January 11, 2013
I subscribe to Alyson B Stanfield’s artbizblog.
The December 19, 2012 post at Art Biz Blog, titled Year End Review opens with:
You probably did more in 2012 that you are giving yourself credit for.
I immediately followed Stanfield’s suggestion to take time and outline my own accomplishments for the year 2012.
It was a wonderful exercise, both supportive (I got to see that I accomplished goals I set) and encouraging (I got to put in writing my goals for 2013).
Categories in the year-end review include:
How did you promote your art and what did you do to enhance your online presence? (Marketing Triumphs)
How did you strategize and track your growth, what books did you read to help your career, what grants/honors/awards did you receive (Business Growth)
Creative Challenges (how did you improve your studio habits)
Getting to see contemporary art in a setting like Art Basel Miami Beach makes me happy. I was there for 5 days December 4-8, 2012.
It’s an incredible experience, because the art you see ranges from museum quality blue chip art – to independent fine art dealer’s inventory from every country – to experimental and funky art that surely expands our understanding of what contemporary art is and can be. You get to see it all at Art Basel Miami. It’s an opportunity to meet and network with artists, gallery people (who were very friendly and accessible), and collectors. I attended programs, openings and free events. It was non-stop.
In the image above, I am standing in front of what I call a dimensional collage. The image was taken at one of the large art fairs. The image is courtesy of Mary Hunter (my artist friend who met me in Miami, FL for 5 days to see all the shows). I will write about the fairs, the program Conversations (with artist Richard Tuttle in dialog with Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern, London), and a visit to the Rubell Family Collection in upcoming blogs.
The final category in the Year End Review at Art Biz Blog was:
What was the single best thing that happened to your art career in 2012?
I will write about that in an upcoming blog. Hint: it was a huge undertaking and it was worth it.
I recommend you do your own Year-End Review at the Art Biz blog site.
Here’s a link to a pdf with more career advice especially for artists that includes:
Fail-Proof Business Advice from 10 Years of Art Biz Coach
Top 10 Marketing Advice from 10 Years of Art Biz Coach
I include the final 5 here because they are so important. I think you will agree.
(5) Start blogging: Write regularly and consistently. My goal in 2013 is to write blogs about collage that will become content for a book. Alyson Stanfield recommends artists blog about their art to establish their credentials as an expert. That sounds good to me (no matter what the subject) – because it helps you understand your subject in a deeper way, and the blog provides a place for dialogue with your fans, and makes you more search-engine friendly.
(4) Find ways to get your work out there. It’s critical for you to exhibit your art.
(3) Find ways to communicate about your art. Words can connect your art to more art viewers.
(2) Your contact list is your most valuable asset (keep it current and active).
(1) Get into the studio and make art!
I have a copy of Stanfield’s book I’d rather be in the studio. It’s an excellent book that is perfectly titled for the dilemma studio artists face – because we are always juggling studio time (what we want to do and where we want to be) with the need to devote time to being out of the studio (marketing, seeing art at museums and openings, networking, writing, updating career and contact information, etc.).
New Goal: In 2013, I plan to send out my newsletter Notes from the Studio more regularly. Its focus will change and be more about what I do in the studio (maybe show works in progress), about juggling time, marketing triumphs, and improving social media skills. I will always include links to my blog Art of Collage because my studio practice is collage and I teach collage classes and workshops. They are always related. My studio practice keeps my life centered. I teach collage because my purpose is to help people enrich their lives with art (and through making art). I hope you will sign up to receive the news.
Thank you for reading this post. Let me know how you did in 2012.
December 21, 2012
I planned to post a blog about my 5-day trip to Art Basel Miami Beach (Dec. 5-9, 2012). It was an amazing opportunity to see contemporary art.
I couldn’t write about the wonderful art in Miami, because I am upset about the tragic events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT last week.
Because blogs need to be posted regularly, I found another way to get past my writer’s block – by going to my studio and making a sample collage for a workshop I will lead in April at the Newark Museum. It was something to do, and after I did it, I knew I could write about it.
Making art makes me feel happy (happier).
Stargazing, Collage and You
I painted papers and collected magazine papers in bright colors and geometric patterns for the sample collage. I wanted to create a palette of painted papers in green-blacks, reds, and red-blacks and coordinated magazine paper in red and black stripes.
The Newark Museum workshop is titled Stargazing, Collage and You. It’s scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10-4, and is offered in conjunction with the Museum exhibition African Cosmos: Stellar Arts (February 27-August 11, 2013).
The African Cosmos exhibition is currently at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts in Washington DC and will travel to the Newark Museum.
See the Smithsonian website for images and wonderful text about the exhibition.
The website introductory page shows an image of a painting by the artist Gavin Jantjes (b. 1948, South Africa). It’s acrylic on canvas and was purchased by the Museum with funds provided by the Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program (see image below, image courtesy: the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts).
