Daily Archives: September 23, 2013

ART EXPO

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3-D at Expo

Unsurprisingly, galleries participating in Expo Chicago mainly showcase two-dimensional artwork.  There are obvious space limitations and exhibiting paintings and drawings is practical.  Art fairs are a great opportunity for galleries to promote the artists they work with to a larger audience while participating in the market.  It’s understandable that the amount of two-dimensional work outweighs sculpture in the art fair environment.

I am new to art fairs. I have never experienced art fairs before today, but I had an idea of what to expect.  My expectations were fairly accurate.  A lot painting and most of it not very engaging.  Nonetheless, a very active day and an opportunity to share a few favorites.

For this shortlist, I wanted to highlight three dimensional work rather than focusing on painting and drawing.

Sculptural Highlights:

Alexandre da Cunha

Bill O’Brien

Robert Gober

Carol Bove

Ken Price

Although this is a list highlighting sculpture, I can’t help but mention Betty Woodman’s use of combining both painting and sculpture in her works.  Woodman’s ceramics, including vessels and slabs of clay surfaces depicting the decorative elements of those vessels, are usually displayed in front of the painting.  Her paintings function as a backdrop. Interiors are represented with colorful, fluid brushstrokes enhancing the architecture of each of her chosen spaces.

Zoe Leonard: Midas middle finger.

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I wonder if success in the art world buys the artist the freedom to do whatever. Perhaps, once an artist is minted onto the art world, validated by Biennials, and consumed by big names, a sort of Midas effect takes place, in which anything produced by the later is considered intellectual product, no matter how barren it may be.

I consider Zoe Leonard’s presentation at the AIC to be offensive. Mainly because I do not need to be lectured on the working mechanics of a Camera Obscura. As I understand it, the optical phenomenon taking place within it is the same regardless if it executed in Paris or NY. I also question both her capacity and authenticity as an artist with this project. In her lecture, she described how her work took a turn when she started “experimenting” with pinhole projections, and how the space becomes “…a device for the temporal perceptive manipulation” and “a social gathering place”. If the artist is being genuine about these statements, and I hope not, I wonder if she even considered how painfully silly and ingenuous this train of thought is, especially in today’s day and age.

Attached is a web page containing the work of fellow artist and photographer, Herminio Rodriguez. We used to share a studio space back in my country. He decided, out of fun, to convert his studio into a camera obscura. The projection on the walls was that of the low income housing project directly in front of us. I remember during the opening, how the people of the housing project flocked the studio, amazed by the projections. It was a beautiful moment; these people never had a proper school education, didn’t understand the optical mechanics at work, and waited in lines to see the buildings they lived in projected in walls. If Zoe truly wanted to generate a gathering space of dialog, my former studio partner achieved it for real, for a humble studio in front of a low income housing project in Puerto Rico is not the same as a high end gallery in Paris.