Art Fair Week: Abstract vs. Non-Abstract

There was a bunch of works in all the fairs that provided a balanced co-mingling of abstraction and representational. There are hints of familiar figures and landscapes, as well as a blurring of shape and form through geometric pattern and monochrome fields.

Abstracted Representations/Representational Abstractions in abundance:

img_3720Angelina Gualdoni at Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago (Volta)

An atmospheric and even mix between landscape and architecture, geometric shapes and natural form. Subtly and dramatic, I was immediate drawn to the dreamy wash of paint and the quietude of each form.

img_3899Nicholas Hlobo at Michael Stevenson Gallery, Capetown (Armory)

Thin fabric sewn on paper, mending and outlining a geographical form, its linearity streaming along with varying colors.

img_3767Dan Kopp at CTRL Gallery, Texas (Volta)

Sharp, bright, eyepopping colors come out at us with full force, jagged squared patterns creating an illusionistic bricked hallway, its perspective sucks us into its vortex.

img_3780Andy Harper at One in the Other Gallery, London (Volta)

These were nothing but pure technical skill and exploratory strokemaking. From afar its a conglomeration of seaweed squiggles.


Come closer and it’s a mass gathering of plant life and sea creatures, each executed with mastered swift swoops of the brush. Colors are lush and organic, decadent and regal.


I was amazed by the multiplicity of stroke styles, I can imagine the artist was having the time of his life experimenting with all the various shapes and sizes. A perfect example of painting being arranged form and color.

img_3914Chris Johanson at Jack Hanley, CA (Armory)

I very much enjoyed this artist’s merging of personal journalistic note drawing with geometric bright patterns of color in his recent show at Deitch. Here’s a triangularized multicolor mound.

img_0624Eugenie Tung at Vagabond Gallery, NY (Fountain)

Bird’s eye view of some town or another. Or, abstract landscape.

droppedimageAmir H. Fallah at Baer Ridgway Gallery, CA (Pulse)

In the realm of still life but with emphasis on patterns brought on the multiply incised sections. This one is titled Stripped pot in a Cave, pointing the attention to the pile of shapes and the swirled stripes rather than the actuall still lifes.

img_3946Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven at Zeno X, Belgium (Armory)

Figures abstracted, or abstractions figurated.


The figure is being engulfed by venomous shapes and color zones. I sense agony and desperation.

img_3854Michael Kvium at Faurschou Gallery, Denmark (Pulse)

Color gridded stone wall with sickened figure passing by unnoticed. The figures in this artist’s work are grotesque and monstrous but amicable. They are merged into scenic backdrops that also function as either geometric or monochromatic color fields. They are simultaneously disturbing and serene.

img_3853The painting is part of a triptych, a gradation from figure, to nature, to abstraction. It’s story is mysterious and lonely, finding quietude and contentment in isolation.

img_3999Anton Henning at Bob van Orsouw, Zurich (Armory)

Anton Henning is a perfect example of displaying this dichotomy. His heavily textured, thick swoopy abstractions turn portraits into compartmentalized cubist perspectives, harmoniously merging shapes with features of a figure. For example:

viewtwelfPortrait No.226 via Arndt & Partner site

My favorites of this artist are the ones that don’t incorporate portraiture and focus primarily on color play. But you get the point.

img_0671Maya Gold at Mike Weiss, NY (Scope)

Tiny little figures float along hazy cement floors, or meander along a fantasy world of pure color.

img_3875Danshaku Miyazawa at BTAP Gallery, Japan (Pulse)

Delicate watercolor circle shapes with a face imprinted somewhere between the lines.

img_3878Nozomi Kobayashi at BTAP Gallery, Japan (Pulse)

Circle patterns converge into a gremlin and a peacock. Nifty. Who’s that old master European artist that paints portraits comprised of fruits and vegetables? This reminded me of that painter.


Gordon Matta-Clark at Galerie Thomas Schulte, Germany (Armory)

Delicate sketches that must have been studies that would be recognizable and real.

img_3879Mequitta Ahuja at Bravin Lee, NY (Pulse)

A woman’s head hangs upside down, eyes closed with half a grin on her face, her hair spills and overflows into a tidal wave of textures, swoops, patterns, dots, lines, shapes and colors.


An engaging mix of such variety, my eyes spent plenty of time absorbing all the forms, one element at a time. A treat for the tired eyes.

img_3969Matthias Weischer at Eigen + Art, Germany (Armory)

These were magnificently tacky, accentuated by the patel hutes bordered on white. But it’s a good example of this abstraction vs. representation. This is an installation of a chair, a ball and dividers that turn into a painting:


The painfully flattened plane squishes the forms into the background until they are one.

img_0588Goedde at Glowlab, NY (Fountain)

Lines attack and converge, form webs and allude to space and non-space in this pseudo-abstract architectural sketch. The sparse use of color accentuating particular sections give the work an unfinished look. It is also thick with resin or some other thickening agent giving it a permanent decay aspect.

img_0704 Bruce Wilhelm at Ada Gallery, Virginia (Scope)

This artist is all about multiple layers, skinning, and bringing out the best between man and nature vs. the forces of abstraction. Each scene depicted is very much alive and active, and we are witnessing either the act of some theoretical attack or the aftermath of a duel. Who will win?


1 Comment

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One response to “Art Fair Week: Abstract vs. Non-Abstract

  1. I love so much of the work here especially: Eugenie Tung – N.Y; Mequitta Ahuja – N.Y; Angelina Gualdoni-Chicago; Andy Harper – London. It’s the natural forms that gets me, and the loose yet skillful use of technique and colour.

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