Post #450 • January 11, 2005, 9:55 AM • 7 Comments
You notice that I don't often review shows by Coral Gables galleries. Most of them show uninspired, decorative work - I call it wall furniture. Why? Because wall furniture sells. I could criticize them for doing so, but I might as well criticize Publix for selling Hostess Ding Dongs. Of course it's crap, but people are buying it, so what am I going to do, tell them not to make money?
That brings us to Art Miami.
As has been the case in previous years, the best galleries at Art Miami were the local ones - Ingalls, Gillman, Damien B., and Kessler provided bright spots in a landscape thick with wall furniture. I walked through the Miami Beach Convention Center and waited for something to stop me. I got through about half of it before something did.
We can rely on Art Miami to provide us with examples of stunning realism, but this year it appeared in such quantity as to make all of it look anonymous. Super-realistic nude women lollygagging around in tousled bedsheets seemed to be big this year. Forum Gallery, which represents some of my favorite figurative painters - Alan Feltus, Paul Fenniak, and Richard Maury - opted to only show the work of Charles Matton, who makes box constructions of room interiors with cleverly arranged mirrors that make them appear enormously spacious. Their gee-whiz factor was off the chart, but as art they were lightweight.
I took four pictures total. Tai-Shan Schierenberg at Flowers:
Marie Lannoo at Newzones:
Daine Kaufman at Ashley (under glass, sorry about the shot):
There was nothing like the Currents section of previous years to feature snappier talent, so the tenor of Art Miami 2005 was as safe as houses - art designed to move into your living room. If Art Basel represented the first and second tiers, Art Miami covered tiers two through five. I suppose, in light of Basel, it has found a place for itself. Assuming it continues, know that one can enjoy this show - by setting bottom-scraping expectations for what one will find inside, and welcoming the occasional surprise. Getting a free admission pass helps. A lot.