The Official Art Basel Miami Beach Slideshow and Commentary

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on December 6, 2013 · 4 comments Art Fair

Like most exhibitors, Mitchell-Innes&Nash has mastered the transition from art to interior architecture. Here, Sara Braman's plexi cubes made from mobile homes is totally divorced from meaning. The same goes for the wooden floor, which is actually a customizable work by Virgina Overton.

When it’s removed from all context and dropped on a convention center floor, art becomes something closer to furniture. Mitchell-Innes & Nash has mastered the transition. You would never know that Sarah Braman’s plexi cubes are made from mobile homes. The same goes for the wooden floor, which is actually a customizable work by Virginia Overton. (Whitney)

Alex McLeod spotted this selfie artist at Frieze last year. http://artfcity.com/2013/03/07/δrmωrψ-2013-sω-δrmωrψ-2013/ We approve.

Alex McLeod spotted this selfie artist at Frieze last year. We approve her return. (Whitney)

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Rest easy knowing that collectors aren’t paying $65,000 for Gavin Turk’s cardboard—because it’s actually a painted bronze! There are seven more like it. (Whitney)

At the Gagosian booth, a Koons egg with a circular John Currin peeking out from behind.

Oh, Gagosian. The booth was squeezed full of art, like a rich person’s fire sale—come and get it, it’s all here. Pairings seem based on available booth space; thus, a Koons egg with a circular John Currin peeking out from behind. (Corinna)

Thank god for Marsden Hartley, whose legacy almost always provides something unexpected. Something about this beach guy squatting on a smaller, distant man feels right for beachside art fair culture. (Whitney)

Thank god for Marsden Hartley, whose legacy almost always provides something unexpected. Something about this beach guy squatting on a smaller, distant man feels right for beachside art fair culture. (Whitney)

The grassy seating areas are back; this one was optimized by the soothing sounds of nearby river videos by Nicolás Consuegra at La Central's booth. (Whitney)

The grassy seating areas are back; this one was optimized by the soothing sounds of nearby river videos by Nicolás Consuegra at La Central’s booth. (Whitney)

I'm pretty sure Charles Atlas's "Martha, Martha, Martha, Martha, Martha" is the best in show, but with all the conversation and sales surrounding it, it's nearly impossible to focus on the work. A row of TVs show clips from old movies in which people exclaim "Martha!" (with a fleeting reference to the Martha Graham Dance Company) along with dance sequences from old movies, like "Funny Face's" "think pink" sequence. It seems mainly like a formal exercise, but the video also feels like a dance assault on good girl culture. (Whitney)

I’m pretty sure Charles Atlas’s “Martha, Martha, Martha, Martha, Martha” is the best in show, but with all the conversation and sales surrounding it, it’s nearly impossible to focus on the work. A row of TVs show clips from old movies in which people exclaim “Martha!” (with a fleeting reference to the Martha Graham Dance Company) along with dance sequences from old movies, like “Funny Face’s” “think pink” sequence. It seems mainly like a formal exercise, but the video also feels like a dance assault on good girl culture. (Whitney)

Corinna: "How much?" "20,000 Euro. That's about 27,000 dollars." "I don't understand why you can't sell your paintings in dollars."

Overheard conversation at Peres Projects: Collector: “How much?” Dealer: “20,000 Euro. That’s about 27,000 dollars.” Collector: “I don’t understand why you can’t sell your paintings in dollars.” (Corinna)

The piece which best cut through the sameness, for me, was Spencer Finch's "Wind (through Emily Dickinson's window, August 14th, 2012, 3:22 PM)." Finch measured the speed of the wind at that moment and replicated it with a computer program and a fan. I thought it was a sad piece, enjoying the breeze and then realizing it's wholly artificial. (Whitney)

The piece which best cut through the sameness, for me, was Spencer Finch’s “Wind (through Emily Dickinson’s window, August 14th, 2012, 3:22 PM).” Finch measured the speed of the wind at that moment and replicated it with a computer program and a fan. I thought it was a sad piece, enjoying the breeze and then realizing it’s wholly artificial. (Whitney)

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This year, Bureau gallery made the transition from NADA to ABMB’s “Preview” section, which is devoted to younger galleries. The sales verdict: So far, so good. This Cheetos panel by Tom Holmes was the first to sell in the booth. No surprise that recognizable imagery sells, not to mention the Cheetos trend. (Corinna)

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Here is Tony Tasset’s “Snowman with Scarf.” As we mentioned in our ABMB report, this one’s got a great sales pitch: Indoors or outdoors, it’d be hilarious to have a snowman that lasts all seasons! (Corinna)

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Mathieu Malouf’s orangey panels were eye-catching at the fair, but they’re really just jewelry for the walls. So luxe. (Corinna)

 

 

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“Have you seen anything interesting so far?” we asked a friend during the VIP opening. “Well, there’s a jungle bar in Nova.” Sure. It’s called “Paradise Working Title” and there’s a bunch of palms with some plopped down pipes that might be art and might be functionless decoration. If nothing else, it’s a place to rest your feet. (Corinna)

Alisa Baremboym's strange sculptures at 47 Canal took me aback; there's nothing darkly absurd as this anywhere else in Nova, or most of the fair. Her fleshy systems of skin-colored gels plopped into unreasonably crumpled massage chairs. Plus.

Alisa Baremboym’s strange sculptures at 47 Canal took me aback; there’s nothing as darkly absurd like this anywhere else in Nova, or most of the fair. She’s created a fleshy system of skin-colored gels plopped into unreasonably crumpled massage chairs. Could be a younger, less corny version of Bjarne Melgaard. (Corinna)

One of a thousand lines at Art Basel was the cluster forming around Gagosian's booth– possibly to get a stab at the art, or the man himself. For us, it's one of many reminders that Basel's only fun so long as you're invited. Unless you have money, you're lucky to even be able to look.

One of the thousand lines at Art Basel was the cluster forming around Gagosian’s booth—either to get a shot at the art, or the man himself. For us, it’s one of many reminders that Basel’s only fun so long as you’re invited. Unless you have money, you’re lucky to even look. (Whitney)

Maybe the sixth Anish Kapoor we saw at the fair.

About the sixth Anish Kapoor we saw at the fair. (Corinna)


Seoul’s One and J Gallery turned their booth into an office full of breathing sculpture. It’s all silicon. Watch the laptop. (Corinna)

  • A A

    The “Joerg Lohse” paintings are actually Mathieu Malouf paintings…

  • http://www.saatchionline.com/art/Sculpture-Found-Objects-ARP/338230/1401545/view R. Emora

    What an amazing period in art history!!! So much great art!!!

  • Arden Sherman

    Functionless decoration please!

  • thesketchupguy

    They should just put some “The Voice” style chairs on the back of some golf carts and zip everyone around the art… and the parties. Maybe give all the artists and gallery folk a minute or two to make their pitch. Hell, give them a gong and a credit card machine too. Just bullshitin’. Please don’t send the culture assasins after me.

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