JERRY THE MARBLE FAUN & RAYNES BIRKBECK

  ART F CITY: NADA ON TOP  DECEMBER 2016  A cab driver told me there are fewer people in Miami beach this year due to Zika fears. An artist told me there were fewer artists in Miami due to Donald Trump’s election. Everyone tells me they have fair fatigue. But dealers, willing to refute any and all evidence to the contrary, say their fairs have been busy.  Whether or not anyone is suffering as a result, one thing is certain: attendance is way off from last year. There are fewer people in the streets and at the fairs across the board. Certainly this was the case at NADA yesterday, which was uncharacteristically quiet. Not that this seemed to bother the dealers. Most were relaxed and seemed content, having made their sales the day before. This stood in stark contrast to Pulse, where even the slightest expression of interest, inspired long sales pitches and desperate looks. I felt bad for them.  A slower pace and fewer jovial parties from most of the fairs came as a welcome relief, even if they were a result of election malaise. There are a few more grey hairs amongst all of us—including this reporter—and the giant, all day, courtyard parties at NADA have been replaced by a swag table and cafe that now serves fancy donuts. (Although, P Diddy made an appearance today at the pool, so the parties haven’t actually gone away—they just aren’t the permanent fixture they’ve been in the past.)  The spirit, though, remains the same. More than any other fair, NADA’s dealers are defined by an investment in art that’s so intense it seems to demand generosity. For example, when visiting the Invisible Exports booth, Benjamin Tischer made a point introducing me to Jerry the Marble Faun at Situations.“That’s a rabbit hole you have to go down!” he beamed as he told me about the ceramics made by the gardener for Mrs. Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale. The two were relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy and famous for shunning the world after high society wouldn’t accept their eccentricities.  Tischer enthusiasm wasn’t an isolated incident. MacGregor Harp at 247365 recommended I see Raul de Nieves at The Company, because his beaded figurative sculptures look infused with joy and dance. And Phil Grauer, a NADA board member and partner at CANADA, offered some context. The fair wants to be more inclusive. Last year’s venue experiment with Fountainbleau didn’t work out that well for that reason. The hotel wouldn’t make more space available to the fair at a reasonable cost, so they were forced to reduce the size. It created an atmosphere they didn’t like, so they returned to The Deauville this year with the objective of offering more space to more dealers.  The efforts paid off. The fair looks and feels better. Perhaps most importantly, though, the quality art to crap ratio is better than anywhere else, making NADA the model, and fair to beat.

ART F CITY: NADA ON TOP
DECEMBER 2016

A cab driver told me there are fewer people in Miami beach this year due to Zika fears. An artist told me there were fewer artists in Miami due to Donald Trump’s election. Everyone tells me they have fair fatigue. But dealers, willing to refute any and all evidence to the contrary, say their fairs have been busy.

Whether or not anyone is suffering as a result, one thing is certain: attendance is way off from last year. There are fewer people in the streets and at the fairs across the board. Certainly this was the case at NADA yesterday, which was uncharacteristically quiet. Not that this seemed to bother the dealers. Most were relaxed and seemed content, having made their sales the day before. This stood in stark contrast to Pulse, where even the slightest expression of interest, inspired long sales pitches and desperate looks. I felt bad for them.

A slower pace and fewer jovial parties from most of the fairs came as a welcome relief, even if they were a result of election malaise. There are a few more grey hairs amongst all of us—including this reporter—and the giant, all day, courtyard parties at NADA have been replaced by a swag table and cafe that now serves fancy donuts. (Although, P Diddy made an appearance today at the pool, so the parties haven’t actually gone away—they just aren’t the permanent fixture they’ve been in the past.)

The spirit, though, remains the same. More than any other fair, NADA’s dealers are defined by an investment in art that’s so intense it seems to demand generosity. For example, when visiting the Invisible Exports booth, Benjamin Tischer made a point introducing me to Jerry the Marble Faun at Situations.“That’s a rabbit hole you have to go down!” he beamed as he told me about the ceramics made by the gardener for Mrs. Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale. The two were relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy and famous for shunning the world after high society wouldn’t accept their eccentricities.

