I’ll admit Pulse was a bit dull. There wasn’t much for amusement, nothing stellar, nothing with brevity or breathtaking extravagance. But I did go out of my way to notice works based on repetition, pattern, and cuteness. Highlights:
Jorge Mayet at Galeria Horrach Moya
Delicate sculptures of uprooted and destructed trees, floating by wispy threads, suspended and still while evoking movement.
Andrew Schoultz at Morgan Lehman
Chaotic and explosive, these paintings are patterned with swoops, rays, lashes, swirls, specks and curves, executed with precision and obsession. If Julie Mehretu, Jules de Balincourt, and Mark Grotjahn had babies together, this would be the outcome.
Emilie Clark at Morgan Lehmann
Fluid dreamy watercolors of blending natural history with abstraction. Most impressive is the artists Weeklies series, creating a painting every week since the nineties covering an encyclopedic range of untitled specimens, each work a mere suggestion of wildlife, such as the caccoons and mating flies shown above.
Enrique Gomez de Molina at Spinello Gallery
This is what animals would look like if they were donned in European mod fashion culture. Lush and glittery, faux feather and high claws. It’s high fashion metamorphosed into the animal kingdom.
A series of small quirky narrative drawings lined the walls, all dark, creepy, nightmarish but with a tint of cute (there were many works at the fairs suggesting cuteness). According to the website Dumontier’s series of works are in no way similar to the aesthetic of Farber so I’m curious how this collaboration came out. His minimal, sheer depictions of everyday utilitarian objects such as rubber bands and matches are far in conception from the disturbed child’s dream that is Farber’s.
Laurina Paperina at Perugi Artecontemporanea
Here we go again with the cute. Images of skullified figures and animals, drawn on purple and yellow post-its. There’s the Bin Laden skullface, Michael Jackson skullface, Pablo Picasso skullface, Damien Hirst skullface, and Snoop Dog skullface. By utilizing the apocalyptic into the cute cartoon illustration aesthetic the work becomes an accessible yet foreboding piece.
William Powhida at Charlie James Gallery
Powhida’s Art Basel Miami Beach Hooverville has been the buzz about town. It’s an art world zombie land where prestigious gallerists, artists, collectors and critics have congregated in a town for the fatigued and failing. It’s institutional critique at its finest, with cynical outsider looking in ever so precisely, inquisitively, mockingly.
Kiel Johnson at Davidson Contemporary
A series of vintage and fancy digital SLRs model cameras made out of chipboard. Pretty crafty and neat. More impressive is all his other series of works, seen on his website, especially the pattern and detail heavy drawings and a handmade press machine.
Megan Whitmarsh at Michael Rosenthal
An artist’s fantasy of the meta studio manifested in physical form. Plush and fluffy, objects of tools and furniture, all contents of what would be found in this dream studio, all made out of stuffed fabric. Computer, paint tubes, a radio, brushes, and inspiration boards, the setting is accompanied by drawings of piled detritus and cute futuristic warfare.
Roberto Molla at Christina Ray
Japanese infused architectural drawings by a Spanish artist. The infamous Japanese motifs of octopus, old school bird’s eye view of residences the way they did back when painting Japanese scroll paintings, especially depicting women being violated and fetishized. Hints of all that are here.
Mike Lash at Lyons Wier Gallery
A grid of small scale grouped paintings of an artist’s personal diatribe on love and suffering. Cynical euphemisms, pathetic self-loathing laments, and pictures of hopeful roses. There were a lot of these cartoonish, self-deprecating, narrative, zombified figure paintings in all these fairs.
Magdalena Murua at Praxis International Art
Comic books are stamped out/cut up/sliced into uniform swirls, invading the picture plane in its colorful patterned glory.
I’m curious to know who this little princess is, why she is depicted, over and over, a mere outline, a single color draping her wear. Is this some sick pedophile fantasy, memory of the passed, nostalgia for what once was, desire for sad innocence?
Megan Greene at Carrie Secrist Gallery
Vintage illustrations of birds, painted over and transformed into heavenly colorful otherworldly creatures. We’re seeing a lot of these so far aren’t we.
Mia Pearlman at Caren Golden Fine Arts
Stormy whirlwind of a cutup paper collage. Nifty.
Josh Dorman at Mary Ryan Gallery
I’ve written about Mr. Dorman before, I’m a big fan of his collaged drawings. Animals, old school industrial illustrations of machinery, appropriated atop topographical maps. Colorful, surreal, wispy and environmental.
So as you can see, there were many animals, manipulated and metamorphosed, tweaked and combined.