In response to the cancellation of VOLTA art fair, a number of exhibitors came together to create a pop-exhibition, Plan B, held in David Zwirner’s two Chelsea locations and featuring 33 exhibitors from around the world. Smaller and less crowded than some of the other art fairs this week, Plan B was a great show for me to attend as an art fair first-timer.
I started in the 525 West 19th Street location and was immediately met with the bright, vibrant colors of Viktorie Langer’s work from Zahorian & Van Espen in Bratislava, Slovakia. The two paintings on display paired nicely across from Coady Brown’s work from 1969 Gallery. The splashes of colors, orange and purple hues, blended nicely throughout the room, inviting visitors in with an assortment of bright, bold works.
Moving into the next room in the gallery space, Borinquen Gallo’s two large scale works in the corner, “Deadly Poppy Field” (2016) and “Green Unplugged” (2016) immediately caught my eyes, again with their bright colors and vast physical presence. Gallo takes “reconstituted street materials” such as yellow and red caution tape, plastic bags, and debris netting to construct pieces that the press release describe as “fragmentary physical embodiments of her external environment in the Bronx.” I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of caution tape with what look like flowers and greenery, intermixing beauty and underlying danger.
Over in David Zwirner’s 534 West 21st Street space, I immediately made my way over to the only interactive installation, that of Chando Ao. On the ground, the artist had a mechanized-looking fishbowl with a live fish inside, but before I could make sense of that, a representative from Ao’s gallery, YveYANG, approached me to explain the mechanics of what looked like a hand sanitizer installation on the wall. Two rounded devices hung side by side reading “germstar.” At first, I thought they were simply hand sanitizers for visitors to use, but upon closer inspection, I realized that they were a part of the installation. The device on the right released a sort of plastic-y, gel-like substance that was almost impossible to see, but I could feel it in my hands like tiny exfoliating soaps. The gallery representative instructed me to rub my hands together and then place my hand under the device on the left, which released water. The aerogel was a water deterrent, and once the water hit my hand, it remained balled up and mobile, my skin not absorbing it at all. I love a good interactive exhibition, so this one certainly held my attention.
Small and humble in many ways, Plan B was a great alternative to the many larger and more overwhelming art fairs happening this week. The works on display were thought-provoking, eye-catching, and oftentimes fun. As a whole, I was impressed by all the galleries that were able to join forces on such short notice to put together this exhibition.
Plan B Art Fair, a Pop-Up Exhibition, ran from March 6–9 at David Zwirner’s two Chelsea locations (525 W 19 St + 534 W 21 Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)