Art Basel Miami 2010

Michalene Thomas at Lehman Maupin

Art Basel Miami kicked off last Wednesday.  Here are some of the TFAA highlights and some disappointments too.

Highlights:

1.  Andrea Rosen’s booth included not only two beautiful new directors, Katie Rashid and Andrea Cashman, but also gorgeous works by Wolfgang Tillmans as well as a new works by Elliot Hundley.  TFAA also loved the back room of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ rarely seen puzzle pieces.

Elliot Hundley at Andrea Rosen

2. Sikemma Jenkins’s booth was not surprisingly strong.  I was excited to see a new sculpture by Vik Muniz as well as a large photograph from his Pictures of Garbage series that was the subject of the recently released film, Wasteland.  Elizabeth Neel had a beautiful new work on paper as well as an installation piece which was the first of its kind I have seen.  Perhaps this is a hint of what’s to come at her upcoming show at Sikemma Jenkins in the Spring.

Vik Muniz, Nail Fetish, 2010

It was actually a small woven work that really caught my eye at Sikkema Jenkins.  A work by Sheila Hicks, a 70 year young artist whose work will be exhibited in 2 years at the gallery.

Sheila Hicks, Falcon and Eye (Blue, Gold), 2009

3. Hetzler’s booth was lovely with large sculptures by Marepe Aguida, Ernesto Neto and beautiful paintings by Michael Raedecker.  These paintings are ethereal and in an alternate universe of muted color could be confused as works by newcomer Angel Otero, which a well known California dealer (who shall remain nameless) mistook the work for.

Ernesto Neto, Folhas no Tempo (Leaves over time), Two Parts of Us, 2007

Michael Raedecker, Present, 2009


4. Across the way from Hetzler, Lehmann Maupin brought it’s usual suspects.  A new addition to it’s roster as of earlier this year, Angel Otero earned the entire front side of the booth.  His works were strong, exciting and sold.  Look out for this artist and his upcoming show in February at Lehmann Maupin.

Angel Otero at Lehman Maupin

5. Sperone Westwater’s booth was fantastic with a back room sure to make your head spin. An exciting painting made from pumice and acrylic by Nabil Nahas caught my eye across the convention center.  It was general consensus that this work was the most interesting we had seen all day.

Nabil Nahas, Botero, 2008

6. At NADA, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new promising art star at Golden Gallery from Chicago.  Jessica LaBatte, who actually opened a show last week at the MCA Chicago, displayed subtle beauty in her new works which are photographs of a reflection of collage on a reflective material.  Priced in the $3,000 range, this was a must buy.

Jessica LaBatte, Surface Effects 1, 2010

7. Also at NADA, I was pleased to experience a new work by Brendan Lynch at The Hole.  I have started to see this artist’s work in a lot of top collections lately.

Brendan Lynch

8. LCD Soundsystem at the MOCA Beach Party.  Bravo to the MOCA Los Angeles for organizing a wonderful concert.  It was also a riot watching well known artists, such as Shepard Fairey, attempting to scale the fence to avoid the monstrous line that kept out many VIP’s.

LCD Soundsystem at the MOCA Beach Party
LCD Soundsystem at the MOCA Beach Party

9. The Bass Museum’s Isaac Jacob show.  ArtSet, the London and New York based art group, hosted a tour of this incredibly beautiful show.

Disappointments:

1. The long awaited and incredibly hyped LAND “The Island” event.  This event, which featured works by a dozen artists on a “deserted” island in theory was a fantastic idea, however, in execution was a flop.  The concept that 400 art world enthusiasts would be invited to the Mondrian dock at 2pm – dusk, be picked up by boat, given flip flops and then transported to trek through a deserted island littered with artists installations seemed like the go-to Miami event.  However, the boats were shut down at 4pm and large line formed at the entrance, literally in the driveway of the Mondrian.  In this line, that was refused entrance, were NYTimes photographers, one of the artists, and many many art world VIP’s.  My fingers are crossed that next year LAND will get it right.

2. The Ryan McGinness Party at Madonna (Yes, the strip club).  Call me crazy, but I was expecting a little more art.  More upsetting, is the rumor that McGinness may be throwing parties around the world in strip clubs to exhibit his new Woman series.  I hope not.  Although, it was hysterical to see some of the art worlds finest battle it out to get into the strip club where only non alcoholic drinks were sold.

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