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Posted inArt

Listening to the Stories of Volta

This year’s Volta NY spoke many different dialects, but most of them seemed to stem from the same language. Although there were a total of 95 galleries exhibiting, with works ranging from the very minimal to the very ornate, a large chunk of the art on view was either obliquely or transparently narrative

Posted inArt

Rendering Politics in Cement and Lace

A bit more than a year ago, Naomi Safran-Hon opened her studio to the public as part of the Brooklyn Museum’s GO community-curated project and was worried that no one would show up. The 29-year old Safran-Hon was one of the 1,708 artists who participated, and in the end, she was chosen as one of the five winning artists to exhibit her work at the Brooklyn Museum. Visiting her studio in Crown Heights, I’m not surprised that a large number of people who showed up voted for her work, which combines cement and lace and possesses a haunting quality that forces you to linger in front of her paintings.

Posted inArt

Flying Solo at Volta

Big art events in New York are often set up in opposition to the “establishment.” In reaction to the Whitney Biennial, there is now the New Museum Triennial and the BHQF Brucennial. The Dependent responds to the Independent. In this sense, I would compare Volta to the Armory — they are sister fairs who share VIP access cards and shuttle vans. Sort of the Lower East Side versus Chelsea. Note, the Armory was the first hotel art fair in the 1990s and, at the time, the upstart, up against the big bad and very establishment ADAA — how times have changed — is Volta an attempt to return to that kind of authenticity?

Posted inArt

Feeling Civilized at the 2011 Volta Art Fair

Across the street from the Empire State Building is the Volta Art Fair, a sophisticated and civilized art fair where galleries from around the world present solo artist projects. Elizabeth Tenenbaum and Elissa Levy of InContext Studio Tours gave me a preview of Volta New York 2011. After attending six art fairs during Armory Week, Volta felt different to me. It was a tightly curated, intelligent and a refreshingly friendly view of international contemporary art. The attitude here was more like a TED conference than an art fair, seemingly more concerned with good ideas than with commercial sales.