The artist rendered dancing figures in a style similar to ancient rock paintings from southern Africa.
The Smithsonian website includes many images, including the image below – the stars of the Pleiades cluster, also know as the Seven Sisters (seen from the Cassini spacecraft. Image: NASA). Only a few of the stars seen here are visible to the naked eye on earth.
The Smithsonian website also includes links to information about celestial deities in the time of the Pharaohs, cosmic models, celestial guidance, and more. You will also see African sculpture.
Sample Images: Pieces for a Collage
The image below is a sample collage I prepared with magazine and painted papers, titled Dancing With the Stars. The papers are glued onto 14×11 inch Bristol paper (the substrate).
Following are sample collage papers.
I plan to demonstrate different ways to organize, paint and embellish papers at the workshop. We will use ordinary materials that are inexpensive and easy to find. The image below is green construction paper painted with a mix of green and black acrylic paint applied with a palette knife.
I will bring additional samples to the workshop and demonstrate the process so that participants can create their own palette of papers for collage. Notice the texture in the painted papers, and makes the final collage much more interesting. We save a lot of money when we create our own papers. We also make our work more personal.
On the red image below, I made scribbled marks with 3 crayons (held together in my hand) on plain red construction paper and painted over the scribbles with acrylic. It’s a crayon resist process.
The image below is red construction paper painted with red acrylic paint and overpainted with a second coat of black acrylic paint that was scratched into while the black paint was still wet.
I will encourage people to bring their own magazines to the workshop, especially if they want to use specific imagery in their collage. I will discuss how to play with images, textures and patterns. Collage is about juxtaposition. Many times, people don’t see the potential of images until the images are cropped. I will demonstrate how to cut, tear and assemble the papers into new images.
I think the photo of food (below) came from Real Simple magazine. I’ve included it here to demonstrate that all images have possibilities.
The image below includes small pieces from several different magazines, including ArtForum and W. I planned to combine the triangles into points on a star to collage into the background. The funny face is assembled with about 5 pieces of paper and is only 2 inches high. It was going to be the head of the figure stargazing at the Pleiades Constellation.
The magazine images below are backgrounds papers cut form fashion photos from W magazine. I wanted stripes in reds and blacks. The fashion magazines now show a lot of geometric patterns.
The striped papers became the body, arms and legs of the figure in the collage. The black paper on the bottom of the image (above) was cut up into the small stars for the constellation.
In addition, I drew 5-pointed stars freehand and cut them out, cut out a crescent moon, and glued them around the figure onto the collage. It was a challenge to glue down the tiny white stars.
I planned the collage in advance and did 2 simple drawings to determine the size and shape of the figure, the placement and direction of the of the arms and legs. I wanted to know in advance how tall the figure would be in relation to the background paper, and the size of the sky in relation to the size of the figure. See the drawing above.
I planned to make the background in two sections and cut a piece of magazine paper for the top portion. It’s a section of an abstract painting reproduced in ArtForum magazine. The bottom section is painted paper. I created the figure from painted and magazine papers cut into circles, triangles and angled rectangles. The figure was placed in sections (arms first) and glued on top of the background papers. After the figure was in place, I added a crescent moon and 5 pointed stars onto the background around the figure. The tiny cutout shapes that became the Pleiades constellation were added last.
See the finished sample collage above.
I hope you check out and are inspired by the images at the National Museum of African Arts website or see the exhibition at the Newark Museum in NJ. It will be amazing. If you want to take this workshop, please contact the Newark Museum
February 10, 2012
#4: Balmy Weather in Miami, FL and Great Contemporary Art
I keep thinking about the balmy weather in Miami and the art trip to ABMB in December. It seems so long ago. But really it’s not.
The image nearby is me at the opening night party for INK at the Suites at Dorchester in Miami.
LIGHT SNOW IN NEW YORK
We had a light snow last night in NY. I live in Westchester County, a short trip into NYC.
Art, seen in Miami in December, will pop up in NY this spring.
72 members of the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) will participate in The ART SHOW held March 7-11, 2012 at the Park Avenue Armory. Some of the galleries include Maxwell Davidson Gallery and Crown Point Press who were both at INK in December in Miami. Also at the ADAA show are Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Pace, and Friedrich Petzel who were at ABMB at the big Convention Center.
This year I want to get to the SOFA New York Fair April 20-23, 2012 at the Park Avenue Armory. SOFA stands for Sculpture Objects & Functional Art, and it’s celebrating its 15 anniversary in April. Read more…
Here’s a plug for me. I will participate in the Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 94 in NYC March 22-25. I hope you can stop by. Email me for information.
BIG ART FAIRS vs. LITTLE ART FAIRS
I like the big fairs. I also like the little fairs.
Three of my favorite fairs in Miami 2011 were INK, AQUA and Art NOW MIAMI, all close by on Collins Avenue in South Beach.
