5 Outstanding Discoveries at Miami Art Week’s Satellite Fairs
Thousands of artists are showing in Miami right now. Here are a few that stood out from the crowd.
When you’ve gotten your fill of blue chip contemporary art and seven-figure masterpieces from the mother of all fairs—Art Basel Miami Beach—there are plenty of opportunities to branch out beyond the convention center to one of dozens of satellite fairs spread across the city. There, you’ll find plenty of excitement, from up-and-coming artists with loads of buzz to totally new discoveries who are just emerging on the scene.
Here are some artist names to watch that we came across this week.
Who: It’s much easier to locate Yevgeniya Baras’s expanding influence in the art world than her paintings’ exact place in the discipline. In 2018 alone, the Russian-born artist paired solo exhibitions at LA’s the Landing and Berlin’s 68projects with prestigious wins of both a Pollock Krasner grant and a residency at the Chinati Foundation. She will follow up this banner year by opening two solo gallery exhibitions in 2019: one at Detroit’s Reyes Projects, and another at Lower East Side mainstay Nicelle Beauchene, with whom she previously showed in 2016.
What: Baras’s paintings stick in your brain largely because you can’t quite figure out where else in the world they quite belong. Her painted vocabulary alludes to linguistic or religious symbols without invoking any actual examples of either. Rather than allowing her satisfying earth and jewel tones to peacefully co-exist, she sometimes pollutes each with the other to yield an unsettling amalgam of hues. And her surfaces simultaneously embrace and subvert assemblage, as she wraps (but doesn’t necessarily “stretch,” per se) her stretcher bars in canvas or knobby burlap before adhering elements like wood, stone, and rubber. The results nag you like a cliffhanger ending long after you’ve walked away.
Where: The booth of the Landing, Los Angeles
How Much: Works on view at the Landing’s booth were priced at $4,500. The gallery said it had placed several by the end of the fair’s opening day.
Chi Ming at Art Miami
Who: The 34-year old artist, who was born in Yantai, Shangdong Provence, and now lives and works in Beijing, is the third generation of a family of painters. However, his style differs markedly from his father and grandfather, who earned their living painting portraits of Mao and movie posters. Having earned his MFA in oil painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2011, Chi’s work has since appeared in several Ethan Cohen group shows, international art fairs, and the Minsheng Museum, in Shanghai.
What: Amid the many splashy works on view at Art Miami, Ming’s diminutive, diamond-shaped canvases with deft brushstrokes stand out. His subject matter homes in on ordinary, everyday scenes of life in China. He also paints scenes from his childhood, and fading memories of his family which impart a melancholy, nostalgic air.
Where: The booth of Ethan Cohen Fine Art, New York
How Much: $1,500–25,000, depending on size and subject matter
Bisa Butler at PULSE
Who: For the second year in a row, Claire Oliver Gallery’s booth includes vibrant work by Bisa Butler, an MFA graduate from Howard University in Washington, DC. Though she studied painting, now she works entirely with fabric, creating large-scale figurative works that each take 300 to 400 hours to complete.
What: Butler, a third-generation seamstress, collects used clothing from her father’s native Ghana and other African nations, and incorporates the brightly colored fabric into her many-layered quilted portraits. Employing a painter’s eye to her work with textile, Butler elevates this traditional women’s work to the realm of fine art. “A quilt is also something warm that nurtures us, so she likes that idea of it being a practical thing that’s comforting and has a long tradition and history—not that you would ever actually use these!”, said gallery owner Claire Oliver.
How Much: Ahead of Thursday’s VIP opening, the gallery sold all four of Butler’s available works to public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the 21c Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, for $18,000–36,000 each. Earlier this fall at EXPO Chicago, another ten works were quickly snapped up by collectors. “It’s great to see the demand,” said PULSE director Katelijne De Backer, who last year presciently insisted the gallery showcase Butler’s work more prominently in their booth.
Where: The booth of Claire Oliver Gallery, New York
Who: A 29-year-old Philadelphia artist with a Yale MFA and a tremendous amount of buzz, Shimoyama paints mesmerizing portraits that often comment on his multifaceted concerns—from police-shooting victims to notions of masculinity—as a young gay black man in America, embellishing them with with sequins and other eye-grabbing materials to provide layers of unexpected visual counterpoint. He currently has a solo show (“Cry, Baby”) at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and recently completed a stint at Miami’s Ayn Rand-inspired Fountainhead Residency.
What: At Untitled, De Buck gallery brought several smaller paintings from Shimoyama’s series exploring the culture of black barbershops, along with two dazzling larger portraits from his new body of work incorporating books. One, a self-portrait, shows the artist, eyes ablaze with rhinestones, reading V.S. Naipul’s The Loss of Eldorado, which hearkens back to Shimoyama’s own family history in Trinidad.
Where: The booth of De Buck Gallery, New York
How Much: The smaller works are around $18,000 while the larger are priced at about $50,000—but they were all sold out on the fair’s opening day, gone to his growing cadre of collectors. His paintings “are never available for more than a few days,” says his dealer, David De Buck.
Who: Italian Brazilian artist Giulia Mangoni was selected by her masters program at SVA to present at Satellite, Miami’s scrappiest fair. Though she’s had a sprinkling of showings (at Museo Orto Botanico in Rome, All Saints Rectory in London, and the SVA Flatiron Gallery), this is her first time in Miami, and her first-ever art fair.
What: Mangoni has transformed her shipping container into an Italianate banquet hall, with a long table lit by candles and elegantly appointed place settings. Eerily empty, the abandoned display, titled Indigestible Feast, suggests the end of an empire, a dying aristocracy at the end of the world. “The idea is that no one will ever eat here,” Mangoni told artnet News, as she prepared to bake a loaf of bread in an electric oven hooked up to one of the generators powering the Satellite lot. The performance element, just outside the shipping container, highlights the traditional role of the women at the feast: working hard in the kitchen but unable to take part in the festivities.
The piece is inspired by Mangoni’s childhood in Italy, with wallpaper based on photographs of her childhood home, and two rows of paintings that feature enlarged details from her grandmother’s art collection. She’s also encouraging viewers to consider the rituals of dining as it relates to the rituals of Catholicism. “I’ve been making work about being brought up in this faith,” she added.
Where: Sponsored by SVA MFA Art Practice, New York at Satellite, held this year out of shipping containers in an empty lot across from NADA’s Ice Palace Studios
How Much: For the installation without the paintings (including the napkins, the Italian porcelain plates and silverware, the three hand-painted long tablecloths, the candelabra, the final madonna painting at the very end with a stitched-on dress, the two banners outside and the four carpets underneath): $5,000. For the installation’s small paintings: $400 each or the whole group of 6 for $8,000. For all of it: price negotiable.
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