UNTITLED, the ardent art fair darling since its start in 2012, esteemed for its signature curation and innovative selection of artists and galleries, never disappoints. One hundred galleries strong, this white tent slashed with a bold purple entrance was a beacon along the South Beach horizon under the resolute artistic direction of Omar Lopez-Chahoud.
Let us recap while making as many stabbing jokes as we can.
Modern master influences couldn’t be ignored—joyfully weaved into the fair with fabulous fauvist pieces like Lamar Peterson’s Satin Sheets weighed closely next to John Wesley’s Untitled at Fredericks and Freiser Gallery’s booth. The absence of perspective in each work immediately recalling Matisse’s Red Room and embracing their respective subjects without spatial illusion. Daniel Crews-Chubb’s massive Rituals masterfully incorporates our beloved online age with the golden Gauguin/Picasso days—internet porn represented through tribal fertility figures wielding De Kooning-esque sexual power. Makebish’s modest booth, so coolly utilized, transported us with Color Field impulses. Paul Kremer and Les Rogers pieces, like hugs from Ellsworth Kelly and Clyfford Still, bring you in sideways and transcend the figurative to commune with the work in its mythic minimalism. Nothing imitative, everything meditative.
Miami wouldn’t be Miami without its lustrous Latin American presence: highlights this week included Dos Palenqueras Sosteniedo un Acuario by José Olano. Through the reappropriation of quotidian objects—replacing a fruit basket with a fish bowl—he encourages the viewer to question the social structure of society. Brazilian artist Yara Pina, nominated as one of the top 10 artists at UNTITLED and represented by Nosco Gallery, spoke with us about her use of traditional elements of art to explore a material (in this case charcoal) and its limits. She redefines by re-contexualizing. Beat My Shadow, 2015 site specific to UNTITLED, documents the performative process of Pina smashing a charred club against paper.
Untitled Art Fair’s 2015 edition was open from December 2-6 on Ocean Drive and 12th Street in Miami Beach, FL