The first night in Miami, I met Edward Crowell II at Art NOW MIAMI at the Hotel Catalina. He is a very interesting and enterprising artist/gallerist. He is seen above at the Miami show with his paintings. Photo credit: Mary Hunter.
His business is titled HYDROX PROJECTS (based in Miami and London). We spoke about his gallery and the works represented. He agreed to answer questions via email for an interview.
He described the fair as incredibly intimate – in terms of the exhibition space, the viewing audience, and the ability to interact with the other participating dealers and artists.
Here are the questions and his responses:
Q: Who stopped by your space? Was it a young demographic?
Edward Crowell II:
The most amazing people stopped by my space. I had beautiful people from other countries, young people, and young professionals who were starting to collect art. My high point was when major collectors and their financial adviser strolled in and bought a piece. We all laughed a lot and we chatted after I closed shop. I found out they were Andy Warhol cohorts.
The most enjoyable part was talking and watching their reaction to my art, not knowing that I was the artist. It felt like a cool, clandestine sociological experiment.
I really, really enjoyed the interaction with people, several of whom turned me on to many new things. Humility is a beautiful thing, especially in a place where some people might think that the art world is completely the opposite. Viva the contradiction-laden personal experience.
Q: What are your plans for London?
Edward Crowell II:
Prior to the Miami show, I planned to do a Hydrox Projects show in London in spring 2012, but the response I received from the Art Now Miami show, and Art Basel Miami Week was so great it may change the timetable for the London show. It’s a question of my own artwork versus my pop up gallery projects.
Don’t get me wrong …I still intend to curate and expose other artists/friends, but whether it will be in the near future or not is yet to be told. I think that if I’m in a better place artistically then it could only enable the artists that are around me as far as their exposure and growth are concerned. The same goes for me when speaking about their growth and exposure and the effect on me.
There will definitely be a London trip in March if everything goes as planned. The trip is still in the works as we speak so we will see what the universe holds in store.
Q: What was the best thing about the Art Now Fair?
Edward Crowell II:
The best thing about the art fair was the people that I got to interact with. I am from Alabama and have always loved different kinds of people. I guess coming from a small place can either make you embrace the outside world or become a recluse to that environment in which you’re from.
Receiving exposure was the second best thing. Intimate exposure that made some collectors and patrons feel better about the art by way of artist/viewer one-on-one interactions.
I feel as if I definitely grew in the eyes of the art industry as well as socially by way of this experience, based on the feedback I garnered from works displayed by me and my friend Johnny Laderer.
Q: Will you do it again next year at the same venue?
Edward Crowell II:
There are talks in progress with new advisors I acquired during Art Basel Miami Beach week. 6 of my new works will be exhibited at the actual Art Basel Miami fair, so we shall see.
In reality, I guess this Art Now Fair was considered a stepping stone to the next artistic growth level for myself and my vision as a curator.
It was an amazing experience that I won’t forget. Everyone was really amazing and I believe I made some great new life-long friends.
I was excited to see Crowell’s work at the Fair, especially his not exactly rectangular text-based paintings. His interview responses reveal why he was so successful. And the art is strong and bold.
I hope you liked reading his comments. Edward Crowell sent me the image above. It’s another painting purchased as a result of his presence at the Fair.
Here’s more comments about Art NOW MIAMI, found on the ZIA Gallery blog.
ZIA Gallery is based in the northern suburbs of Chicago, IL. The gallery specializes in contemporary photography, painting and works on paper and represents established and emerging artists. See images by gallery artists…
Artists may submit images, resume, and other material for review to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are comments from their blog:
“The hotel itself is a stitch, a cross between a modernesque boutique hotel and a bordello.”
The red lanterns were everywhere. What were they thinking? Image credit: John Vlahakis.
The hotel lobby was funky and the cocktail bar was set up in a corner, with stools for 5 or 6 people.
On the other side of the lobby, up a few steps, was a narrow hallway with doors leading into the 16 Art NOW gallery spaces. It was fun to pop into the gallery spaces and it was a charming way to experience art. There was no way to avoid some sort of conversation.
The image above is the hotel lobby. People are arriving for the opening night party. Photo credit: John Vlahakis.
The 2nd ZIA blog added: Collins Avenue where the Catalina Hotel is located was packed with people strolling along the avenue. You basically saw just about everything from girls walking down the street in bikini’s, to guys dressed in glitter and putting on the ritz. This art gathering is very international. You hear every language except English. A lot of people from Europe are here checking out the art scene as well as the fashionistas from South America.
Zia Gallery’s final post gave a summary of their week in Miami:
“Attendance was steady and with each successive day the quality of art fair attendees seemed to improve. Art Now was a new fair addition to the Miami landscape, and though it wasn’t as busy as the other fairs, it seemed to bring attention to the galleries there. We most likely will not repeat at Art Now next year. ZIA will look to attend one of the other fairs next year, as attendance and buying activity seemed stronger at the other venues. We did plant the flag in Miami for the first time, and we did make connections with buyers from around the U.S., even arranging for one artist to be considered by corporate giant Microsoft’s Gallery curator. And we did sell art too!”