Tischer enthusiasm wasn’t an isolated incident. MacGregor Harp at 247365 recommended I see Raul de Nieves at The Company, because his beaded figurative sculptures look infused with joy and dance. And Phil Grauer, a NADA board member and partner at CANADA, offered some context. The fair wants to be more inclusive. Last year’s venue experiment with Fountainbleau didn’t work out that well for that reason. The hotel wouldn’t make more space available to the fair at a reasonable cost, so they were forced to reduce the size. It created an atmosphere they didn’t like, so they returned to The Deauville this year with the objective of offering more space to more dealers.

The efforts paid off. The fair looks and feels better. Perhaps most importantly, though, the quality art to crap ratio is better than anywhere else, making NADA the model, and fair to beat.

   HYPERALLERGIC:  Ceramics Stage a Coup at NADA Miami Beach 2016: Typically a stronghold of painting, the NADA Miami Beach fair is awash in clay sculpture this year.    By Benjamin Sutton DECEMBER 2016  MIAMI BEACH — The idea that ceramics are making a comeback in the art world and the art market is not exactly news. Regular visitors to Chelsea and other blue chip gallery districts and members of the global art fair jet set have seen clay and porcelain steadily gaining ground on paint, ink, and more conventional sculptural materials like bronze. And this year, ceramic art has made major inroads at NADA’s Miami Beach fair, a quintessential bastion of painting. (Textiles, too, are on the rise, both at NADA and Art Basel Miami Beach.) Ranging in style from finish fetish works in the lineage of Ken Price and Ron Nagle, to playful figurative statues and imaginative riffs on traditional ceramic objects like vases, this year’s NADA fair feels like a potter’s paradise.  My personal favorites, presiding over the booth of New York’s Rachel Uffner Gallery, are Sally Saul’s sculptures of two female figures, a dog, a fox, and a flower. The curious grouping is a testament to her endearing and playful iconography, and revived my desire for a big solo show of Saul’s sculptures — word is that Uffner has one in the works.  The fair features works by several artists working in the same vein as Saul — that is, making figurative ceramic work that plays with scale and tone, or that uses the handcrafted medium to imbue typically inanimate objects with inner life. Two shining examples of this approach are the playful food sculptures by Valerie Hegarty that are on view in Miami gallery Locust Projects‘ booth, and the cryptic, almost grotesque head sculptures by Jennie Jieun Lee that New York’s Martos Gallery is showing.  Several ceramicists featured at NADA Miami Beach took a more deconstructive approach to figurative shapes and images. Bruce M. Sherman‘s two works in New York gallery Nicelle Beauchene‘s booth feature human forms that have been fragmented into disjointed planes in a quasi-Cubist manner (“Woman with Fish,” 2016) or radically reduced to stubby limbs and little else (“Equi Lib Reeum,” 2016). Puerto Rican artist Cristina Tufiño takes a different approach in her ceramic works in the booth of San Juan’s Galería Agustina Ferreyra. The works mimic the forms of conventional vases while also evoking certain body parts — the face, the torso, the hips — streamlined to a few telltale features. Nearby, the mezzanine booth of Brussels gallery Sorry We’re Closed features a set of tabletop works and one tower of ceramic heads by Eric Croes. The pieces’ cartoon-like forms and vibrant glazes are delightful.  Amid the riffs on conventional ceramic vessels, the standouts are the dozens by Los Angeles-based painter Roger Herman filling the walls and shelves in the booth of Paris gallery Lefebvre & Fils. Ranging from pitchers and vases to bowls and plates, many feature figurative images, from deathly skulls to grimacing figures. Around the corner, in the small booth of New York gallery Situations, three large vases by outsider artist Jerry the Marble Faun seem to burst with exotic flaura and fauna.  Finally, for those who prefer their ceramics more firmly in the lineage of minimalism and geometric abstraction, two standouts are Zachary Leener‘s psychedelic work in the booth of Los Angeles gallery Tif Sigfrids — which evokes a cactus or perhaps a key to an alternate reality — and Peter Shire‘s small work in the Derek Eller Gallery booth — which could almost be a maquette for the next starchitect-designed Miami Beach resort. Seen in the context of NADA Miami Beach’s longtime home, the charmingly old-school Deauville Beach Resort, these two works in particular stand out as alluring visions from a ceramic-filled future.

