reyes_2

 Detail of Marie Herwald Hermann's installation at Reyes Projects booth at NADA Miami Beach, 2017. Courtesy of Reyes Projects.

Decentralizing Art Basel Miami Beach

ELLIE HUNTER
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA | RESPONSE
DECEMBER 11, 2017

Decentralizing Art Basel Miami Beach

ELLIE HUNTER
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA | RESPONSE
DECEMBER 11, 2017

Decentralizing Art Basel Miami Beach

ELLIE HUNTER
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA | RESPONSE
DECEMBER 11, 2017

Decentralizing Art Basel Miami Beach

ELLIE HUNTER
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA | RESPONSE
DECEMBER 11, 2017

Decentralizing Art Basel Miami Beach

ELLIE HUNTER
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA | RESPONSE
DECEMBER 11, 2017

The most recent iteration of NADA, Miami offered a welcome antidote to the typical NY/LA art world vacuum on display at Art Basel’s central fair. Hailing from outside the major art centers, galleries such as Reyes Projects, The Green Gallery, What Pipeline (in collaboration with NY-based Queer Thoughts), and Good Weather all presented work by artists who deal directly with identity as it relates to a sense of emotional and geographical location. These galleries showcased the ever widening importance of artist-run galleries in smaller cities, and were refreshingly removed from the trends that permeate the larger fair.

For starters, Reyes Projects, a new gallery based in Birmingham, Michigan, presented a domestic installation by the Detroit-based artist Marie Herwald Hermann. Her work situates the viewer in a room lined with William Morris wallpaper. The papered walls are mounted with ceramic imitations of white, modernist shelves which host minimal ceramic ware, small ceramic sculptures, and cast silicone sheets. This curious layering of craft and design temporalities is autobiographical for Hermann, who was raised in Copenhagen, and whose Danish grandparents had the same Morris wallpaper in their home. Each era’s material trope is rendered personal and intimate with the residue of Hermann’s hand: the irregularities and thumb prints in the ceramic shelves, the strange creases and wrinkles in the silicone sheets, and curved ceramic sculptures bound with string. Reyes’ booth was a refreshing break from the crowded mini-group shows, and an entry into the artist’s layered cultural imagination.

Two highlights at The Green Gallery, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were photographs by Sky Hopinka and Anne Eastman. In Hopinka’s series, Along the Edge of Encircling Lake (2017), expansive landscapes feel deeply personal and solitary alongside photographs of light flares and a portrait of the artist’s mother holding seeded plant matter. The images are narrated with half-legible observations scrawled across the top and bottom of the print, and imbue remote, alien landscapes with the illusion of intimate meaning. A series of photographs by Anne Eastman, who  lives between Nikko, Japan, and Brooklyn, New York, were obscure documentations of sculptures composed of glass, mirrors, wood and torn segments of The New York Times. Eastman’s lens enacts a surreal flattening of the objects, as the newspaper segments are veiled in the glass and reflected back again at the viewer. The photographs feel remote and vaguely recognizable, as if from a blurry memory of a dream spent looking out the window of a car, driving through a strange city.

What Pipeline from Detroit, Michigan shared a booth with Queer Thoughts from New York, NY. Bailey Scieszka, a Detroit-based artist (who describes herself as a “clown who draws in her spare time, which is all the time”) presented a series of three gold leaf and colored pencil drawings of women whose faces are painted with confederate and American flags. Each woman, bedecked in period costume, appears stilted in the center of the frame with an expressionless, blue-eyed gaze. The first figure’s reptilian skin is revealed underneath her dress and she is accompanied by a snake, a possible reference to the postlapsarian state of things. The center figure holds a ventriloquist dummy, whose face is painted in her confederate-masked likeness, while the third figure’s American flag visage has partially melted away to reveal a sunken alien skull. The paintings are allegorical and imply the hollowness of an applied patriotic identity.

Good Weather, located in North Little Rock, AR, showed work by Amy Garofano, Mariel Capanna, and Ania Jaworska. Garofano recreates the forms of stained glass windows and doors that she finds on walks around her neighborhood in Los Angeles in inlaid compositions of wood wrapped with black velvet. While these thresholds normally allow light to pass between the home and the outside world, the dense velvet absorbs the light. The objects transcend their functionality as portals, and instead become elegant and resolute portraits of a barrier. Mariel Capanna’s playfully shaped frescos draw from scenes from her permanent and evolving fresco on the walls of Good Weather’s original space in North Little Rock, AR. An authoritative black lacquer chair by architect-cum-artist Ania Jaworska sat amongst Garofano and Capanna’s wall works.

Also notable at NADA was Jiha Moon’s presentation of ceramic and fabric masks at Artadia’s booth. Moon won the 2016 Artadia Award in Atlanta. Fourteen30 from Portland, Oregon, showed diptych paintings by Grier Edmunson that assume a conflict between gifting and selling,  or commerce and personal investment. For this series, when one of the paintings is sold, its twin is gifted to someone in the artist’s life. Beyond NADA, at UNTITLED, Miriane Ibrahim (from Seattle, Washington) showed showed work by Clotilde Jiménez, who explores identity and family portraiture through his painted fabric and paper collages.

Overall, it was encouraging to see artists from smaller or more decentralized cities wearing many hats and acting as curators and directors of galleries. Not only do they activate the art scenes within their communities, they also displayed a commitment to showing artists who are making work all over the country to the largely New York and Los Angeles based art world on display at Art Basel.

Eastman

Anne Eastman, Travel (November Times), 2017. Courtesy of Green Gallery.

01-Queer_Thoughts_What_Pipeline_NADA_Miami_2017_Courtesy_the_galleries_01

Queer Thoughts and What Pipeline at NADA Miami Beach 2017. Courtesy of Queer Thoughts and What Pipeline.

image4

Bailey Scieszka at Queer Thoughts and What Pipeline at NADA Miami Beach 2017. Courtesy of Queer Thoughts and What Pipeline.

image9

Good Weather at NADA Miami Beach, 2017. Courtesy of Good Weather.

Screen-Shot-2017-12-20-at-12.55.23-AM

Clotilde Jiménez, Portrait of my Father, 2015. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim.

Ellie Hunter is an artist, writer and curator based between Virginia and California. In 2016, she co-founded the gallery and publishing platform The Sunroom with McKeever Donovan. In 2018 she'll be a resident at Rupert in Vilnius, Lithuania, and has upcoming exhibitions with Peach (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA). 

Reyes Projects
The Green Gallery
Good Weather
Queer Thoughts & What Pipeline

Mariane Ibrahim
Artadia
Fourteen30

Ellie Hunter is an artist, writer and curator based between Virginia and California. In 2016, she co-founded the gallery and publishing platform The Sunroom with McKeever Donovan. In 2018 she'll be a resident at Rupert in Vilnius, Lithuania, and has upcoming exhibitions with Peach (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA). 

Reyes Projects
The Green Gallery
Good Weather
Queer Thoughts & What Pipeline

Mariane Ibrahim
Artadia
Fourteen30

RESPONSE
A feature of project reviews experienced in person. Response will provide artists with much needed critical response to their work. Response is opinion-based but is not an op-ed.

© THE RIB 2017
© THE RIB 2017
© THE RIB 2017