It sounds pretty good to me.
The image above shows the opening reception at AQUA. Photo: the Internet.
I see ZIA Gallery at NADA or AQUA next year. It gets better every year.
Please add your comments below. I will reply.
January 24, 2012
A friend recently asked – Have you seen any good art shows recently?
I remember she was really asking if I had seen the exhibition Willem de Kooning: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art – MoMA (September 8, 2011 – January 9, 2012).
Yes, I saw the de Kooning show. I love the way he painted – and the works are so strong and still looks so fresh!
The two images above are my favorites. The top image is titled “Painting.” It’s oil and enamel on canvas (1948) 42 x 56 inches. The 2nd image is titled “Woman I” – it’s oil on canvas (1950-52) 75 x 58 inches. Both images: the Internet.
If you didn’t see the exhibition, visit the MoMA website which reviews de Kooning’s major themes, includes a timeline with images, and information on the artist’s methods and materials.
I enjoyed reading the NY Times art review by Holland Cotter (Sept. 15, 2011).
Cotter talked about de Kooning’s third “Woman” series as outrageous busty Gorgons with equine grins that caused fits when first exhibited.
Those are the ones I love. I went to the show to see de Kooning’s busty Gorgons – and the lush black and white abstractions.
DE KOONING AT ABMB
I checked the Internet and found a terrific art blog that talked about de Kooning at MoMA and recaps ABMB.
It opens with a rave review of the de Kooning retrospective (also saying it was easier to get into ABMB than get into MoMA to see the de Kooning show).
There’s an image right away of de Kooning’s Marilyn (Marilyn Monroe) titled “Woman” (1964), 24×18 inches, charcoal and pencil on paper, seen below. Image: the Internet.
Right next to de Kooning’s Marilyn are 2 Vic Munoz Marilyns (Munoz was one of many artists inspired by de Kooning).
A little further into the blog is a large, late de Kooning seen at ABMB: “Untitled XII,” oil on canvas (1985), 80×70 inches. Image: the Internet.
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY GOOD ART RECENTLY?
Back to the question I was asked – have you seen any good art shows recently?
It took a few seconds for me to reply – YES – I saw the best art show ever at ABMB in December 2011.
Every gallery was out to impress.
There was so much art to see that my eyes hurt by the end of the day.
I loved the ingenious installations, the glitz and the panorama.
I got to see a lot of great collage.
Almost immediately, I came face to face with a large Mark Bradford collage, titled “A Thousand Words.”
The image above is the collage, seen in NYC at the Sikkema Jenkins Gallery. The image shows it’s scale.
Here’s a link to a great video-rich website starring Mark Bradford, organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts. Check it out. It’s cutting edge.
Read my blog about Mark Bradford, written March 11, 2011.
The image above is me in front of a wall of collages. Each work was a mini masterpiece. Image: Mary Hunter.
I found enough collage to make me happy, including collage on sculpture. I took the image below.
TOP PLAYERS ARE THERE
I walked inside an installation by Theaster Gates – titled Glass Pavilion – and found myself looking up at glass lantern slides. I spoke with Kavi Gupta; The Kavi Gupta Gallery represents Gates (Chicago and Berlin). See more images at the gallery website…
There is a lot of buzz about Theaster Gates.
Read an article titled Theaster Gates in the Studio with Lilly Wei (Art in America, December 2011).
Lilly Wei is a New York-based writer and independent curator.
Thanks for reading and your comments.
January 16, 2012
This is the 2nd post and includes comments and images by Mary Hunter.
See the first post for links and information about ABMB in case you want to go in 2012.
Mary Hunter wrote:
Art Basel Miami Beach 10th Anniversary
MARY: “When my friend reminded me that I had agreed to attend ABMB this year, I wasn’t aware of the unexpected and overwhelming event I was about to experience.
Checking into the 50’s style hotel, a block from the beach and walking distance to Art Basel, made me feel like I was part of a movie set. Immediately I was among Sinatra, Monroe, large hotels, the Beach and “all” I had seen in movies and photos over the years.”
Mary took the images nearby. I think she has a great eye for the color and light in Miami I love her image below of the funky blue globes at the hotel restaurant. We had margaritas there at the end of the long first day that included travel to Miami (she from TX, me from NY) and two fairs: Art Now at the Catalina Hotel and then an opening night party for INK at Suites of Dorchester (sponsored by the International Fine Print Dealers Assn.), both on Collins Avenue.
