UNTITLED Fair Gets Silly With Sand Nudes and Maurizio Cattelan’s Bizarre Lounge in Miami
There's something here for everyone.
A bronzed middle-aged man in a Speedo was busy making sand nude sculptures in provocative positions outside UNTITLED fair when artnet News arrived at the fourth edition of Miami Art Week. Besides the ocean view, it is the sense of humor and lack of pretension that bring art lovers to the popular satellite show.
Early Wednesday morning, the fair was relatively tranquil compared to opening night. But this was all the better to see art from over 127 international exhibitors. The lengthy white tent was drenched in sunlight—we spotted a few gallerinas donning sunglasses to block out the rays.
Los Angeles-based gallery Royale Projects’ entire booth was dedicated to Texan-born New York-based Alejandro Diaz. Exploring the “White male genius,” Diaz presented five humorous works that poked fun at modern masters such as Jackson Pollock, Dan Flavin, and Bruce Nauman.
Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp’s most famous piece, was reimagined as a flat sticker with a three-dimensional soap cake placed at its center flanked by the phrase “This Piece Stinks” written in elegant cursive. It’s the witty art historical references that makes these works instantly likable.
Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran’s booth featured Montreal-based artist Dominique Petrin, who created an intriguing site-specific installation of corporate colors. One moment your eye would spot a Keith Haring-inspired print, then it would skid over to a black-and-white puzzle piece, a silk-screened potted plant, or an image of an iPhone. It was all very intense.
Petrin, who was at the booth, explained to artnet News, that “the cognitive process is part of my work. I wanted to create a virtual environment that was fake, but you are real.”
In its first year exhibiting with the fair, New York-based gallery Postmasters brought playful paintings by Austin Lee and sculptures by Rafael Rozendaal.
“Everything is digital,” Thomas Banovich, co-owner of the gallery, told artnet News of his and co-owner Magdalena Sawon’s booth.
UNTITLED’s artistic director Omar Lopez-Chahoud told artnet News that NF Galerie’s booth was a must-see, and we agree. Rikrit Tiravanija and Tomas Vu layered the walls with black and white images of historical and pop culture revolutionaries such as Alan Turing, Pussy Riot, the Unabomber, and Bruce Lee.
Framed political newspaper clippings are layered over the images, with aggressive phrases like “ALL YOU NEED IS DYNAMITE” painted in silver capital letters. A six-foot mural, Green Go Home, lined the booth wall, a play on the phrase “gringo.”
Lopez-Chahoud explained to artnet News the wall is “meant to be a wall of resisters, and of resistance.” The booth created a space of tension you could cut with a knife.
If the Internet nor politics is your cup of tea, Loretta Howard recreated their September exhibition “Where Sculpture and Dance Meet: Minimalism from 1961 to 1979,” an exploration into how choreographers and artists collaborated on performance pieces during a critical juncture in history.
Here, a 1963 Sol Lewitt grid sculpture sits in front of a video of Lucinda Child’s Dance (1979); the dancer and choreographer collaborated with LeWitt on the set design, and Phillip Glass composed the score. It’s a triad worthy of a moment of reflection, during the hectic pace of the fair.
Most fun of all was Maurizio Cattelan and Pieorpaolo Ferrari’s TOILETPAPER lounge, which included rugs of their bizarre images and “marble” tombstones to purchase. Ultimately, the two artists give the audience what they really want: a venue that is always Instagram-worthy.
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