UNTITLED. organizers should be giving themselves a big pat on the back. Now its fourth year, the fair is clearly its strongest iteration yet. Part of this is just natural maturing of exhibitors over the course of the last few years—Asya Geisberg, SITE LAB, and Microscope are just three examples of programs that have consistently improved. But the fair’s also done a good job picking up strong new exhibitors, perhaps most notably this year, the Hole and Postmasters.
For uninitiated, the UNTITLED. fair takes place in a beautifully lit tent on the beach with perfect sight lines to virtually any gallery and art work on view. It’s impossible to take a bad picture. The showroom is designed to make the art they show look as good as humanly possible, though the work that looks best in this kind of environment tends to be a little too market friendly for my taste. Certainly, there’s no shortage of mediocre painting here.
That said, it offers a far more unified viewing experience then any other fair. In fact, AFC Senior Editor Michael Anthony Farley has consistently championed UNTITLED. over its competitor NADA for this reason. As he describes it, “Everything has a salable co-ordinated aesthetic while having some conceptual depth below the commercial surface. It’s obvious that they are curating for the market but creating a crowd pleasing fair isn’t the only objective.” UNTITLED. is the only fair with a curator, Omar Lopez-Chahoud.
Aside from the exhibitor changes, which probably contribute the most to the quality of an art fair, the show gets points with me for a collection of work that seems more current and contemporary than in years past. This means a little less heavy-handed conceptual art and an increased focus on digital based practices.
Those highlights and more below: