Despite the best efforts of art critics and reporters, it remains inadvisable to talk about any art fair as an exhibition, or a precisely curated experience. They’re more like avalanches of information from which viewers can filter out their own message, in the manner of an aesthetic Ouija board. However, if there is one fair in Miami that most resembles an exhibition, it’s SEVEN, which collects a group of (you guessed it) seven independent-minded New York galleries.
This year’s SEVEN moved into a new space in the outer reaches of Miami’s Wynwood district that the crew had cleaned and renovated just before the fair’s opening. Like much of the neighborhood, the space is single-level and sprawling, an extremely blank canvas. Into this void, SEVEN has carved out a flowing, friendly layout of open walls and pocket galleries that have more in common with the Museum of Modern Art’s meandering layout than the booth-by-booth construction of the flagship Art Basel Miami Beach.
In fact, SEVEN doesn’t really have anything resembling booths. The participating galleries, among them Hales gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Postmasters gallery, PPOW, Winkleman gallery, BravinLee programs, and Pierogi gallery, mix their artists together, leading to some striking juxtapositions of work. Most significantly, the boundary-less display combats art fair fatigue and makes it easier to forget the commercial nature of the endeavor, relieving the death-march sensation of seeing far too many booths crammed with art far too quickly.
Rather than gazing up at gallery signs, the only way to tell which gallery was showing what was to look at the work labels. Throughout the fair, BravinLee had some striking highlights. A carpet by Christopher Wool, “New Linen 8” (2012) (made of hand-knotted wool, no less), spread on the floor adopted the language of printing dots to present an abstracted wash, like a pre-planned ink spill. Nearby, Fabian Marcaccio’s large, blobby abstractions, also from BravinLee, animated the gray space.
Straight-up painting was a minority voice in the fair (aside from SEVEN’s signature salon wall, seen at top), but Marcaccio’s energy was echoed in a small flock of three-dimensional, wheeled, pyramidal “tent” paintings by Tatiana Berg (shown by Postmasters) perched in the middle of one gallery space. Large enough in scale to bodily relate to and covered in a slew of colors and paint media, the tents stand out — literally. The combination of galleries and artists didn’t always work — Berg’s ebullience was dampened by a series of muddled non-objective paintings on the wall facing them.
Multimedia was represented at SEVEN by a striking room of video art as well as what may have been the star of the show, a gallery full of interactive projections by the biology-inspired new media artist Brian Knep. Shown by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, the projections were populated by sketchy little cartoon creatures, somewhere between cells and little bugs. Arrayed into squares and vertical rectangles that recalled modernist painting, the bugs could be sent hurtling with the help of buttons installed beneath them. At turns technically impressive and viscerally fun, the pieces are great examples of accessible and intelligent new media art.
There wasn’t much in the way of a theme at SEVEN, but then it seems silly to try to divine one. If anything, the temperature of the space and the work on view was cold, with muted color palates and uneasy figuration much in evidence. The success of the video and new media work at the fair points to a void in the Miami landscape that perhaps the video-oriented Moving Image (founded by Ed Winkleman, proprietor of the participating Winkleman gallery) would be able to fill.
The SEVEN Art Fair ran from December 4 through 9, 2012 and way located at 2200 NW 2nd Avenue, Wynwood, Miami.
From Remedios Varo to Francisco de Goya, artists have long turned to witchcraft as subject matter.
The auction house partnered with Highsnobiety to sell “Art Handler” shirts for up to $125, drawing ire from workers in the field who say they’re overworked and underpaid.
Funded fellowships support on-site graduate and postdoctoral research spanning a variety of disciplines on cultural works in the center’s collections.
Black-crowned night herons have not returned after abandoning their nests during a building project at the Chicago History Museum.
What is a feminist picture? A MoMA exhibition is the latest to attempt to answer this question.
Students work in a collaborative studio environment with a faculty of practicing artists and premier facilities in the heart of Boston.
With exhibitions like Sing Our Rivers Red, Danielle SeeWalker, JayCee Beyale, and others make visible the number of missing people for whom they are demanding proper attention and justice.
In this assemblage of multinational artworks, a cohesive postcolonial canvas fails to fully emerge, owing to Dream City’s lack of bold vision.
Students in this two-year graduate program in New York enjoy access to the Hessel Museum of Art, the CCS Bard Library and Archives, and opportunities to curate in practice.
The British monarch and Donald Trump have both tried to impose neoclassical architecture on their countries — and one of them actually succeeded.
Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” was sliced out of its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in a notoriously brazen theft.
The advent of AI generators has led to an avalanche of rip-off artworks that have used Grzegorz Rutkowski’s name as a prompt.