NAVIGATING THE ART FAIRS
MARY: “Attending with an artist friend who had been before, made navigating smoother and the essential information of the Exhibit helpful. Her knowledge of galleries, artists and art history was a bonus for me who travels intuitively. We shared lots of conversation and fun over the 3 plus days. You could afford days at one event or attend many of the fairs. It is Huge and more art that I could consume in 4 days. This left me with the thirst to return next year.”
NANCY: Mary knows how to look at art. She knows what she likes. She has a gift for conversation. I listened in on her conversations with gallery owners and was impressed with the dialogue and information gathered.
Mary took the next two images of me at the Convention Center. It was our day to see Art Basel Miami Beach. My shoes have sand on them because we walked on the beach before breakfast.
The clouds in Miami were awesome. And it didn’t rain.
MUSEUM QUALITY ART
MARY: “The quality of art I viewed was excellent, even some museum quality. The prices were as I expected and were negotiable. In light of the size of the show, it was installed very well (not an easy task I’m sure). There was less edgy and outsider art displayed. I didn’t miss it however. Viewing all the top worldwide galleries was impressive to me.”
Gallery Reps Were Informative and Unpretentious
MARY: “The gallery reps were most engaging, informative and unpretentious. Hearing the story about paintings by the wife of Milton Avery was most interesting and peculiar.”
Images nearby are by Mary Hunter and show a small painting and a sculpture by Joan Miro, a glass artwork (artist unidentified), and a painting by Milton Avery’s wife.
We found out it wasn’t a Milton Avery painting when Mary asked the gallerist to speak about the painting and he admitted it was by Sally Avery (nee Michel). Here’s a fact: Her income as an illustrator enabled Avery to devote himself to his painting. Read more about Avery…
Do you love Joan Miro’s art? Here’s a lively 4:30 minute You Tube video with wonderful Miro images and jazzy background music…
THE OTHER ART FAIRS
MARY: “Some of the smaller venue sites: INK, AQUA, Art NowMiami had a more intimate space and were just as good as the larger sites: Art Basel, NADA, Art Miami and Scope, to name a few.”
NANCY: The image above outside the Hotel Catalina came from the Internet: Zia Gallery did a great blog titled Miami Basel End Notes with more images. Zia was one of about 16 galleries at Art Now Miami.
Mary wrote the artists she met were very approachable and interesting to converse with on their process, approach and work possibilities.
She found an art event we attended on Saturday evening after visiting Art Miami, Scope and Art Asia. We walked to the opening: Very edgy art, focus on graffiti. Organized for Mr. Brainwash, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and Pop Artist at a pop-up space called the Boulan Building at 21st Street and Collins Ave. It was so windy outside we were almost blown over trying to walk there. Do you know about Mr. Brainwash? His real name is Thierry Guetta, The exhibition party included the celebrity basketball star Bosh of the Miami Heat. Mary is a fan. She took the two pictures seen below. The two-story space was huge and filled with graffiti installations and paintings. The crowd was young. The celebrities didn’t stay long. We weren’t invited to the red-carpet dinner.
MARY: “I came home ‘drunk’ on great Contemporary Art and the pure enjoyment of having shared it with a good artist friend. And yes I will attend again next year as my appetite wants more!”
You can contact Mary: marydothunteratmacdotcom
I think I took the picture above: Mary and the artist with his installation at ABMB. She bought a banana to eat. How smart is that? I wish I’d bought a banana also. I was starving as soon as we walked outside.
I hope you enjoyed reading Mary’s comments and seeing the images. I am already looking forward to next year.
Thank you for your comments below.
January 12, 2012
VISITING THE FAIRS – SEEING CONTEMPORARY ART
I was at Art Basel Miami Beach and the satellite art fairs, held in Miami, Florida from December 1-4, 2011. This is the first post. It includes information on the various fairs. More posts (including an interview) with more details will follow.
I’ve included links so you can get a feel for this year’s arts extravaganza.
See the video produced by Vernissage TV – it’s an opening day walk through Art Basel Miami Beach.
The main fair – ABMB is located at the Miami Beach Convention Center. There are satellite fairs located nearby, or across town in the Wynwood District in Midtown Miami. All the fairs are large. ABMB grew to 260 participating galleries this year – up 1/3.
Each link below includes images and information that will help you plan you trip next year. You’ll see there is something for everyone and you will never have enough time to do it all!
IT GETS BETTER EACH YEAR
This was my 3rd visit to Miami, FL to see the art. I packed my sneakers so I wouldn’t have blisters like last year. I arrived early afternoon on Thursday, December 1st, the day the Fair opened, and planned to stay through Sunday, December 5th, the day the Fair closed.
Every year I add another day and plan to see more. I never get to see everything I want and always feel a little disappointed.
