Art Week, More Art, More Observations

In retrospect, as the dust from last week settles, Constant Companion and I really took in a lot during Art Week. If you can imagine, there was even more that we did not see or do.

One day, while CC valiantly stayed home while the long-awaited workers came to put in one day in a never-ending construction job, I returned to the Design District. We actually started our annual art overload there (read the Nov. 30, 2021 post). My goal was to see the private collection only open at this crazy time (see Dec. 3, 2021 post, for last year’s visit see Dec. 6, 2020), for an invitation-only brunch, a few exhibits, and the overflow of public art.

As expected, parking in the District was the usual challenge. We have a few somewhat secret places known to the locals; one space waiting for me at the second one. Across the street was this enigmatic sculpture, Climax by Jean-Thierry Besin. Just like an oversized radiator to me!

Climax, Jean-Thierry Besin

Threading my way to the tour of the collection, I passed other pieces of Tomorrow Land, the District-wide annual commission, suspended from the trees.

Gumbo Limbo tree

After the amazing visit to the collection and after the delightful brunch, read free-flowing bubbly, I dropped into the Mitchell-Innes and Nash exhibition space to see their exhibit of nine self-taught African American artists. Among the artists represented were Freddie Brice, Mary T. Smith, Billy White, and more. Too bad the artworks were not labeled so I could not appreciate what I was looking at.

Willie Jinks, Untitled (What in Hell Bird…), c. 1990s
gallery view

Next stop, the annual another annual Jeffrey Deitch Art Week temporary exhibit, “Shattered Glass,” curated by Melahn Frierson and AJ Girard in the enigmatic Moore Building. An engaging display of new art by emerging artists of color that had debuted in Los Angeles last spring was awaiting me. I am always drawn to Zaha Hadid’s 2005 installation Elastika, which elegantly spans the central atrium of this three floor building.

Zaha Hadid, Elastika

The following is a selection of the artwork that caught my eye, just the tip of the iceberg.

Diana Yesenia Alvarado
Gabriel Sanchez
Thelounious, Post Mortum Portrait of Emmett and Louis Till
Yoyo Lander

I was struck by how she can manipulate the papers to create this realistic collage, amazing.
Kari Johnson-Ricks

Her work on cut paper is kept in place with custom brass pins, see below:

Strolling through the District to my next destination took me past another public art work I’d not seen before. April Bey’s tall and narrow billboard, Colonial Day Sale: What Are You Gonna Do, If You Like a Woman and Your Mama No Like Am? (2020), by pays homage to African and African diaspora cultures. How appropriate after the immersion in the Deitch exhibition.

Next stop was a prominent plaza where a chess-inspired installation for the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring/Summer collection, paid homage to the late Virgil Abloh (see Dec. 21, 2020 for Abloh’s enigmatic Vuitton installation last year). The installation was filled by sightseers snapping selfies of themselves interacting in the two oversized sculptures set in an oversized chess game.

Earlier in the week when CC and I walked through the Design District, we could not help but see garlands of colorful chairs adorning the Dior Store and filling the store’s windows. This was a visual announcement of the Dior Medallion Chair exhibition, which was shown for the first time during Art week, at Superblue, an immersive/experiential art space being billed as an arts center.

The Medallion Chair Exhibition was shown for the first time as part of the annual Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami. The chair, a symbol of Louis XVI style is chosen by Christian Dior himself for seating at his fashion shows in a “sober, simple and above all classic and Parisian” way. The medallion chair has become a signature of the house of Dior. For the exhibit, the chair was reinterpreted by a selection of international artists.

gallery view

Khaled El Mays was featured in Design Miami, also

Sam Baron
Constance Guisset

I’m not sure if this is a Medallion Chair, but it’s a functional chair one of the booths at Art Miami!

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