UNTITLED. Continues to Make Gains in Miami

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2014 Art Fair

UNTITLED installation.

UNTITLED installation view

As an exhibitor of UNTITLED. last year, it’s hard to make any kind of informed comparison between this year and last. I spent the entirety of the fair in the Art F City booth for fear of missing a single collector. It takes a certain kind of personality to run a booth, and it’s clearly not me.

Without any means of tracking sales transactions, it’s impossible to know how the fair is doing, but judging from the conversations I’ve had and the looks on dealers’ faces, sales are fine. And as per usual, the show looks great. Complete with a fresh fair design, and the absence of lighting dead spots that plagued the fair last year, the extra tent size creates a feeling of lightness. Like Pulse, NADA and Scope, this fair is on the beach, which means plenty of good views for visitors.

In some ways, UNTITLED. is an odd duck. It is the only fair that has a curator, Omar Lopez-Chahoud. He not only selects the galleries who exhibit at the fair, but works with those galleries to select the work they will exhibit. Initially, I saw a few dealers raise their eyebrows at this approach, but three years into operation, those questions seem to have dissipated. Not only does the fair looks a little bit better each year, but it seems to be establishing itself as the single authority of South American art at the fairs. This year, more than 15 galleries from that region were shown, almost all of which brought strong work.

We’ll be launching a separate post showcasing some of the best Latin American work on view, but for now, here are a few shots to give a general feel of the show.

Kristen Lorello

One of the biggest standouts at UNTITLED. this year is Kristen Lorello’s booth. The pink smoke on mirrors you see here by Goldscmied & Chiari are overlaid with digitally-altered photographs, with bits of reflective material shining through. Lorello will open a show by the duo when she returns to New York next week. Having seen this work in Miami, we’re planning to check it out.

Steve Turner Contemporary

Steve Turner Contemporary. Rafael Rozendaal is sometimes criticized for making work that’s aesthetically-friendly at the expense of conceit. There have been times when I’ve thought that criticism has held up, but his juicy lenticulars (shown to the left) aren’t one. These Sol LeWitt-type compositions vibrate as you move past them—they are a joy to look at.

Marso, Mexico City

An all-white concept booth for Marso, Mexico City heavily features Norman Mooney, with paper by Tony Orrico and grid by Luis Felipe Ortega on the back wall. There’s a condo somewhere that needs this work asap.

Rebecca Morgan's assortment of face jugs, 2014, at Asya Geisberg

Yesterday I learned that a toothy smile at an art fair is just what one needs. Rebecca Morgan’s assortment of face jugs, 2014, at Asya Geisberg

ADA Gallery

Jared Clarke at ADA Gallery. There’s a whole series of these ceramics in the booth, so take a look. And say hello to dealer John Pollard while you’re there. He’s the friendliest dealer you’ll meet.

Casa Maauad is one of the more visually compelling booths at the fair. They are selling a portfolio of prints made by residents, one of whom includes William Powhida.

Casa Maauad is one of the more visually compelling booths at the fair. They are selling a portfolio of prints made by residents, one of whom includes William Powhida.

For Sale, Not For Sale

Who cares about a conversation about what sells and what doesn’t, when there are other, bigger problems to worry about? These “Not For Sale” posters by Alfredo Jaar come off as the kind of privileged art world navel-gazing I could do without. Jarr’s posters represent the masters thesis of students at The Sotheby’s Institute, which has paid for the booth. Of course, the educational program is separate  from the auction house, but as one student conceded, “It’s complicated”. Indeed, but there’s a lot about this project that doesn’t work. If the desire is spark conversation and sustain it, perhaps a rolled-up poster no one can fit in their luggage isn’t the best way to do it. Still, I’d like to cut this project some slack. The students spoke intelligently about the work, and it’s part of a rare educational program that exists within an art fair. That’s not nothing.

Carrie Secrist Gallery

Carrie Secrist Gallery, Andrew Holmquist, installation view.

Monique Meloche

Ebony G Patterson’s “Invisible Presence: Bling Memories” is an installation  at Monique Meloche drawn from her performance in Jamaica’s Carnival. While Carnival traditionally requires costumes many can not afford. As a means of addressing this inequity, Patterson’s Carnival performance drew on a different, growing tradition amongst the poor of blinging out coffins. These coffins were then carried like flags through the streets. Walk through the coffin arrangement if you can — every surface has been touched.

Halsey McKay

Halsey McKay showed Steven Cox & Denise Kupferschmidt, a perfect pairing.

Nina Katchedorian Island Press

Nina Katchedourian, “Window Seat Suprematism” at Island Press. It took a while to discern without titles, but these look like images shot from a seat on plane over a wing. Possibly the best use of economy class seating we’ve seen.

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