Images from the Satellite Show

Last week was a wild one for the New York art scene due to Frieze, the Outsider Art Fair, and the many events that pop up around those institutions. I participated in the Satellite Show, which focused on hanging outsider, insider, modern, contemporary, and street art together using visual and thematic connections (without regard for traditional labels).

This was the inaugural Satellite Show, and based on the response we received, we will undoubtedly organize more “Satellite” events in the future. We were mentioned in Hyperallergic (thanks to critic Edward M. Gomez) and the New York Times, and had a steady stream of visitors throughout the weekend.

Below are some photos from our opening party (courtesy James Forsyth). Enjoy!

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Follow up: Ann Hamilton’s ONEEVERYONE prints

In a previous post on The Art Show 2014, I wrote about Ann Hamilton’s ONEEVERYONE series. For this project, Hamilton photographed fair attendees and printed their images for display in Carl Solway Gallery’s booth:

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I had my picture taken, in part because I got to pose for Ann Hamilton and in part because each sitter would be mailed a print of someone else who participated in the experience. I received my photo last week:

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Because Hamilton photographed subjects standing behind a membrane, many individual details are intentionally out of focus. But those that remain pressed up to the surface–his nose, a lock of hair–are hauntingly present.

Update: I’d love to know whose photo this is. Please share this post with anyone who might help me identify him! 

On The Art Show 2014

Last week, I wrote about the Armory Show and its ability to overwhelm me annually. Today’s post is about another fair that took place that same weekend in early March: The Art Show. With a smaller-scale format (a tighter space, fewer galleries, and generally smaller artworks) than the Armory Show, The Art Show is sometimes overshadowed. I, however, found this fair to be worth my visit in every way. Congrats to Sanford Smith and Associates (and fair director Emily Christensen!) for a job well done.

Where the Armory Show exhausted, The Art Show invigorated.

Here are a few of the artists, artworks, and ideas that stood out:

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Sean Kelly Gallery’s display of Kehinde Wiley’s work immediately caught my eye. The opulent gold leaf and bright red booth walls drew me in. The stunning execution of works themselves, which present contemporary figures in formats borrowed from Russian icons, kept me there.

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Kehinde Wiley, St. Gregory Palamas, 2014, 22k gold leaf and oil on wood panel, 40 x 24 x 2 in.

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Having worked on multiple exhibitions featuring art by James Castle, a well known American self-taught artist, I had a soft spot for the selection of his constructions, books, and soot-and-spit drawings on view at Peter Freeman, Inc.. I was particularly impressed by the gallery’s display, as they borrowed installation ideas from Castle shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Museo Reina Sofia.

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Whilst the Wiley and Castle displays held such impact because of their “solo show” approach, there were some wonderful individual pieces visible within group displays also. One of my personal favorites was this etching from 2000 by Lucian Freud, on view at Matthew Marks Gallery.

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And finally, I was most impacted by Ann Hamilton’s photographic work-in-progress at Carl Solway Gallery. Hamilton was in residence throughout the fair, photographing attendees as part of her ongoing ONEEVERYONE series. Pictures were printed on newsprint and displayed in the booth (seen above). As part of this project, each sitter will be mailed one of these photographs of someone else who participated in the experience.

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Here’s a photo of me having my photo taken for this project. As you can see, Hamilton shot participants behind a hazy membrane so as to distort features not pressed directly against the surface. The dreamlike effect creates a unity amongst the sitters, removing many specifics of each person and creating connections between all. I will write another blog post about this project–in more detail–when I receive an image of another participant in the mail!

On the 2014 Armory Show

Holland Cotter’s recent review of the Whitney Biennial included a line that stuck with me: “I left feeling pretty much the way I do when I leave an art fair, full but empty, tired of dessert, hungry for a sustained and sustaining meal.”

I usually feel a little empty after art fairs. As though–to borrow a statement from Sherlock Holmes (and a concept from dear friend and author Maria Konnikova)–I’ve seen but not observed the objects or experiences around me. The Armory Show is consistently one of the most overwhelming fairs I attend. And sheer numbers make it hard to see art: the number of visitors, number of galleries, and number of different artworks on view all conspire to draw attention away from any individual object.

This year, I left the Armory Show exhausted and frustrated. I could barely edge through the crowds at Pier 94, let alone look at objects.

A few days later, with some time to digest, I realized that this frustration was trumped by some other, more lasting impressions.

Art fairs are terribly important for the art world and for galleries. They can connect clients and dealers, promote previously-unknown artists, and show the state of a particular art world at a given time. For me, art fairs are important because they make me hungry: for information, for understanding of artists I may not have previously encountered, and for in-depth viewing of individual objects away from the buzz of these dynamic and electric venues. They make me appreciate quiet time in a museum or gallery, standing face-to-face with an artwork. While Cotter’s “full but empty” statement speaks to the immediate aftermath of the show, the “hunger for a sustaining meal” can and should be the far more powerful–and far reaching–outcome.

With that, here are some snapshots of favorite artworks from the Armory Show:

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Nick Cave Soundsuits at Jack Shainman

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David Scher at Pierogi Gallery

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Michelangelo Pistoletto at Galleria Repetto

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George Widener at Ricco/Maresca Gallery

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Sol LeWitt and the Philadelphia Wireman at Fleisher Ollman Gallery

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Thornton Dial at Andrew Edlin Gallery

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Alice Neel at Aurel Scheibler

The Metro Show and Conversations on Collecting

The annual Metro Show took place in NYC this past weekend. Still not sure of its overall identity, the fair hosted more than 35 dealers with a variety of specialties. Objects on view ranged from works of “old master” American outsider art, to Asian ceramics, to whittled walking sticks; each booth was its own microcosm of the art world. A few views (in the form of my less-than-stellar snapshots!):

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American Primitive Gallery’s display, which included stone carving, walking sticks, and works by collector and artist Mike Noland.

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Cavin Morris Gallery showed a range of ceramics, as well as works on paper by self-taught visionary artists.

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Ricco Maresca Gallery included some late works by Martín Ramírez alongside pieces by Bill Traylor.

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Susan Baerwald, of Just Folk Gallery, discussing Bill Traylor, the focus of their booth this year.

The portion of the weekend I was most involved in, however, was the series of lectures and panels that accompanied the art fair. Organized by Randall Morris, of Cavin Morris Gallery, this two-day conference included lectures by scholars, panels of curators, and talks by collectors. I participated in the panel “Life After Venice,” which considered the relevance and benefits of exhibiting works by mainstream and self-taught artists together, alongside fabulous curators Lynne Cooke, Massimiliano Gioni, and Leslie Umberger, and brilliant scholar and dealer Randall Morris. I also gave a lecture about the collection of outsider and vernacular art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Here’s a snapshot of me during my talk (thanks Maria!).

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And one of Randall Morris introducing the event.

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One of my favorite parts of the weekend was listening to John Foster talk about how he became a collector (seen in the above image). He believes that a collection need not be expensive to be important, and that objects of all types–and market values–should live happily together. I was particularly struck by the fact that he sees the world as a constant series of aesthetic explorations. He’s the sort of collector I aim to be, and aim to nurture!