Something old at New Material Art Fair
The work on view tends to be more conventional than not, though a few of the artists manning the booths use non-traditional media
By Rachel Corbett. From Art Basel Miami Beach daily edition
Published online: 07 December 2013
The title of the debut New Material Art Fair (until 9 December) might be a little misleading. A few of the 17 artists who have set up “booths” in the brightly painted rooms of the Chesterfield, Leon and Lily hotels on Collins Avenue in South Beach happen to work with non-traditional materials. The New York artist Zack Lobdell, for instance, creates metallic abstractions using salt and aluminium-infused paint, while the Brooklyn-based Paulapart builds sound sculptures from masonite and speaker parts.
But, on the whole, the media on view at New Material tends to be more conventional than not: charcoal drawing, photography, abstract painting and a few videos make up the bulk of the offerings.
“The name means different things to different people,” says the fair’s Chicago-based director, Christine Kirouac. She added that she and her partner, Michael Workman, who also runs the Verge Art Fair in New York and Miami, wanted to give the event a title that evoked a spirit of experimentation and offered artists a safe house for trying out their “new material.”
The result might be disappointing for visitors hoping to see riskier art than they would find at the city’s other satellite fairs. Yet with all but two of the artists personally manning their booths—some of whom even opted to participate in a special “not for sale” section—the endeavour succeeds in providing what Kirouac calls “a response fair” to market-driven enterprises like Art Basel in Miami Beach. “This isn’t a trade show,” she says. “It’s about the viewers and the artist’s voice.”
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