another review: ABMB 2011

#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.


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.

PULSE, one of the leading contemporary art fairs, is held annually in Miami and NY. New dates: May 3-6, 2012, will coincide with the NY edition of the Frieze Art Fair.

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.


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.

Edward Crowell II

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.

painting by Edward Crowell II

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

Here are comments from their blog:

“The hotel itself is a stitch, a cross between a modernesque boutique hotel and a bordello.”

The red lantern at ZIA at Art NOW MIAMI 2011

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.

Hotel Catalina lobby

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.

Interior Courtyard at AQUA

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.

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