Tx Contemporary Art Fair: Day 2

Great day with my friend MS. Always good to initiate a new art lover! We opened them up at 11:00 because I wanted to have the luxury of being leisurely and talking to the galleries if we had questions.

At a fair like this there is always one of two exhibitors — those that love what they do and talk excitedly about who they represent and those that are put out to deal with “common” folk like me. I remind those gallerists like Jenkins Johnson of NYC, that you never know who you are snubbing  (I have been looking to buy a Julia Fullerton-Batten for about a year – no sale for you!) However, we talked to folks (with strong floral sensibilities) at Samuel Freeman Gallery of LA about Robert Zakanitch’s “Summer Shower” which is a large gouache piece, reminiscent of one of my great aunt’s embroidered pillows. He was so eager to tell us about the construction method and the nuances of the imagery that I wanted to buy it myself,  even though it’s not really my style.  (here is is below)

Art Fairs are the  moment when gallerists have the opportunity to create art lovers or art cynics. I am proud to say that most representatives were quite excited. I got the most energy from folks from LA, which I didn’t anticipate. (Thanks to Charlie James Gallery for posting my review of Carol Selter on their webpage).

I tried to focus today on themes that I saw throughout the representative works and I want to share three with you:

Number 1: I have gotten so accustomed to seeing craft as a major theme that I was excited to see a nod towards more traditional oil painting —

There is Julie Hefferman’s “Self Portrait with Talking Stones” which is an interpretation of Titian’s “Venus of Urbanino.” (PPOW, NYC)

Mitchell Gregory’s “Three Sisters” has the same emotional serenity as Andrew Wyeth.

And Vik Muniz’s “Vase of Flowers with Pocket Watch, after Willem Van Aelst” gives a modern interpretation of the 17th century painter by composing the work out of cut paper and then photographing it before he enlarges it and prints it on paper, thereby giving the piece the same golden, decaying, historic intensity that you would get if you saw it at The Met. (Rena Bransten Gallery, NYC)

Not nearly as classical but equally a nod to the history of modern painting is Hope Gangloff’s work, which looks like a less destitute and more covered-up Egon Schiele model. (Susan Inglett Gallery, NYC).

Number 2: Always a personal favorite of mine is the large photograph. One of my faves is a work by Marta Soul (Kopeikin Gallery, LA).

“White Car” by Rusty Scruby  whose image lifts off the print through exact geometric cuts. (Turner Carroll, Santa Fe, NM)

Number 3: And then there is the critter factor. I find it interesting that young artists are so intrigued by wild animals — perhaps it’s because they didn’t grow up in Texas spending their childhood deer hunting with their father? I end this post with a slew of “critter” images that I found quite cool and the alternate name that my father would give them if I were to try to explain their coolness.

Here is Walter Robinson’s “Zero Sum Game” (Catharine Clark Gallery, San Fran) aka “You can’t ride deer and even if you could you wouldn’t ride one that looks like it has eaten bad corn”

Joseph Heidecker’s archival anatomical, bedazzled prints (Like the Spice Gallery) aka “Unless the pink glitter helps me gut it faster, get it the hell off”

Let’s not overlook Elaine Bradford’s “Procyon Besheret Cross Section” aka “If a racoon is stuck in the wall, we’re going to kill it, not crochet it a Christmas Sweater”

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