CONTEXT Art Miami Sets Its Focus on Emerging Art

But energy is in woefully short supply.

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Marck at Licht Feld Gallery.
Photo: Christie Chu.
Nimai Kesten, Golden Knot (2013).
Courtesy Licht Feld Gallery.
Peter Dauphin genannt Muth, Gezeiten (Tides) (Fukushima Series) (2012–13).
Courtesy Licht Feld Gallery.
Rafa Macarron at Galeria Casa Cuadrada.
Photo: Christie Chu.
Rafa Macarron at Galeria Casa Cuadrada.
Photo: Christie Chu.
Miler Lagos at Galeria Enrique Guerrero.
Photo: Christie Chu.
Miguel Angel Madrigal at Galeria Enrique Guerrero.
Photo: Christie Chu.
MARCK, Gegenstrom (2014).
Courtesy Licht Feld Gallery.

While the entire international art crowd seems to have descended upon Miami Beach this week, CONTEXT fair, the sister fair to Art Miami, which is focused on emerging and mid-career artists, was suspiciously empty.

The fair, which launched in 2012, is expanding and will soon have a New York edition (see “Nick Korniloff Reveals Plans for New Manhattan Art Fair“). But with so many satellite fairs in Miami, CONTEXT tries to distinguish itself by being at the cutting-edge of art. Though a valiant effort, it’s a mission that fails upon perusal of most of this year’s booths. 

Among the more interesting booths at the fair was Swiss-based Licht Feld Gallery run by Fredy Hadorn. With works by German based painter, Peter Dauphin genannt Muth, Japanese-American photographer, Ayakamay, and Swiss video-artist Marck, Licht Feld’s booth struck you as a space with a clear vision and aesthetic. Hadorn told artnet News that “business is very good compared to last year. The first day I sold two huge pieces, which has never happened before.” The gallery owner has been showing in Miami since 2007. “I spent all my money for the first show at SCOPE,” he said. “And it was the best decision I ever made.” When asked why he switched to CONTEXT he said, “after five years, [at SCOPE] I wanted a more modern art fair.”

According to Hadorn, the most popular pieces have been video works by Marck, a Swiss multi-media artist who likes to lock women (primarily his wife) up in metal boxes only to watch them struggle to find the exit. What kind of collectors were snapping up these sensual yet slightly sadistic works? Hadorn says two collectors from Miami.

Another booth from Mexico City, Galeria Enrique Guerrero, had a cohesive collection of work by artists from Chile and Mexico. The works were aesthetically less flashy, more earth-toned. Perhaps this is why, at a satellite fair in Miami, they just didn’t work. Gallery owner Enrique Guerrero did not seem happy with the turnout this year. “The main difference, is that we’re not part of [Art Miami] anymore,” he said. “They aren’t connected. There used to be a VIP lounge and champagne lounge, and it was the direct access to the other fair. Which we don’t have this year, which I think has brought in less people.”

Was the flow of foot traffic stopping at the much bigger sister fair, Art Miami? It’s a definite possibility, but if galleries are bringing new and exciting works—like Hadorn—it shows that product is, once again, king.


Go to artnet News’s Art Basel in Miami page for the latest coverage, including:

Overheard at the VIP Preview of Art Basel in Miami Beach

Art Basel in Miami Beach: The Definitive Sales Report

What To Buy? See These Top 10 Booths at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Art Basel in Miami Beach 2014 is a Rip-Roaring Success

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