Art fairs: they’ve taken over the art world’s calendars. Because they’re so commonplace, it’s hard to imagine getting excited over another one happening in New York. But the NEWD Art Show is doing something different from the more gallery-centric events: it’s a fair that’s fair to artists.
A dual review of seven pieces currently on view at Frieze, NADA and Select. Ms. Mountain, an artist, writer and comedian, and SSION (also known as Cody Critcheloe) an artist, director, and sometimes musician take on Puppies Puppies, Steven Gagnon, Chloe Wise, Elizabeth Jager, D’Ette Nogle, Kai Schiemenz, Unknown performers, Josh Faught, Genieve Figgis and Peter Coffin.
One trend we identified at NADA was the ubiquity of paintings (noun) with a deliberate absence of painting (verb). Perhaps reactionary to provisional painting—and all its polarizing discourse on authorship, ego, and craft—there was nary an identifiable brushstroke on many of the fair’s plentiful canvases. Which isn’t to say that the work didn’t look painterly: paintings are an easy thing to bring to a fair and sell, but it seemed like no one wanted to paint. What we ended up with is a sampling of strategies to mitigate, or negate entirely, the apparent hand of the artist from the process of mark-making.
For this commission, artist David Hanes remixed 47 out of 500+ images that Art F City staff members took during this year’s Frieze New York. The remixes are made with the same techniques he used to produce his “Aware” series, in which online images of gallery documentation become the source material for digital manipulations. Hanes revises these representations of cultural objects in anonymous spaces using Photoshop. The result are dark and vaguely unsettling photographs of emptied showrooms and bleached-out artwork.
There were a handful of projects at SELECT that we were looking forward to seeing, and a few pleasant surprises. Unfortunately, finding any art that we wanted to see involved running a gauntlet of sights, sounds, and crowds that were cramped at best and abrasive at worst, perhaps even dangerous.