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Material Obsession at Untitled.

Katy Donoghue

4 December 2013

The sophomore edition of Untitled. in Miami is sure to please crowds again. With much fewer galleries than the main fair, and most other satellite fairs, it’s wonderfully manageable and well-curated. And did we mention it sits right on the beach?

Whitewall headed there this morning for the press preview (it opens to the public tomorrow) and we were struck by a strong showing of works that focused heavily on material. There was laborious paint layering, images edited heavily in post, excessive repetition of medium in canvas-based and sculptural work.

Shane Hope at Winkleman Gallery 2

Ara Peterson’s work at Loyal Gallery plays Magic-Eye-like tricks with our vision, which we do not mind. Made from wood and acrylic paint, oscillating heights of slim elevations, it resembles topography or ocean waves. Peterson’s use of color patterns puts the work into motion, mimicking the ups and downs of its surface.

Dario Robleto’s Music Has the Right to Children (2013) at Inman Gallery is a mounted glass vitrine, featuring five vintage embossed mason jars (a butterfly in each) and three large crystal formations. Sitting atop each home-grown crystal are butterflies with antennae made from stretched and pulled audiotape of songs by various parent and child musicians like Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, John and Sean Lennon, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, and Bob and Jacob Dylan. Its elaborate back-story adds to its initial visual charm.

Jibade-Khalil Huffman at Samuel Freeman

Perhaps our favorite instance of layering came from David Allan Peters at Royale Projects. Three of his works were on view, all a variation on layers of countless sheathes of paint that are carved into sunburst patterns. The result reminded us of marbled paper from Venice and Fimo beads we spent hours making in the 90s.

We also fell for Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s series of prints at Samuel Freeman. The artist took old photos from his grandmother’s cookbook, splicing them repeatedly so that the images looked like hiccups from a printer on the fritz, or a jpeg that hasn’t downloaded correctly. The cakes, canapés, and champagne can still be made out, but Huffman’s coy post-editing brings these works to a level of abstraction.

David Allan Peters detail

Shane Hope’s series of lenticular-3D prints at Winkleman Gallery also caught our eye. Hope uses a variety of user-sponsored, open-source nanomolecular design software systems to create 3D prints that are like sculptural reliefs. Their shapes are sometimes architectural, organic, molecular, or all three. We could stare at these colorful, incredibly detailed works for hours.

Silvina Arismendi at Rincon Projects took us back to basics, however elaborate, with striped works on canvas created from brightly colored rubber bands. They are the grade-school version of Rosemarie Trockel’s yarn paintings.

David Allan Peters at Royale Projects

Under one tent, it was fascinating to see how a variety of artists played with material – from the hacker level to the supply closet.

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Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.