Greg Bogin for Leo Koenig
David Klamen for Richard Gray
Ettore Spalletti for Galarie Lelong
Tom Wesselmann for Galerie Terminus.
This being my first art fair experience, I walked into Navy Pier last Friday with a pessimistic expectation. I’ve heard tons of negative feedback about the quality of work and experience of the venue at Expo Chicago. I was ready for a Sam’s Club-like experience filled with tons of bad painting and archaic sculpture. But, after about 15 minutes of browsing I found myself pleasantly surprised by some of the work I saw. Looking past the convention center atmosphere and the false gallery booths I actually began to decipher a number of pretty arousing pieces.
Greg Bogin’s Sci Fi/Pop Artish/Post-Minimal/Color field painting (whatever category it falls in) and fluorescent urethane casted sculpture caught my eye for sure. I’ve seen Bogin’s work online but I’ve never gotten a chance to encounter it in person. It was great to see the rounded dimensionality of his wall piece and the high quality finish he uses on his painted gradients. I was particularly jazzed on the speckled black and purple border of the painting, and to be frank, it was really that fucking rad. Brought me to ruminate some of my childhood Easter experiences of eating those speckled easter egg candies.
Browsing along, sifting through the good from the bad I noticed some great late 60’s early 70’s work from John McCracken, Ed Rushca, Carlos Cruz-Diez , Rauschenberg, and Warhol. The Tom Wesselman in the Galerie Terminus booth was one of the best pieces of his I’ve seen. Bordering both object and painting, his shaped painting of a faceless nude woman drifiting back into an odd perspective is perplexing, smart, and funny. Rendered in his typical pop art palette with soft edges, air brushed gradients, and a lack of detail; this painting is sexy!
Other highlights I saw was David Klamens painting of a galaxy painting in a museum, Ettore Spalletti sliced edge wall piece, and Andreas Lolis cardboard and styrofoam objects made in marble. All in all the bad might have slightly outweighed the good, but the good was great enough to keep me in the facility for 2 hours. It was definitely exciting to see such a wide range of works in one container, regardless of how over saturated the venue was.