Yesterday was the last day of our annual Art Week. Constant Companion, Daughter, and I ventured out for our last look. Actually, it was CC’s first day at the Main Fair since he’d been away all week. I was saving up to go with him.
I always forget that his pace is excruciatingly slow as he considers each piece of art from every conceivable direction. Then he engages the gallerists in discussions about what he is seeing. On the other hand, I’m more of a grazer. I browse. I look from afar. I move in when I’m really intrigued, interested, and want to see more. And, I rarely speak to the gallerists. There are so many ways to work through the art fairs, and galleries and museums for that matter. We go at it differently and always see different works of art and sometimes the same works of art.
This was my second trip to the main show and I saw so much more (see Dec 6 post for Day 1). I was able to see a few more Kabinetts, quite a number of mainstream contemporary artists, and lots more as I grazed along.
The Fondation Beyeler display singlehandedly answered the question posed above. They presented a series of framed works by Goya, The Disasters of War. What a privilege to see this very significant collection.
Seeing the classics provided me with a twentieth century Art History refresher. Scattered throughout the galleries (some of the represented by multiple galleries) were works by Romare Beardon, Alexander Calder, Carlos Cruz-Diaz, Thornton Dial, Sam Gilliam, Jacob Lawrence, Louis Nevelson, Richard Prince, George Segal, Jesus Rafael Soto, Andy Warhol, Ai Wei Wei, Kehinde Wiley. It was also like seeing old friends to see the work of some of these artists.
Jesus Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diaz also figure heavily in the Juan Carlos Maldonado which Constant Companion and I visited earlier during this year’s Art Week Marathon.
Thornton Dial is another old friend. The first exhibition incubator curated by my FIU Museum Studies students focused on the folk art in the collection of the Frost Art Museum. A central piece in that summer exhibit was one of Dial’s tigers. So comforting to see other Dial works. Thanks to the Andrew Edlin gallery.
I saw a much larger Sam Gilliam piece on my first visit (it was also featured in a print article during the week). I did not even try to find it in the maze and through the crowds as the day progressed.
When Constant Companion and I compared notes after we both got home (at different times. I left early and walked home; he stayed til the bell rang!), we realized that the same Jacob Lawrence had caught our eyes.
Louis Nevelson, Richard Prince, George Segal … what can I say?
Ai Wei Wei and Kehinde Wiley are today’s rock stars. Wiley spoke on Monday evening at a big buck (spendy, one of my brothers says) event. A few years ago, I saw him at this fair. Ai Wei Wei’s piece is constructed of Legos!
Here is a smattering of other artists whose work caught my eye during my stroll through the art fair. First, two artists from Africa:
A growing representation of African-American artists, another long-awaited art history class.
Several artworks were by artists I’d seen earlier in the week or reminded me of images that I’d also seen earlier in the week:
I was struck by the image of the woodpecker in each of these pieces –
Oh gosh, in January 1971, after dropping out of college (TMI) my parents sent me to spend a (cold wintry) month in London. Our flight was diverted to Manchester because of weather and I actually heard someone declare that it was “a real pea-souper.” Right out of Sherlock Holmes.
I haunted the museums and immersed myself in the theatre. What a wonderful month. At one of the museums I must have seen an exhibition of Palestinian embroideries and I purchased two small catalogs written by Shelagh Weir. I had fallen in love with the art form. Thus, both on this day and at another gallery was drawn like a magnet to the work of Jordan Nassar.
P.S. I did return to school and get my B.A. in African Studies and Textile Crafts.
And finally, if you’ve been reading this blog for the past week, you know I’ve tried to also capture/document the artfulness of dress. When I saw this well-known Andy Warhol print, I remembered the dress (sorry for the photo quality) seen on the first day at Art Basel! Somethings in life to imitate art!
Thus ends, the 2019 diary/observations of Miami’s famous Art Week. I do have a few more ramblings to add which I’ll do this week, if you all don’t mind.