December 20, 2016, 10:11am
Twenty-thousand years after man first huddled in a dimly lit cave and consciously placed marks upon a wall in an attempt to better understand, and perhaps change, the world, contemporary artists continue to make marks on two-dimensional surfaces with much the same intent. No matter how many times painting has “died” over the years, it keeps coming back to take another shot - reanimated, reinvigorated and ready to deliver the goods. And why not? People still respond and attend to the oldest of mediums with a reverence that no other artifact of cultural production can elicit.
In 2016, artists continued to make paintings, while galleries and cultural institutions dedicated the majority of their exhibition space to their display. During art fair week in Miami in early December, which was marred by low attendance due to post-election malaise and the specter of Zika, there was more painting on view than ever. Photography and other media were scarce. As was evident last year, much of the painting of display was representational with the preponderance of figurative subject matter being notable. Even at the younger fairs such as NADA, there was an almost complete absence of the type of bland, process-based abstraction that had been everywhere for the last five years. Ever aware of the latest trends, smart dealers of all levels have scrambled to bring image based painting into their programs.
I am happy to see that many of the artists that I selected for last year’s list had stellar years. Brian Belott seemed to be everywhere having been taken on by both Gavin Brown and Moran Bondaroff in 2016. Emerging artists Loie Hollowell and Laeh Glenn both became collector darlings in 2016, and mature artist Nancy Shaver had a very strong outing at Derek Eller that received positive critical attention. – Steven Zevitas, Editor/Publisher
December 12, 2016, 8:58am
On a recent trip to Rome, Italy, I had the great fortune of seeing and experiencing William Kentridge’s Triumphs and Laments: A Project for Rome, a vanishing frieze along the banks of the Tiber river. Kentridge is a well-established South African multimedia artist best known not only for his beautiful drawings and animated shorts such as Felix in Exile (1994), but also for his keen humor and stunning ability to shed light upon the darkest of human nature, while ultimately highlighting our human capacity to reconcile, love, and laugh. - Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles (Reporting From Rome)
December 09, 2016, 6:37am
For two years now, Pulse has been located at Indian Beach Park, which means it's not the easiest fair to get to. Hopefully, in the future, fair organizers will better take advantage of the location and allow in more natural light (take a cue from Untitled and Scope) and beach views. Regardless, it always seems worth going to Pulse given the consistent quality of the fair. Below are some highlights from this year's fair. Enjoy! - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
All Photographs By Andrew Katz
December 08, 2016, 8:17am
After a year at Fontainebluea, NADA returns to the Deauville Beach Resort. Although the Deauville is kind of tired, I think it's nice to have multiple rooms to break up the experience, and it's always good to have views of the beach. Overall, it seems like a good move for the fair to make it back up north. Below are some shots from NADA 2016. Enjoy! - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
All photos by Andrew Katz.
December 08, 2016, 10:26am
For art lovers, art fairs are a blessing and a curse. There is a lot to look at, but, unfortunately, it is almost impossible to really look at anything. Distractions are everywhere. Art Basel Miami is perhaps the most difficult environment to focus on art that I have ever encountered. Navigating the crowds that aimlessly meander from one side of a congested aisle to another is challenging enough. Pair that with the siren call of hundreds of large scale works in every media simultaneously screaming for your attention and you will find art fair malaise setting in rapidly.
The 2016 iteration of Miami Basel was as overwhelming as ever, even if, as the press has widely noted, there were fewer people in attendance. It was hard to ignore some of the “major” works there – Lee Krasner’s 6 million dollar painting at Paul Kasmin, Sam Durant’s call to arms at Blum & Poe, and Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room at Victoria Miro, to name a few – but I tried my best not to get distracted. I found that the greatest visual pleasures came in small packages this year. The fair’s Survey Sector, which is dedicated to one-person exhibitions, was the highlight of the fair for me with Howardena Pindell, Margaret Kilgallen, Betye Saar, Giogio Morandi and Romare Bearden all looking stellar. Many other great works could be found in the Miami Convention Center if you gave it time.
Here are some favorites from Miami Basel 2016. - Steven Zevitas, Editor/Publisher
December 07, 2016, 8:25am
Lots of shiny things at Art Miami as usual. But also plenty of great paintings. Enjoy scenes from Art Miami 2016. - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
All photographs by Andrew Katz.
December 06, 2016, 8:53am
One of our favorite fairs is Untitled Art. The tent is always beautiful, with a transparent roof (providing nice, even light) and views of the beach. The layout is interesting, ignoring the conventional aisle and row system. And the curation is right on with great galleries and works. Tomorrow I'm posting some shots of Art Miami. In the meantime, enjoy scenes from this year's Untitled Art fair! - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
All photographs by Andrew Katz.
December 04, 2016, 4:35pm
It's that time of year, again...Back to Miami to get our annual fix of great art and beautiful weather (we live in Boston, after all). Let's start things off right with scenes from Art Basel. It was noticeably quiet during the Vernissage, but there were reports of big crowds during public hours. Expect more highlights throughout the week from Scope, NADA, Pulse, and Untitled. Enjoy! - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
All photographs by Andrew Katz
November 26, 2016, 10:41am
Multimedia artist Rebecca Farr’s fourth solo show Out of Nothing welcomes viewers into a personal journey and emotional recovery as she uses monumental oil paintings and sculptural installations to explore the process and aftermath of losing her father.
This deeply intimate work is touching, moving, and beautifully real. During the weeks following a divisive election, many Americans are left lost, angry, and vulnerable, in need of soul searching and nurturing — and Farr’s exhibit offers a safe space for both. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
November 25, 2016, 10:17am
Since painting began to migrate from church walls to stretched linen, a painter’s niche within the art market had been carved. Not only was canvas friendlier to 16th century Venice’s damp boulevards, it also fit snugly on the walls of those with a few florins to spare, as it still does today. While contemporary speculators of our global art market are often praised for the integral role they play in driving new ideas and experimentation, the fact remains that painting makes up nearly three quarters of art sales today. And so those looking to make a florin for themselves often find extra incentive to take up the brush and canvas. - Brad Fiore, Chicago Contributor