Guest Contributor Heather Leigh McPherson / I spent twenty-six hours awake in Miami Beach. I gave Art Basel the once-over, had a long look at the NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) Fair, attended a panel hosted by Legacy Russell at Select Art Fair, and flew through Untitled in the fifty-two minutes before the guards started circling at 7 pm. Though I swooned three or four times at Untitled, NADA was the best fair I saw: more than the others, it contained objects I wanted to discuss urgently with my neighbors. Housed in the breezy, glassy Deauville Beach Resort, it was also metabolically kinder to humans than anything happening inside a convention center. I’ll focus here on some of the best things I saw.
[Image at top: Andy Coolquitt @ Lisa Cooley]
was this year’s Artadia / NADA Miami Beach award winner. The paintings
emit the low noise of the artist’s sound compositions through speakers
hidden behind the linen; when a participant presses on the springy metal
elements, the contact with the hidden transducer generates bright,
warped and buzzy sounds. The horizontal lines and wiggly figures painted
delicately on the unstretched linen are abstract versions of musical
notations and sound waves.
Journal Gallery were some of my favorite things in the fair. The
crunchy, cast-bronze forms are made from humble objects like cardboard
and snacks; Doritos tessellate delicately, forming negative-space Doritos
between them. The ergonomic gel handle of the toothbrush mini-tower
above rhymes perfectly with Brancusi’s Bird In Space.
were a delight to come upon at the 247365 booth. They are real
calculators covered in sand, rocks, colored pigment, and gel medium, and
they are sad-sack incredible. I love how the slits in the sand reveal
the blank-screen color below, that color of electronic indifference,
forming smiles and frowns in the process. Belott improves the objects
with rock buttons and furry sand overlays, and makes them, one imagines,
even less usable than your average 2014 calculator in the process.
I helped organize a show of Dwyer Kilcollin’s work in February at the Reilly Gallery at Providence College, where I teach. She’s been working nonstop since then and kicking ass. Her recent show at M + B in L.A. looks fantastic. The objects above (“emergent objects,” she calls them) are created using a process that’s reminiscent of 3-D printing but done by hand. Using resin and pulverized stone, she makes little hardened puddles of material, then links the flat, organically-shaped bits into solid wafers to form a chair or bouquet. The emphatically average color of these sculptures refracts their exciting, jittery effect and visceral pull.
Though I saw a lot of rectangles that weren’t quite paintings and paintings that weren’t quite rectangles, I can’t say whether there was a particular species of art in vogue or in exile at NADA this year. I can say for sure that it was a dense assembly of strong and good-looking work, and I enjoyed the heck out of being a Rhode Islander in Miami in December. When I exited NADA to head to the panel at Select, I said to my friend: it’s like the palm trees were made for the breeze, and the breeze was made for the palm trees.
Coming up: Parts III and IV of our Miami coverage.
From previous years:
Mary Addison Hackett’s Report From Miami, Day 1: Basel (2013)
Mary Addison Hackett’s final Miami round-up (2013)
Painter Tatiana Berg’s picks from Art Basel Miami Beach, 2012, Part I (2012)
Tatiana Berg reports from the satellite fairs, Part II (2012)
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