Miami art week part 1: I just returned from a few days in Miami. We didn’t exhibit this year, both a relief and a sadness. For the prior three years we exhibited at UNTITLED, whose dealers and staff provide a supportive family and an artistic context we’re proud to be part of. Getting into UNTITLED in our first year of existence was a gift and I have always been grateful to Omar, Jeff and the team for taking a chance on us. But with three fairs facing us in February-March, I’m also happy to have been a visitor rather than worker bee this week.
Last year’s fairs were odd for everyone: Zika, Trump, an overarching aura of dread. Many longtime adherents didn’t show up, those who did seemed to be waiting for a signal that they should flee. This year felt normal, or more specifically normalized, like a quotation of all the past Art Basel weeks rolled into one. It was probably no more disengaged from what’s happening in the world than in the past, which is to say mostly disengaged. Representation of artists who are not white men has increased greatly, but this feels like catch-up more than advancement. All in all, the week is the Schrödinger’s Cat of art world/market events: if we don't self-examine too closely, it's not dead. But it's not exactly alive either.
A few changes around the edges get a lot of attention because they give us something new to talk about a reason to deem a particular year’s fair to be “strong” or not. At Art Basel (the actual fair, not the whole shebang) I generally spend my time in Positions, Nova and Survey sections because those are the edges of the fair (literally), and in them I find the most change and stimulation. I did again this year, with Harold Mendez at Patron, Yuri Pattison at mothers tankstation, Leticia Parents at Galeria Jacqueline Martins.