10 March 2018

What's up for two more days (Armory week edition)

I’ve never regarded an Armory as must see (1912 excluded) and that continues but I enjoyed it and there is much to detain the visitor in the more crowded weekend hours.  I saw Art Basel Miami last December for the first time and though I was unfortunately a bit rushed for both, it took me exactly half the time to see all the booths at Armory (1:45 vs. 3:30).  Pier 94 has a slow security check queue which gives incentive to see all that in one shot - starting at Pier 92 and taking one’s time there is not a bad idea. The Insights series in the back of 92 has a lot of classics, including the Arte Povera offerings of London’s Repetto and Gary Nader, who keeps a gallery in Miami only for the moment.  Here Nader devotes his booth exclusively to major works by Matta, Lam, and late Picasso, which I predictably relished while looking intently for his more contemporary holdings of artists I would enjoy at his New York address.  I honestly don’t know why the city of Miami has not been more helpful to him in his quest to build a museum there but that is a major loss for the city, known otherwise for a paucity of permanent collections.  In the Insights section in the back of 94, Lyles & King presents four large scale paintings by Miami’s self-taught Farley Aguilar, born in Nicaragua, ‘with the paint still drying,’ depicting flag-waving Floridians and sewing circles in his uniquely haunting style.

I hope to blog more about current gallery shows but I should note that if you have any chance to see Luisa Rabbia's five paintings at Peter Blum's Little Italy address before April 7 ('Birth,' 'Death,' - one of my favorite paintings of recent years - and three lingams; 'Love,' part of the series, just showed in Reggio Emilia) do so, as no reproduction can do justice to them.

04 March 2018

What's up for one more crowded day (ADAA Art Show edition)

It was crowded today but my plans to go Friday were grounded by wind patterns.

Mary-Anne Martin always coughs up some luminous Leonora Carringtons and this time there's an ample selection of her 1940 Down Below sketches which employ, in at least two instances each: the frottage method and anthropomorphic figures with bird heads, suggesting her emotional connection to Max Ernst on the heels of their traumatic separation.  Later I'm not aware of her use of frottage and her vision becomes more individualistic.  Wearing masks and removing them is a recurring theme of the drawings.

Salon 94 has portraits and works on paper of Ibraham el-Salahi, on the more realist side of his production. The small scale works on paper, which portray Sudanese city life, are a highlight, but the oils here aren't as compelling to me as his more Surrealist work which I've never seen in person.  Two galleries have major Joseph Cornells and Philly's Locks Gallery tops in this category. Peter Blum presents a selection of Chris Marker's series from North Korea in 1957.  Altman Siegel has paintings by Liam Everett.

This blog has no scoop on when and where the Moving Pictures fair is this year nor, it seems, does any other online publication or their website.  My email is listed somewhere if you have a tip.