I was on my own last year, and spent one whole day at Art Miami with a terrific couple who collect art. It was fun to be with them and focus on seeing art they liked. It was their first trip to ABMB. This year I attended with an artist friend – Mary Hunter – and it made a huge difference in so many ways. See her website…
We talked art from morning to night, and organized our days to see the art fairs we wanted to visit together. Next year I plan to add 2 more days and arrive before the Fair is officially open. I hope Mary will join me again.
MIAMI HERE WE COME
December 1, 2011: Mary arrived from Austin, TX. I arrived from New York. We synchronized our arrival times and met at Miami International Airport and took a taxi to our little hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach, Miami. After check-in, we set off to see the nearby art fairs on Collins Avenue.
The image above is by Joanne Mattera. See her recent blogs for extraordinary images from ABMB and the Satellite Fairs. Read “A Peek at Art Miami…” and other posts.
HOW DO YOU GET AROUND MIAMI AND SEE IT ALL?
You can’t see everything you want to see at ABMB. There is too much to see and never enough time.
The 2012 ABMB website is up.You can browse and download Apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and other smartphones. If you decide to attend, make hotel reservations five months in advance.
Mary and I decided to stay in a hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach and do a lot of walking. You can taxi (and deal with traffic). It’s expensive. You can drive (and deal with parking). Have you noticed – everything takes time? Even taxis take time (you have to find one and you sit in traffic) because there are so many people visiting the fairs.
I’ve included the 2011 pdf of a map/guide I used. It identifies the fairs and gives street locations, and you see what is nearby. It includes shuttle bus routes and taxi phone numbers. The maps are available at the fairs, but I’m including it here to help you see locations as you plan your visit.
Here’s a link to Art-Collecting.com. It lists information about the 2011 fairs with hours, admission fees, etc.
ABMB opens at noon daily and requires a full day to do it justice. Art Miami (located across the causeway in Midtown Miami) is also big, but is right near Scope Miami and Art Asia, and not too far from other fairs you probably want to see – including the Rubell Family Collection.
Our hotel on Collins Avenue was a short walk to Miami Beach and one morning Mary and I actually walked on the beach before heading for breakfast. It was a beautiful experience. Mary Hunter took the beach photo seen below.
We could walk to the Miami Beach Convention Center a few blocks away. We were a short walk to AQUA Miami (a great show), and INK, at the Suites of Dorchester, sponsored by the International Fine Print Dealers Association. We discovered the ART NOW Fair at the Catalina Hotel, and met artists and gallerists showing works in a more intimate space.
We took a shuttle bus to NADA Miami, (New Art Dealers Association) a little further away on Collins Ave at the Deauville Beach Resort. Check out the galleries that participated this year.
NADA is a robust experience for viewing contemporary art.
I was really disappointed we missed SEVEN, a fair that showcases NY galleries BravinLee, Hales Gallery, Pierogi Gallery, Postmasters, P.P.O.W., Ronald Feldman Fine Arts and the Winkleman Gallery. We missed the PULSE Miami fair also.
WE DEFINITELY MISSED TOO MUCH
The posts that follow will include images and comments by Mary Hunter (it was her first visit to ABMB), and my notes from the fairs we visited. One post includes my interview with Edward Crowell II, founder of Hydrox Projects Gallerie (Miami/London).
I would love to hear from you. Please add your comments below. Tell me if you have been to Art Basel Miami or plan to go next year.
December 21, 2010
The real genius of Robert Rauschenberg is his art made us part of the picture.
Rauschenberg said: “…I am bombarded with TV sets and magazines, by the refuse, by the excess of the world…If I could paint or make an honest work, it should incorporate all of these elements, which were and are a reality.”
Robert Rauschenberg – Retrospective at the Gagosian Gallery in NY
The image nearby is part of Rauschenberg’s “Cardboard” series (1971-72). There are a lot of these at the current mega exhibition “Robert Rauschenberg” at the Gagosian Gallery, 522 W 21 Street, NYC (extended through Jan. 15). And there are a lot of Combines, paintings and sculpture. It’s a huge retrospective.
In the “Cardboards,” Rauschenberg reduced his palette to near monochrome (the boxes are the paint and the canvas). He stated “he liked to work in a material of waste and softness.” I think these works are a direct comment on the disposability of modern life.
Rauschenberg’s trash is art and expands what contemporary art can be.
“Gift for Apollo” includes oil paint, wood, fabric, newspaper, print reproductions, metal bucket, metal chain, dooknob and rubber wheels (size 43×29 inches, depth variable).
Did you notice the green tie? It probably belonged to Rauschenberg, who included his own wardrobe in his works. Some of his paintings include cuffs from his shirts!
I love things with wheels – it looks like a child’s toy that you play with – but this baby’s toy is anchored to an oil bucket.
Rauschenberg’s “Combines” are all about improvisation and a sense of joyous discovery.
Holland Cotter’s NY Times exhibition review said: You’ll see Invention, Adventure and a lot of Muchness (his words).
The gallery produced a lovely exhibition catalog if you want it.
