Greg S. Flood

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Art Writing

Post-mortem on artMRKT 2013

June 24, 2013

 

 Joan Brown at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim)

 

The 2013 Art Fair season arrived in San Francisco with about as much anticipation as the ticking of a clock. Their descent on the city marks the passing of another year and is a seasonal rite of passage. They also serve as the annual convention for the bay area art world, since it is the only time that collectors, curators, and gallerists all gather together in one place to see, be seen, check in with each other, and survey the changes in the landscape, if any, since last year.

 

 Bruce Conner at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim)

 

For 2013, there were only two fairs, as opposed to last year’s three. The SF Fine Art Fair has crumbled and a number of the exhibitors from there have moved to the artMRKT fair that was in its third year. The effect of this migration has been to generally lower the overall visual quality of artMRKT, though there were plenty of good works on display. Since the afore mentions dissolution, artMRKT was able to move from the Concourse Exhibition Center to the Festival Hall at Fort Mason Center, which is a bit of a shame since the Concourse was a nicer venue and easier to navigate.

Most of the big SF galleries, with a couple of notable exceptions, participated in the fair and provided much of the good quality work that was on view. In case you missed seeing the fair, the following is a roundup of the best of show for this year:

 Enrique Chagoya and Mildred Howard at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim)

 

Walking into the fair, I found the booth for Gallery Paule Anglim up front in one of the three prime spots. Guarding the booth this year were two small and absolutely stunning horses by the legendary Deborah Butterfield. Looking around I came across a number of works by Bruce Conner, a pair by Joan Brown, including an exceptionally alluring early drawing, Enrique Chagoya, Mildred Howard, Barry McGee, Canon Tolon, Lynn Hershman Leeson, J. John Priola, and Tom Marioni. A new addition to the Anglim stable is Richard Shaw, who fits in nicely among his contemporaries and had a good piece representing him. The consistency with which Paule Anglim shows great work is a testament to her eye and is a reason for prominence among SF dealers.

 

 Barry McGee at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim)

 

Richard Shaw at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim) 

 

Tom Marioni at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim) 

 

Lynn Hershman Leeson at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim) 

 

 

Crossing the center aisle to another prime spot I came upon Rena Bransten’s booth. The first piece that anyone could notice was a life size figure of an African American man holding a marionette of an African American woman. Made from latex and a number of other materials, the piece is by film maker/artist John Waters and is creepy to look at. Also being shown here was a large photograph by Vik Muniz, a couple of small mixed media/video sculptures by the rising star Tracy Snelling, a beautiful tapestry by Hung Liu, and a section of works by Marci Washington. One other artist of note on view was Henry Wessel, who was represented by several photographs from various parts of his career.

 

John Waters at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Rena Bransten Gallery) 

 

Marci Washington at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Rena Bransten Gallery) 

 

 

Tracy Snelling at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Rena Bransten Gallery)

 

Vik Muniz at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Rena Bransten Gallery) 

 

Henry Wessel at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Rena Bransten Gallery) 

 

Hung Liu at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Rena Bransten Gallery) 

 

The third prime position at the front of the fair was occupied by the Catharine Clark Gallery. Always pushing the boundaries, this year’s booth was no exception to the rule. Prominently displayed at the entrance was a scale model of a mosque made out of guns and ammunition by artist Al Farrow. Other political works on display included two large scale prints by Sandow Birk, a large sculpture by Walter Robinson, and two drawings by Kara Maria. Also on display were a large Chester Arnold, a set of Nina Katchadourian photographs, a tapestry by Andy Diaz Hope, and a good Timothy Cummings painting. In a satellite location, Catharine Clark put up a selection of signs by Anthony Discenza, one of which stated “Everything You’ve Heard is True”. I couldn’t think of a better set of parting words for those heading home.

 

Al Farrow at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

Andy Diaz Hope at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

Walter Robinson at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

Nina Katchadourian at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

Timmothy Cummings at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

Kara Maria at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

Sandow Birk at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

 

Anthony Discenza at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of the Catharine Clark Gallery) 

 

 

My journey through the fair continues in part 2, with more galleries, commentary, and images.

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