Post #919 • December 7, 2006, 2:37 PM • 16 Comments
Within a couple of hours of attendance at Art Basel/Miami Beach I got my fill of fabulosity, for which I have modest needs: I saw Ann Hamilton outside the hall, and I saw Chuck Close motoring around the fair. As I was checking in, someone from the press office marveled at the presence of Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper in the building. On the other hand, I never tire of decolletage.
AB/MB has ramped up its blue-chipness. Several times I heard dealers quote seven-digit figures to collectors and the idly curious. Alesh noted how it looks tamer every year; I don't disagree, but I experienced it as finding more objects worth my time, and fewer faux-sophisticate horrors. Modernism's trend upwards at the fair seems to have emboldened sales, or attempted sales, of some of its more modest objects: Hommages to squares by Josef Albers, of all things, appeared in three or four places, likewise Judd, and I learned of some other worthies like Jack Youngerman and Paul Kelpe.
About halfway through it the cold meds wore off, but I pushed on. (I am paying for it today with an existential and physical malaise that not even coffee could mitigate this morning.) Alas, in this weakened state Tyler's sought-after historical construct came to me. In the early 1200s, Pope Innocent III was engaged in vigorous expansion of papal influence on secular matters. He notably refused an audience to a group of humble, shoeless holy brothers who came seeking his permission to establish an order. A dream of a crumbling church held up by a poor man made him change his mind about Francis of Assisi, but our moment resembles the one before the dream: in the midst of lovely finery and worldy influence, we have misplaced the core mission to such an extent that a vigorous contemporary reassertion thereof would look like heresy and effrontery. I have enjoyed looking at all the art, and yet I detect something vital lying quietly outside this exciting picture. Commercialism, for all its benefits, will do such things.
But no more bitching - this particular example of commercialism will put quite a few things worth looking at in front of you. Noted:
A lovely Anne Chu watercolor at Victoria Miro.
Andrew Kerr at BQ. I wish I could find images for him - he's a talented painter who does highly abstracted interiors.
John Sonsini at Cheim & Read.
Zilvinas Kempinas at Spencer Brownstone. I don't normally go in for kinetic sculpture, but the loop of tape, spinning aloft between two fans, delighted me.
Jacob Hashimoto at Rhona Hoffman. I noticed him last year as well.
Kristen Everberg at 1301PE.
Ugo Rondinone at Matthew Marks.
Olitski at Knoedler. I love these early five-color Olitskis.
Sigmar Polke at Karsten Greve.
José Lerma at Andrew Rosen.
Alice Neel and Lee Krasner at Robert Miller.
Susan Rothenberg at Sperone Westwater.
Charles Burchfield and George Tooker at DC Moore.
Carmelo Arden Quin and Alfred Reth at Adler & Conkright.
Auerbach and Bacon at Marlborough.
De Kooning, lots of it, at Allan Stone.
Jack Youngerman and Lorser Feitelson at Washburn.
Frankenthaler and Motherwell at Ameringer Yohe.
Kossof at Annely Juda.
A Degas pastel at Achim Moeller.
Katharina Grosse (similar to this one) at Schwarzwälder.