Impressions of PULSE NY

Alana Chloe Esposito
May 12, 2013 2:50AM

PULSE New York, a contemporary art fair showcasing a mixture of renowned and emerging artists, opened this morning at the Metropolitan Pavilion. With 48 domestic and international galleries participating in the main section and an additional 13 taking part in IMPULSE -- a section devoted to galleries presenting solo exhibitions by emerging artists -- a wide variety of content provides plenty of visual stimulation without seeming overwhelming. 

Upon entering the fair one’s eye is immediately drawn to the powerful embroidered canvases of Alicia Ross (Black & White Gallery / Project Space) depicting expressive female figures. 

Other highlights in the main section include:

- Shasha (2013), an arresting composition by Antonio Santin (represented by Marc Staus) of a woman lying on a white plane covered by brushstrokes suggesting shadows cast by foliage. The young Spanish painter is remarkable for endowing his subjects with bodily mass and representing impossibly fine textures, such as the silk brocade on the woman’s dress.  

- Focus 2 (2013), a large close-up of a woman’s eye and eyebrow composed from layers of tulle in shades of gray and purple by Infran Önürmen (C24 Gallery). According to the gallery’s press release, the pixellated effect it references the visual culture of broadcasting and other channels of public information. 

- Sohei Nishino’s dynamic “diorama maps” of Jerusalem, New York, Rio, and Istanbul (Michael Hoppen Contemporary). Rather than providing accurate geographical information, these collages map each city’s unique spirit. 

Upstairs in the IMPULSE section, one cannot help but smile at Honey Space’s interactive performative installation We Couldn’t Remember What We Came To Forgot (2013) by Lisa Lozano and Tora Lopez, who invite visitors to join them on their “vacation”. Clad in bathing suits and sunglasses, they bask in artificial sunlight relaxing to sounds of the sea. The gallery label reads:  

Destination: Multiplex. Cruise ships, mega-spas, theme parks, casinos, and destination resorts serve millions a year. Beneath the warm glow of a setting “sun” we question the burning need for reprieve and the imagination’s ability to invert synthetic experiences into ones “resonating” with nature. 

Another crowd pleaser is Creative Time’s performative installation Spring Flings & Pretty Things featuring the larger-than-life Texas artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz selling his own sketch-like paintings of fashionable dames and elegant soirées.  

PULSE also launched several new initiatives this year, including a social media competition called “What’s Your PULSE?,” which invites the public to submit and share pictures that make their “pulse race” for a chance to win a JetBlue airline ticket. “We want to provide experiences that define the creativity and vitality of PULSE,” explains fair director Cornell Dewitt.

Alana Chloe Esposito