Rauschenberg died in 2008 (not so long ago). He was – and still is – an immense presence in contemporary art. Like everyone in the gallery, I was mingling with art history.
Anselm Kiefer – “Next Year in Jerusalem”
On the same day I saw the Rauschenberg retrospective, I walked 3 blocks north to another location of the Gagosian Gallery (West 24th Street, NYC) to see the mega exhibition “Anselm Kiefer: Next Year in Jerusalem.”
The show closed Dec. 18, but if you are a Kiefer fan (I think he is one of the most important visual artist alive today), you must purchase the exhibition catalog – it’s a work of art in itself, fully illustrated and includes Kiefer’s own words plus an essay by Marina Warner. I will definitely order the book. The images and layout are superb and I want to read the artist’s comments.
The image above, titled “Occupations,” is a huge steel container you cannot enter but can look into – and contains 76 enormous photographs mounted on lead (within) and a photograph of Kiefer from 1969 doing the Nazi HitlergruB (outside) at the rear end of the container.
Anselm Kiefer was born in Germany the last year of WWII and gained international fame in his 20s – he took photos of himself doing the Sieg Heil salute in front of places occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War. Kiefer currently lives and works in Paris, France.
Jerry Saltz reviewed “Next Year in Jerusalem” in NY Magazine. Jerry gives the show a Thumbs-up with an asterisk, and wrote: (the exhibition) is insanely over the top – a sort of walk-in mausoleum of enormous vitrines, containing objects like airplane engines, mummified wedding gowns, miniature submarines and real sunflowers. He did add: “As figurative and narrative as Kiefer’s work is, however, it’s quiote abstract and poetic, seeming to bypass language and rationality while creating patterns of meanig via form, weight, color, texture and compression.”
Everything is somber, low-lit and ashen
The image nearby is an installation view of glass and steel vitrines, some as tall as 20 feet, that contain relic-like sculptures within. Walking through the exhibition space, you see through one glass and metal vitrine to another, to paintings beyond, and observe all the other people as they move about. For me, the exhibition was a powerful commentary on war (seen through a glass darkly).
Kiefer’s huge, wall hung landscape paintings are thickly layered with ash, include lead, distressed materials and even a snakeskin, and depict iconic, barren landscapes of mountains, forests or the sea.
Roberta Smith, in a NY Times review of the Kiefer exhibition said: The power (of the show) is hard to deny…You will not see an art gallery look quite like this anytime soon. All the Kiefer installation photos (Gagosian Gallery) by Rob McKeever.
December 13, 2010
One of my favorite artists, Robert Rauchenberg (American 1925-2008) wrote: “I think a painting is more like the real world if it’s made out of the real world.”
I’m a collage artist. I think a collage is like the real world. Everything can go into it. An installation is a collage. So was the event called Art Basel Miami Beach (December 2-5, 2010).
In an article titled “Art Basel-The Week Miami Becomes the Center of the Art World,” Alesh Houdek (staff writer for the Atlantic, in Miami, FL) commented:
“Painting and photography, and even more recent media such as video art, have been largely relegated to the satellite fairs. Instead, most of the work in Art Basel consists of collages, assemblages, and other work that juxtaposes handmade and found objects for aesthetic and conceptual effect.
There are over 250 galleries with booths in Art Basel proper, almost all showing a wildly disparate grouping of pieces…the effect is a torrent of seemingly random imagery and objects, except that each item is presumably made by someone with impeccable credentials and an absolute commitment to their work.
The average price of works sold at the main fair is said to be in the six digits.”
I was there. I gifted myself a trip to Florida to see Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB). It was a VISUAL COLLAGE for me, overflowing with gallery installation and high-brow museum quality art, including many actual collages, assemblage, sculpture, large format mounted photography that looked like virtual collage – and even paintings.
Everything was wildly expensive. Most of the people who purchase art at ABMB are VIPs who arrived early, and left a day before I arrived on Friday, Dec. 3rd.
Photo credit for the banner image above: the Atlantic, Alesh Houdek.
Here are the facts: thousands of collectors, dealers, curators and artists descend upon Florida for Art Basel Miami Beach the first week in December to see and buy art. It’s the most important art show in the United States. It’s the sister event to the Art Basel show in Switzerland, considered the most prestigious art show worldwide. The Miami show includes top international galleries, plus special exhibitions, parties and crossover events, including music, film and design.
On Friday I met two new friends – Harry and Cyndi – at the Miami Convention Center. We had been in touch by email and by phone to talk about their art collection. They came to Miami to buy a painting. I was their guide for the day. It was a lot of fun to be with them and fascinating for me to be with new collectors. We looked at art that appealed to them, and art that interested me.
