Greg S. Flood

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Art Writing

Post-mortem on artMRKT 2013 (part 2)

ArtMRKT 2013 had a new location, and therefore had a new experience built into it. I have never been much of a fan of the Fort Mason buildings, since their long, linear shape gives one the feeling of having to walk for an eternity to get out of the place, particularly if walking from the back of the building. Also, having been to a number of art fairs there, the organizers never seem to change the overall arrangement of the place. With three hallways running on the long axis from one end of the other, it makes it too easy to slip by booths and miss the work. I can understand that part of the reason for this might be because of fire code regulations, but a little more imagination on their part while working within the rules could really change the overall experience of visitors.

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Matthew Palladino and Brion Nuda Rosch at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Eli Ridgway Gallery)

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Sean McFarland at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Eli Ridgway Gallery)

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James Sterling Pitt at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Eli Ridgway Gallery)

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Travis Collinson at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Eli Ridgway Gallery)

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Wolfgang Ganter at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Eli Ridgway Gallery)

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Cordy Ryman at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Eli Ridgway Gallery)

After visiting the galleries up in front, I slipped down the right side aisle and came upon the booth where Eli Ridgway Gallery had set up shop. One of the newer galleries in the San Francisco scene, it has consistently shown a very smart and cutting edge set of artists. The first thing I noticed were two beautiful sculptures by James Sterling Pitt, whose works serve as visual keys to his damaged memory, the result of a terrible accident. Also prominently displayed were a series of photographs by Sean McFarland, whose interest in the human made landscape is very relevant to the trajectory of our culture today. A pair of photographs by Wolfgang Ganter, who constructs his images using non-traditional methods, loomed large for visitors walking by. Other works on view included two moody drawings by Travis Collinson, a Technicolor print by Matthew Palladino, a photograph by Brion Nuda Rosch, and a piece by Cordy Ryman.

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Catherine Wagner at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Stephen Wirtz Gallery)

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Chris McCaw at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Stephen Wirtz Gallery)

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Catherine Spence at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Stephen Wirtz Gallery)

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Todd Hido at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Stephen Wirtz Gallery)

Walking along the left side of the fair, I unexpectedly came upon a display from the Stephen Wirtz Gallery. There, I was pleased to see a great piece by photographer Todd Hido, whose landscapes really are some of my favorites. Turning around to see the rest of the booth, I spotted a beautiful sun burned photograph by Chris McCaw, who is doing some of the most original work in photography today. Looking up, I found peering down on fair visitors an owl created by Catherine Spence. Joining it was also a fox on the ground in the right corner. As I was rounding to corner to leave the booth, I found on the outside wall the polished work of Catherine Wagner and a pair of photographic gems by Michael Kenna.

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Robert Arneson at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Brian Gross Fine Art)

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Roy De Forest at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Brian Gross Fine Art)

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Teo Gonzalez at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Brian Gross Fine Art)

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Feddy Chandra at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Brian Gross Fine Art)

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Dana Hart-Stone at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Brian Gross Fine Art)

A little ways down the center aisle I found Brian Gross Fine Art with a display of large works. The first thing that anyone could notice walking into his booth was the 20 foot painting by Dana Hart-Stone. Digitally printed directly onto canvas, Hart-Stone’s paintings are of patterns made from repeating images he has sourced from a variety of places. The images are scanned, digitally manipulated to alter their dimensions, and tonally altered to create sumptuous color combinations that glow off the canvas. For me, this piece was the best in show for the artMRKT this year without question.

Turning to my left I found a medium size painting by Roy De Forest, which also has one of his trademark hand carved frames. At my feet I found a huge self-portrait in bronze by the legendary Robert Arneson. With the head tilted to one side and his tongue sticking out, Arneson was, as ever, having fun with his audience. Also of note was a large Toe Gonzalez painting, which displayed some new techniques on his part, a beautiful Freddy Chandra wall sculpture, and a painting by Ruth Pastine.

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Richard Bassett at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Jack Fischer Gallery)

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Rogelio Manzo at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Jack Fischer Gallery)

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Scott Yeskel at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Jack Fischer Gallery)

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Heather Wilcoxon at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Jack Fischer Gallery)

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Lauren DiCioccio's Cross Stitched Books at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Jack Fischer Gallery)

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Lauren DiCioccio's Soft Sculptures at artMRKT 2013 (Image courtesy of Jack Fischer Gallery)

Heading down to get a drink and a nibble, I found Jack Fischer’s booth adjacent the lounge area. While there were a number of large works on view, it was the more intimate ones that captured my attention. Lauren DiCioccio was well represented by her cross stitched books, a couple of needlepoint magazine covers, and some of the more recent soft-sculptures displayed around the booth. Rogelio Manzo had a selection of his paintings of disfigured portraits on an outside wall, which draw the viewer in with their beauty and gruesomeness. Right next to those was a moody landscape by Scott Yeskel, and dispersed around the booth were paintings by Heather Wilcoxon. Lastly, in the left corner of the booth were the needlepoint pillows of the late Richard Basset, a tribute to his craft.

My visit was not finished yet, though. In Part 3 I visit some of the out of town galleries on show and look back on the fair as a whole.

#MathewPalladino #EliRidgwayGallery #BrionNudaRosch #ArtMarketSanFrancisco #LaurenDiCiccio #HeatherWilcoxon #ScottYeskel #RogelioManzo #RichardBassett #BrianGrossFineArt #DanaHartStone #FreddyChandra #TeoGonzalez #RoyDeForest #RobertArneson #ToddHido #CatherineSpence #CatherineWagner #ChrisMcCaw #CordyRyman #WolfgangGanter #TravisCollinson #JamesSterlingPitt #SeanMcFarland

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