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PULSE: Ink & Paper Obsessive Tendencies

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PULSE Miami Beach opened today to the public, with a preview brunch this morning. Open through Sunday, December 7, the fair felt totally at home in its new location at Indian Beach Park at 4601 Collins Ave. on Miami Beach. Speaking earlier to director Helen Toomer about making the experience more enjoyable, we’d say she hit the mark. Fair fatigue was kept at bay with a smaller number of galleries (we could see either end of the tent, which was a surprising comfort after our striking inability to discern up from down at the convention center yesterday). The VIP lounge was outside on a deck overlooking the beach, a detail we noticed after we’d left and walked back to our hotel along the beach. So, yeah, no complaints here.

Within a few minutes of entering the fair we found ourselves continually drawn to a number of obsessive-leaning (dare we say OCD) works in ink and paper. Detailed, meticulous, and sometimes tedious, they sucked us in. There was Lauren Fensterstock’s all-black works at Sienna Patti Contemporary (Lenox, MA). In a waist-height black box, a glass top kept you from a delicate hydrangea bush made entirely of cut paper.

Naomi Reis at Mixed Greens

Then there was Simon Vega’s Smoked Scape Capitalism Capsule at De Buck gallery (New York). It depicts a space capsule followed by billowing smoke, drawn in ink on several sheets of tracing paper, and pieced together with blight blue and green tape. It felt compulsive, a little messy, and completely engrossing.

We totally fell for Mia Rosenthal’s work on display at Gallery Joe (Philadelphia). First there was the ink drawing of the result page from Google image-searching Ansel Adams. Then there was a large-scale drawing entitled Life on Earth, which showed the evolution of animals from the Paleolithic to the Common Era. And then there was a beautiful tondo with a rich depiction of a star as captured by the Hubble telescope.

Mia Rosenthal at Gallery Joe

Rosa Santos presented beautifully composed, illogical maps by Andrea Canepa. These are maps for maps sake, imposing structure and order on details that do not inform the viewer in any meaningful way. One detailed the metro lines of all European capitals organized in a single timeline based on the year they opened to the public. Another set of maps illustrated the metro lines grouped by number and organized in individual compositions. There is no grand takeaway from either of these, but they are darn fun, and delightful to look at.

At Mixed Greens, we saw a work in three parts by Naomi Reis. Two framed collages hung against a camouflage wall mural, in continuation of the fauna behind them. The framed pieces featured layers of washi paper that offered a different texture and depth to the blurry landscape, while the mural behind provided context.

Mia Rosenthal at Gallery Joe

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