The image below, shown at ABMB, is by British artist Damien Hirst. it’s titled “Butterflies. I took the photo. Hirst’s work is hot. He had several works at the show and was represented by more than one mega gallery. My photo shows another person taking a photo of “Butterflies.” It’s a collage with real dead butterflies glued to the diamond-shaped support. It’s a collage but much, much more. Hirst’s work captures our fascination with death. The butterflies were exquisite and also macabre. There was a lot of interest in the work. I didn’t check the price.
Everywhere you walked at the Convention Center you saw a Modern Master.
I saw paintings by Pablo Picasso (Spanish expatriate, 1881-1973). Picasso was considered the greatest art genius of the 20th century.
I saw many mobiles and stabiles by Alexander Calder (American 1898-1976) whose kinetic sculpture gave form to an entirely new type of art. His market must be hot, because there were Calder’s everywhere, hanging as mobiles, and planted on tables and pedestals as stabiles. Calder will have two shows in 2011. Read more at the Calder Foundation.
The photo nearby (at ABMB) was a gallery installation of works by 3 modern masters: a diptypch – 2 geometric paintings side by side by Frank Stella, a hanging, primary color mobile by Alexander Calder, and a blue wall construction by Donald Judd – all major museum quality works. I was so happy to see them – especially happy to see the Donald Judd painted blue! I took the photo.
Frank Stella (American b. 1936) is recognized for his paintings, prints and wall hung works. He was one of a group of artists who revolutionized painting in protest against Abstract Expressionist art of the 1950s and 1960s. Hear Stella’s comment on his work in a youtube video, which includes images like the geometric painting seen nearby.
The painted wall constructions by Donald Judd (American 1928-1994) revolutionized modern sculpture – he declined to call his work sculpture. There’s a lot of information on his philosophy at the Judd Foundation which is located in Marfa, TX. His concept is minimalism. Materiality was central to his work.
By about 2:30 pm, Harry and Cyndi and I departed Art Basel, ate a very late lunch at a hotel restaurant on nearby Collins Avenue, walked to INK, a wonderful small satellite location for works on paper (one of my favorites), and headed by taxi to midtown Miami to see paintings at Art Miami, a 100,000 square foot pavilion with 100 international art galleries that is a main anchor fair.
Art Miami seemed as huge as Art Basel at the Convention Center. We walked and talked and looked for the next 4 hours. Weary, and feet aching, we went our separate ways, prepared to do the art marathon the following day.
The next day, we met again at Art Miami. I was there to get the name of the artist – Heiner Meyer – who did the standing nickel-plated bronze Mickey Mouse titled “GroBe Mickey” (seen nearby). I took the photo on Friday, but didn’t have the artist’s name or title of the work. It’s an edition of 3, sized 55x28x28 inches, and priced at US $81,200. Where is Disney? I always tell my collage students: Don’t even attempt to do Mickey. Remember copyright infringement! This Mickey has his arms upraised in triumpth. He’s also very friendly. But he is definitely Mickey Mouse.
I also returned to Art Miami because I wanted to look again at a photo silkscreen on mirror by Robert Rauchenberg (American 1925-2008). Rauschenberg proved that art can be anything and everything. What makes Rauchenberg so universally popular, and so important in contemporary art, is that he designed his works to incorporate the viewer as an active participant in the work.
I didn’t take a picture of the Rauchenberg, because the photo would have included me. I was looking at a mirror with silkscreened images.
Did you see the show of “Combines” by Rauchenberg at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, NY in 2006? The Combines and paintings include throwaways he found on the streets in NYC near his studio, plus newspaper clippings, fabric, clothing, bedding (a mattress!), his own ties and the cuffs from his own shirts.
If you don’t own the “Combines” exhibition catalog, you can get it from the bookstore at the Metropolitan Museum.
And now – What about the stuff called Low Brow at Art Basel Miami Beach? There was lots of it (not at the Convention Center or at Art Miami), but I didn’t see too much. And what I did see, I didn’t like at all.
None of the trashy, funky, alternative art was done by anyone as hugely talented as Robert Rauchenberg who transformed junk into high art because he had vision.
See images and a good summary of the funky arty scene written at Hyperallergic, a forum “for serious, playful and radical thinking about art in the world today.” The image nearby is titled UP WITH MURAL, a project of the SCOPE Foundation (photo credit: Hyperallergic).
Next year in Miami, I plan to visit Pulse, SEVEN, Nada (New Art Dealer’s Association) and more. This year I saw the Red Dot fair. It was terrible. I went there because it’s across the street from Art Miami. I didn’t bother to walk into Scope, another pavilion near Art Miami. At the entry, the work looked as trashy and disorganized as Red Dot. Too bad. I don’t really want to be so down on the art.
I’ve emailed Harry since I’m home. My friends bought a print and found the painting they want to own. I know the gallery that represents the artist. I introduced them to the gallery owner at the show.
Please comment below. I’d love to hear your opinions about the high brow-low brow art world divide and about the artists and works mentioned here. Does it interest you?