December 15, 2014, 3:36pm
As I write this, it has been a busy couple of weeks for the medium of painting. I just returned from my annual trip to art world summer camp, aka Art Basel Miami Beach, where thousands of art-hungry viewers were inundated with paintings of every conceivable scale, media, and subject matter. Some were good, some were bad, many were derivative, and most will be forgotten before the decade ends. On the heels of the various fairs closing, critic and curator Christian Viveros-Faune unleashed a caustic and much passed-around article about art fairs and their negative effect on the type of art currently being produced. He specifically targeted what he calls Zombie Painting, which he identifies as a bland and toothless sort of abstraction that seems to be all the rage. (Jerry Saltz has been beating this same drum for quite a while.)
Meanwhile, in the high temple of modernism––New York’s Museum of Modern Art––curator and past New American Paintings juror Laura Hoptman has just opened The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World. The exhibition features the work of seventeen painters, including Joe Bradley, Matt Connors, Mark Grotjahn, and the young and controversial phenom Oscar Murillo, and is the institution’s first serious group show on painting in a number of years. Most of the artists in this show are art market favorites, so stay tuned as the critical writing on this exhibition is sure to be a roller coaster ride. - Steven Zevitas, Editor & Publisher, New American Paintings
December 03, 2014, 9:52am
The art market is really a miracle of evolution…it is a machine…and all this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks. Like a shark, if it stops moving forward it will quickly die. To prevent this from happening, the art market has become exceedingly good at generating and packaging the next best thing. In the old days critics and curators thought long and hard about visual culture and classified periods of time and groups of artists accordingly. These days things are moving much too quickly. We used to think in terms of –isms, but now we become briefly aware of trends.
At any given time there are numerous trends flowing through the art world. Of all the stakeholders, it is perhaps not surprising that dealers value their emergence the most. After all, there is great marketing leverage when an artist can be attached to something greater than his or her own individual practice. Collectors love trends to. It makes things super easy. Just look for something that people are excited about and buy anything that kind of looks like it. I see plenty of this in my art dealer life...these "collectors" typically have much better ears than eyes.
NICOLAS DESHAYES |Vein Section (or a cave painting), 2014, vitreous enamel on steel, powder-coated aluminum frame, 33 1/10 × 23 3/5 × 1 3/5 in, Courtesy of Jonathan Viner.
Of all the trends that will be on display in Miami this week, one strikes me as particularly pervasive: process-based painting. And one fair has more of it then any other: the ultra hip Nada Miami Art Fair. Even a cursory look at what treasures the fair will hold quickly reveals that an overwhelming amount work that belongs to the same family. Moreover, this work is spread across the stables of a wide swath of galleries. When looking at it, descriptives that come to mind include: abstract, anti-compositional, vintage, distant, cool, decorative, seductive, all-over, photographic, entropic, pattern, digital, repetitive, patina and processed. Artists that come to mind: Polke, Oehlen, Wool and Guyton.
There is no doubt that abstract painting has been the most exhibited art form over the past decade, and it has come in a variety of brands. Lately, there seem to be more and more artists who are defining their practice not so much with a specific subject or style, but by the way in which their work is made. Bleach, printing technologies, fire extinguishers, photographic chemicals, the sun and more have been deployed in the service of aesthetic advancement. The results are varied. Artists such as Hugh Scott Douglas and Sam Moyer, both of whom are on view at Miami Basel, are making substantial work and truly pushing the discourse forward. Many others are finding their way.
For those of you in Miami this week i will be curious to hear what you think. Are we witnessing the birth of Process-ism, or simply being offered this season’s hottest trend? - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
November 30, 2014, 12:02pm
It is Miami time again. I spent the last few weeks prepping for my own gallery’s presentation (UNTITLED, Booth #A04), and finally had a chance to peruse what is happening at the various fairs that will be scattered throughout the city. At the top of the heap is, of course, the fair that started them all: Art Basel Miami Beach. Over the next few days, two hundred and fifty + galleries representing thousands of artists will be busy installing their booths in preparation for next Wednesday’s Private Viewing. With the contemporary art market continuing to race along a break-neck speeds, all indications are that it will be another successful year for all involved.
I spent a few hours visiting various sites on-line to get the lay of the land. With very few exceptions I focused on emerging/mid-career artists…I mean, we all know what an Anish Kapoor looks like at this point. The list below is made up of artists and work that I am particularly excited to see next week. Enjoy the list. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
September 22, 2014, 9:28am
As the Houston Fine Art Fair is in full swing, one can’t help but think of her younger, hotter sister, Texas Contemporary Art Fair, which finished its three day run last week. Here’s an overview of the state of painting at this year’s Texas Contemporary. - Seth Orion Schwaiger, Austin Contributor
April 21, 2014, 9:16am
Is there a reason we’re so drawn to hand-lettering right now? Why are we craving handmade cards, signs, and posters in this moment? Why do we gravitate towards making hand-lettered flyers and signs and cards as opposed to designing on the computer? Maybe it’s just because we don’t know how to use Adobe InDesign and Illustrator… but we think there’s more to it than that. - Lauren Gallow & Ellen C. Caldwell
Gemma O’Brien | “Better Left Unsaid” installation view at the Freemantle Arts Centre, 2013. Courtesy of the Jacky Winter Group.
March 19, 2014, 5:39pm
Artists come and go, and so do galleries. Last week gallery owner Kristen Dodge announced that DODGEgallery, which has been in operation since 2010 in New York City’s bustling Lower East Side arts district, was closing shop. The news took a lot of people, including myself, by surprise. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
March 12, 2014, 5:37pm
Armory Week is a beast. After experiencing a non-stop visual bombardment of incredible artworks from around the world for three solid days, my eyes needed a rest. But once the art hangover subsided, I was surprised by the clarity I felt surrounding some of my favorite pieces. A few were immediate hits, while others were slow burns I found myself mulling over long after the fairs ended. That being said, I wanted to share with you some of the artists who captured my attention, brought something new to the table, and prompted my weary eyes to un-glaze during this year's Armory Week. – Elizabeth Devlin, Boston Contributor
March 10, 2014, 11:38pm
Finally, from my trip to NYC this weekend, my visit to the Whitney. I'm no critic, that is for sure. I have opinions but I'm not in a position to tell you what's good and what's bad. I can only show you what I liked, and highlight some pieces for you in case you can't make it. However, I will say that I found the Biennial a bit overcrowded with work. There was just too much. I think less is more, but look at some of the installation shots and see if you agree. Oh, and it was almost 80 degrees on the 4th floor, and I have evidence, so if you come across a shot of a thermostat, that wasn't a work of art. - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
Check out all of the photos that I took of the Whitney Biennial on our Flickr page.
Molly Zuckerman-Hartung (NAP #95)
March 09, 2014, 7:26pm
Back from New York and combing through hundreds of pictures. If you didn't make it to the Armory Show this year, or if you're looking for a refresher, check out my pics! Obviously, not everything, but things that caught my eye while browsing the fair. The images are on our Flickr page.
In the next few days I'll post some images from my trip over to the Volta Fair and Whitney Biennial.
- Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
March 09, 2014, 10:54pm
Yesterday I posted pics from the Armory Show, and I hope you enjoyed them. Today I bring you shots from the Volta Show, one of my favorite fairs around. So many great artists, but these are some of my favorites...Take a look, maybe you'll see something you like. Tomorrow...Whitney Biennial. - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
Check out the photos on our Flickr Page!
Alfred Steiner | Poulsen, Copenhagen
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