December 10, 2012

Painter Tatiana Berg's picks from Art Basel Miami Beach, 2012, Part I


It's here! And it's huge. Art Basel Miami is too big for any comprehensible survey, so instead here are some personal highlights and completely subjective, biased favorites. As much as there is to complain about art fairs they remain a pretty efficient way to see a ton of work all at once, before you fill up and fall over and die from exhaustion. Armed with a press pass, my simple plan was to walk around and see what grabbed me so I could share it with you all.  What can I say! It's so fun. I'm really just a sucker for the whole thing. Getting to walk around and stumble upon a piece by an artist you love is fun in a celebrity-sighting kind of way, and occasionally you get grabbed by something you've never seen before.




McKee Gallery booth, Philip Guston on right.
Case in point: you can wander by some good Gustons without even trying. 

Chris Ofilli, The Bird and the Windfall, 2010, suite of 32 monotypes in watercolor, pastel, charcoal and colored pencil on Lanaquarelle paper. Each 24 x 17.75 inches.

I'm fond of Two Palms Press, who collaborate with artists on some consistently lovely print series. I'm fond of unexpected work like this, something not entirely typical of a famous practice from someone like Chris Offili. 

Chris Ofilli, The Bird and the Windfall, detail.

Elizabeth Peyton, Alex (Katz), 2012, 2012, etching on Twinrocker handmade paper, 14 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches, at Two Palms Press
 And then there was this goofy-whatever Katz portrait by Elizabeth Peyton in the back. Not a fan, but I kind of always enjoy the artist-on-artist portraits. (More of that and more of Katz to come.)

Laura Owens at Gavin Brown Enterprise
Gavin Brown dedicated most of their booth to these new Laura Owens paintings I'm pretty excited about. Around the corner was an Alex Katz painting, from the same portrait series that's currently up in their gallery in NYC.

Alex Katz, Ariel, 2012, oil on linen, 50 x 40 inches

Imi Knoebel at Galerie Christian Lethert
I told the dealer at this booth that this Imi Knoebel was perfect Miami colors.

Galerie Christian Lethert booth

Derek Sullivan, Peg Rail #5 (Albatross Omnibus), 2012. Wood peg rail, replica Gerrit Rietveld Zig Zag chair, 52 artist's books, nylon cord, 2kg boat anchor, printed fabric, 63 x 96 x 18 1/2 inches

Nikolas Gambaroff (wall) and Ei Arakawa (floor) at Overduin and Kite

Rose Wylie at Galerie Michael Janssen
The first time I encountered Rose Wylie's work was two years ago at NADA, and I was blown away. Gratifying to see this powerful artist taking up a bigger place in the public consciousness, with two huge canvasses on view this year at Basel. Don't know about that green wall, however.


Florian Meisenberg, left, at Wentrup
 Florian Meisenberg paintings are wonderfully weird and memorable. That strange squatting figure is made with a large oil stain, with wisps of thicker paint appearing as linear elements. My personal preference veers consistently towards paintings with idiosyncratic, personal imagery. A selection:


Richard Aldrich (right) at Bortolami 
Chris Martin, Untitled, 2008-10, oil and spray paint on canvas, 64 x 58 inches, at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen
Jean Dubuffet, Inspection du territoire, acrylic on canvas-backed paper, 26 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches, at Waddington Custot Galleries

Ryan Mosley at Galerie EIGEN+ART

Ellen Berkenblit, Flowers, 2012, oil on canvas, 90 x 76 inches, at Anton Kern Gallery
Ulrich Wulff at Thomas Solomon Gallery

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1956, gouache and ink on paper, 16 x 10 1/2 inches

Alex Katz, Paula, 1982, oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 34 inches at D'Amelio Gallery

Betty Woodman ceramics at Salon 94

Ron Gorchov, Dinah, 2012, oil on linen, 63 3/4 x 55 1/2 x 12 1/4 inches, at Cheim & Read

Tal R, Fog Over Malia Bay, 2011, oil and dispersion on cardboard in artist frame. 47 1/2 x 36 1/2 inches, at Cheim & Read

Enrico David, Untitled, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 94 1/2 x 94 1/2 inches

Roy Lichtenstein at Gagosian
Let's end on this show-stopper: an enormous Litchenstein at Gagosian, dedicated security guard in tow. Basel tov everyone!

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Contributor Tatiana Berg, recently included in the L Magazine's "Best of Young Brooklyn" feature, has work in "Surfaces, Supports," an exhibition at Storefront Bushwick, through December 23, 2012. She is an MFA student at Columbia University.

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