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Larissa Bates

Seeking Highlights at Pulse

by Paddy Johnson on December 3, 2016
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What kind of dealer is the Pulse Art Fair trying to attract? It’s unclear, and that in combination with years of accepting whoever had the booth fee, has had an impact. Without a recognizable identity, the fair will continue to struggle to hold onto its stronger exhibitors and attract new ones.

That much is on view right now, as Pulse might be most notable for its regrettable art: greeting card-esque floral photographs, a cheeseball sculpture of motorcycles cuddling, and a red enamel figure sitting on top of shiny mountain of metal. Given this showing, it’s no surprise most dealers we spoke to seemed anxious. Even the spin seemed more transparent than usual “I think the fair’s even better than last year,” one dealer told me, but then failed to name a single booth I should visit.

On that front, I can do better. As with every fair, there are few highlights. Those after the jump.

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Great Strides Made Yet Still Needed at Pulse

by Paddy Johnson on December 5, 2015
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How do you infuse life into a zombie art fair? Ask Pulse Director Helen Toomer. She’s been in the unenviable position of having to clean up years of poor leadership at Pulse, and has miraculously achieved some success during her two-year tenure. The fair’s put together PERSPECTIVES, an impressive discussion series put together in partnership with Hyperallergic and has slowly but slowly pushing some of the long time, weaker exhibitors out of the fair. Meanwhile, Pulse has succeeded in bringing strong exhibitors into the fold like Monya Rowe, Yancey Richardson and Transfer. Great strides have been made.

But let’s be clear: the fair still has a lot of work to do.

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