Sharon Louden finds color and abstraction at Pulse and Art Basel Miami

Contributed by guest correspondent Sharon Louden / To acclimate myself to the massive quantity of work at the art fairs in Miami Beach, I thought I would dip my toes in at the Pulse Art Fair. I have noticed a lot of color and abstraction, which permeate the fair. I was particularly drawn to the following pieces.

[Image at top: Ronnie Hughes, Test Pattern, 2014, acrylic co-polymer on plywood; 16.5×15.7 inches,  Rubicon Projects/Rubicon Gallery, Dublin, Ireland. Twitter: @RubiconGallery]

Ronnie Hughes

Ronnie Hughes
Ronnie Hughes
Eric Butcher, P/R, 533 (light blue), 2009, oil and resin on aluminum, 230 x 21 cm, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, Twitter: @PatrickHeideCA

Helen O’Leary, Armour Series: The Story of White, 2014, egg tempera and oil emulsion on constructed wood, 13 x 8 x 2 inches, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, Twitter: @LHWorkspace.

Don Voisine, Sky Watch, 2015, oil on wood panel, 24×18 inches. McKenzie Fine Art, New York.

Spector, I am Divine, 2015, Liquitex with resin on birch panel, 60x3x3 inches. Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York.

Later in the week, I’ll be returning to Pulse for more. I also started feeling out what was at the big Art Basel Miami Beach Fair, where color and abstraction again seemed abundant. I was especially struck by the gorgeous, whimsical work of German artist Imi Knoebel, whose work I had never seen in person (it’s always wonderful discovering a new artist up close).

Imi Knoebel, Gartenbild, 2014, acrylic on plastic paper, 39x52cm, edition
of 5. Galerie Sabine Knust, Munich, Germany,  Twitter: @SabineKnust.

Imi Knoebel

After gawking at Knoebel’s beautiful, playful abstractions for a while, I stumbled on
Sadie Benning’s work at Susanne Vielmetter Los
Angeles Projects, a program I’ve been following for some time. These pieces seem like a visual extension of Knoebel’s work.

Sadie Benning, untitled, ‘telephone drawing,’ 2015, Medite, aqua resin, casein
and acrylic gouache, 97.375 x 61.25 inches. Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, CA Twitter: @svlap

Of course, seeing some twentieth-century painting is always good for the soul (or at least mine!).

Robert Motherwell, Untitled (Open), 1970, acrylic and graphite on canvas,
16x20inches. Waddington Custot Galleries,
London,  Twitter: @WCG_LONDON.

And the classic Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square, 1972, oil
on masonite. Waddington Custot Galleries,

Finally, a little bit of figuration, from around the same time as Motherwell and Albers, but made by a woman:

Barbara Rossi, Male of Sorrows #7 (detail), 1969, colored and graphite pencil on paper. Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago,
Note: Rossi (b. 1940) lives in Chicago and currently has a solo show of work from the 1960s and 70s on display at the New Museum in New York.

Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage tomorrow!

Related posts:
Part 2:Sharon Louden: “Untitled — the best fair in Miami Beach” (2015)

Imi Knoebel’s restoration at Dia: “24 Colors–For Blinky”
The paintings in “Greater New York” (Sadie Benning)


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  1. Whoa… love that Imi Knoebel work. Thanks for posting.

  2. Great Sadie Benning paintings!

  3. I'm a real fan of Helen O'Leary's work. Sorry to have missed her recent exhibit in NYC. Enjoyed the conversation between Knoebel's and Benning's work!

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