael Kvium, Natural Ballet, 2008. Oil on canvas. Faurschou Gallery.
Honorable Mention – Faurschou Gallery
This tutu-wearing alien traverses a landscape of internal organs?
Installation view, Photo Karen Archey
Best Suited Art For Making an Appearance on Cribs
Matrix-meets-Oldenberg. Need we say more?
The Glue Society, I Heard They're Dirty. Galerie Romerapotheke
Piece Most Resembling The Never-Ending Story.
A small gnome crouches on top the pidgeon’s head above in preparation for an unknown deed. Perhaps we are about to pay witness to a role reversal of epic proportion.
Jenkins Johnson, Installation view
The Julian Opie Award – Jenkins Johnson
As we mentioned the other day, it’s not an art fair until Julian Opie makes an appearance.