Art Miami in New York threw open its doors for the inaugural preview yesterday, as the latest art fair to join the already-packed lineup for Frieze Week. Situated on Pier 94—better known as the home of the annual Armory Show— the new fair brought some of its balmy Miami aesthetic along with it, including its signature bright white and blue banners and an outside box office (see Brian Boucher Survives Mazes, Sweaty Dudes, and Velcro at Frieze New York and A Hungry Art Lover’s Guide to the Best Food at Frieze).
“You walk straight into the booths and the art,” director Katelijne de Backer told artnet News. As the longtime director of the Armory Show, she knows the pier layout well, and wanted to give this fair its own unique look. The centrally located VIP lounge also gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the art offerings as they relax and sip custom cocktails (see Eight Great Booths to Check Out at NADA Fair and Try Doing These Four Really Cool Things at Select).
The 100 or so international exhibitors inside showed a wide range of modern and contemporary work from blue chip masters like Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg to contemporary stars like Mark Tansey, Damien Hirst, and Fred Tomaselli, up to buzzy names like Oscar Murillo. We also saw our fair share of street art including works by Banksyand Mr. Brainwash; Contessa Gallery filled its booth with a street art theme, and Keszler Gallery from Southampton did the same. Among the rare historical works on view was one of Monet’s “Water Lilies” at Palm Beach’s Arcature Fine Art, juxtaposed with Lichtenstein Pop version of the same theme.
Rosenbaum Contemporary, of Boca Raton, showed beautiful large scale photography by the likes of Robert Polidori and Simon Proctor, as well as Thomas Hartman’s arresting, large scale paintings of crowds.
We also made some fun discoveries, including Spanish artist Rafa Macarron’s solo show at Bogota’s Galeria Casa Cuadrado. His imagined fantastical settings and vibrant colors are rendered in a somewhat cartoonish style that evokes the kinetic drawings of Ralph Steadman. The Haitian-born, New York-based artist named Engels chatted with us about his methodology for his abstract works for Unix Gallery‘s booth, including using found objects and staples. Also on hand was artist Peter Anton, whose huge hyperreal wall-hung sculpture, titled, “Steak” continues his food-centric theme.