HYPERALLERGIC: Ceramics Stage a Coup at NADA Miami Beach 2016: Typically a stronghold of painting, the NADA Miami Beach fair is awash in clay sculpture this year.
By Benjamin Sutton
DECEMBER 2016

MIAMI BEACH — The idea that ceramics are making a comeback in the art world and the art market is not exactly news. Regular visitors to Chelsea and other blue chip gallery districts and members of the global art fair jet set have seen clay and porcelain steadily gaining ground on paint, ink, and more conventional sculptural materials like bronze. And this year, ceramic art has made major inroads at NADA’s Miami Beach fair, a quintessential bastion of painting. (Textiles, too, are on the rise, both at NADA and Art Basel Miami Beach.) Ranging in style from finish fetish works in the lineage of Ken Price and Ron Nagle, to playful figurative statues and imaginative riffs on traditional ceramic objects like vases, this year’s NADA fair feels like a potter’s paradise.

My personal favorites, presiding over the booth of New York’s Rachel Uffner Gallery, are Sally Saul’s sculptures of two female figures, a dog, a fox, and a flower. The curious grouping is a testament to her endearing and playful iconography, and revived my desire for a big solo show of Saul’s sculptures — word is that Uffner has one in the works.

The fair features works by several artists working in the same vein as Saul — that is, making figurative ceramic work that plays with scale and tone, or that uses the handcrafted medium to imbue typically inanimate objects with inner life. Two shining examples of this approach are the playful food sculptures by Valerie Hegarty that are on view in Miami gallery Locust Projects‘ booth, and the cryptic, almost grotesque head sculptures by Jennie Jieun Lee that New York’s Martos Gallery is showing.

Several ceramicists featured at NADA Miami Beach took a more deconstructive approach to figurative shapes and images. Bruce M. Sherman‘s two works in New York gallery Nicelle Beauchene‘s booth feature human forms that have been fragmented into disjointed planes in a quasi-Cubist manner (“Woman with Fish,” 2016) or radically reduced to stubby limbs and little else (“Equi Lib Reeum,” 2016). Puerto Rican artist Cristina Tufiño takes a different approach in her ceramic works in the booth of San Juan’s Galería Agustina Ferreyra. The works mimic the forms of conventional vases while also evoking certain body parts — the face, the torso, the hips — streamlined to a few telltale features. Nearby, the mezzanine booth of Brussels gallery Sorry We’re Closed features a set of tabletop works and one tower of ceramic heads by Eric Croes. The pieces’ cartoon-like forms and vibrant glazes are delightful.

Amid the riffs on conventional ceramic vessels, the standouts are the dozens by Los Angeles-based painter Roger Herman filling the walls and shelves in the booth of Paris gallery Lefebvre & Fils. Ranging from pitchers and vases to bowls and plates, many feature figurative images, from deathly skulls to grimacing figures. Around the corner, in the small booth of New York gallery Situations, three large vases by outsider artist Jerry the Marble Faun seem to burst with exotic flaura and fauna.

Finally, for those who prefer their ceramics more firmly in the lineage of minimalism and geometric abstraction, two standouts are Zachary Leener‘s psychedelic work in the booth of Los Angeles gallery Tif Sigfrids — which evokes a cactus or perhaps a key to an alternate reality — and Peter Shire‘s small work in the Derek Eller Gallery booth — which could almost be a maquette for the next starchitect-designed Miami Beach resort. Seen in the context of NADA Miami Beach’s longtime home, the charmingly old-school Deauville Beach Resort, these two works in particular stand out as alluring visions from a ceramic-filled future.