The first edition of Art Miami New York opened in fine style with three sections of galleries filling the Pier 94 venue. Booths are large and walkways spacious, which likely contributes to why many galleries opted for installation-based artworks. Kudos goes to the fair’s new director Katelijne De Backer for an elegant debut fair that facilitates a considered approach to work, accentuated by a curated selection of projects in key areas. Here is a selection of six highlights:
The fair’s entrance sets the tone for many of the monumental works inside with a wall installation by Steven Siegel titled, Biography. Its tactile surface, made of recycled materials, runs length of the wall accompanying visitors as they enter.
Another sprawling installation by Artists Anonymous, Old Game New at Wetterling Gallery, encompasses the booth in a colorful collage of fantasy. Visitors are invited to download software to their phone and photograph themselves in this psychedelic landscape, and upload images to social media.
One of two key social critiques in the fair is Speed of the Markets (2014) by Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet at Priveekollektie Contemporary Art|Design. Comprised of a line of seven metronomes on a pedestal set tick to the speed of a world market, the work highlights the different efficiencies of markets in various world zones.
Legendary French-American artist Arman at Hilger gallery is worth a mention presenting two object reconstructions, one of which is Long Term Parking (2001)—a stack of toy cars cemented into a parking lot composition in static, ominous suspension.
Throughout the fair opening event I sporadically bumped into three performers trailing the wait staff and unsuspecting art fair visitors. Wearing black wigs and gym uniforms these three performers appropriate a disciplinarian approach to their act that plays with and highlights stereotypes of what it means to be Asian. The performance is at once entertaining as it is effectual.
Art Miami New York is on view through Sunday, May 17.