Adrien Brody Steals Spotlight at Art New York

This marks the first time that Context joins a jam-packed Frieze Week.

Adrien Brody. Courtesy of David Benrimon Fine Art LLC.
Adrien Brody. Courtesy of David Benrimon Fine Art LLC.
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Works by Eric Fischl at Hexton Gallery. Courtesy of Hexton, Chicago and Aspen.

Now in its second year, Art New York jump-started Frieze week 2016 by holding its VIP preview on Tuesday. The crowds, at least, seemed to appreciate the opportunity, turning out in force for the show at Pier 94 on the far west side of Manhattan.

This year saw the addition of the Context fair, a Miami transplant that, like Art New York, is in Nick Korniloff’s group of fairs, and is dedicated to the development and reinforcement of emerging and mid-career artists.

Inside the spacious pier the curious will find a vast array of art, ranging from Pop masters like Roy Lichtenstein, to contemporary stars like Eric Fischl, Robert Longo, and Kaws, as well as up-and-coming artists from Europe and South America.

Adrien Brody. Courtesy of David Benrimon Fine Art LLC.

Adrien Brody with art dealer David Benrimon. Courtesy of David Benrimon Fine Art LLC.

A highlight of this year’s fair—and a sure-fire visitor draw—is a selection of paintings by Oscar-winning actor and now artist Adrien Brody (following a pop-up show at the most recent Art Basel in Miami Beach) at Benrimon Projects.

The artist himself was on hand for the preview, sporting a white shirt and ponytail and sitting at a table in the Benrimon booth surrounded by his art, as he chatted with reporters and fair-goers.

Sculpture by Enrique Gomez de Molina at Bernice Steinberg Gallery of Coconut Grove, Florida. Photo by Eileen Kinsella

Sculpture by Enrique Gomez de Molina at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery of Coconut Grove, Florida. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, of Coconut Grove, Florida offered a fun and whimsical booth with an animal theme (flamingos for Florida and pigeons for New York, explained owner Bernice Steinbaum to us). Alongside a fantastic-looking lion and iridescent wall-mounted walrus by Enrique Gomez de Molina, were large black and white drawing/installations of towering skyscrapers and pigeons by Jennifer Basile, and computer renderings of various “digital” i.e on screen birds in real cages, by Troy Abbot.

Cuban artist Pavel Acosta’s near-identical replication of a Frida Kahlo self portrait, made entirely with paint chips “stolen” (as the artist describes it) from crumbling structures throughout Havana, holds a commanding position on the outside of the Steinbaum booth.

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Pavel Acosta at Bernice Steinbaum in Art New York. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

Adelson Galleries, of New York and Boston, opted for a solo show of works by Bogotá-born, Miami-based Federico Uribe, who crafts astounding-looking sculptures out of materials like bullet shells, colored pencils, and books. Gallery director Adam Adelson said MASS MoCA is set to have a year-long solo-exhibition of Uribe’s work, opening June 18.

Federico Uribe I Am Not Bambi (2016) Image: Courtesy of the artist and Adelson Galleries.

Federico Uribe, I Am Not Bambi (2016). Courtesy of the artist and Adelson Galleries.

We spoke with Blythe Bolton, a self-described “Art Geek” (it’s on her business card), and art fairs director of recently opened The Public House of Art in Amsterdam. Bolton said the gallery’s mission is to make art “accessible and affordable to all.” Chinese photographer Eric Guo was featured prominently with beautiful Vermeer-esque digital prints he manipulates with the help of Photoshop.

Eric Guo The Untouchables (2015). Image: Courtesy of The Public House of Art, Amsterdam.

Eric Guo, The Untouchables III (2015). Image: Courtesy of The Public House of Art, Amsterdam.

Paris-based Galerie Linz featured a more low-key, but intriguing booth with paintings by a range of artists including contemplative interior paintings by Antoni Taulé, sculpture by Robert Schad, and embroidered cloth by Mahé Boissel.

An embroidery by Mahé Boissel at Galerie Linz, Paris. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

Mahé Boissel at Galerie Linz, Paris. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

Bob Chase, of Hexton, showed an interesting mix of lesser-known works by Eric Fischl, including bronze sculptures, collages, and framed oil on Chromecoat (below). “It’s an important week to be in New York,” said Chase, adding that the growing number of high-profile fairs surrounding Frieze New York is starting to lend it the same weight as the Armory Show week in March.

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Eric Fischl, Untitled (2008) at Hexton. Photo by Eileen Kinsella

As it does in Miami, Context New York featured an eclectic selection of artists from younger galleries, including several solo shows. Dubner Moderne, which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, was one of several galleries that presented a solo show. The exhibition was focused on Li Jin watercolors including two series, each of 31 individual watercolor paintings with drypoint, dubbed “The Rose Tattoo,” and “A Month of Sundays.” These works depict “scenes of amorous interactions that are as seductively sweet as they are suggestive,” according to a statement from the gallery.

Li Jin, Lovers Tattoo (2015). Image: Courtesy of Dubner Moderne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Li Jin, Lovers Tattoo (2015). Image: Courtesy of Dubner Moderne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

London gallery Coates & Scarry also mounted a solo show, this one of work by painter Lisa Wright, who gallery partner Chippy Coates told us “has a great audience in America.” Her painting Fastened By A Button of Silk, was a curated pick of Context director Julian Navarro, one of several works highlighted throughout the fair.

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Lisa Wright Fastened by a Button of Silk (2016). Courtesy of Coates & Scarry, London.

Another eye-catching selection of large-scale paintings came from Ewa Bathelier, featuring isolated ballet tutus and kimonos against rough-hewn fields of color. They manage to be beautiful and somewhat sinister at once.

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Ewa Bathelier, Garden Dress (2016). Courtesy of Galleria Ca’d’Oro, Rome, Miami, and New York.

On a decidedly less fun note, there’s a project by the art group Blue and Joy, another special project curated for the fair by  Navarro. Donald Trump Does Not Exist (2015) consists of 600 spray-painted aluminum post-its featuring the outspoken presidential candidate’s choicest quotes. When viewed from afar, they form a close up of his eyes. The unveiling of that statement artwork coincided with the same night that Trump all but clinched the Republication nomination for US president, which makes it all the more unsettling.

Blue and Joy, Donald Trump Doesn't Exist (2016). Image: Courtesy of Galleria Ca'd'Oro

Blue and Joy, Donald Trump Doesn’t Exist (2016). Courtesy of Galleria Ca’d’Oro, Rome, Miami, and New York.


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