11 Must-See Works at NADA Miami Beach
Navigate the NADA Miami Beach stalls with ease this weekend with our guide to notable works on display at the fair. We’ve found 11 ultra-contemporary works, eight from New York-based artists, characterized by an engagement with both historical tradition and internet-saturated culture that’s of the moment right now.
Digital darling Petra Cortright, with videos broadcast everywhere from YouTube to public television, and Instagram antics to boot, has kept the art world captivated with her forays into the performative nature of contemporary culture. On the more material side of her practice are these “digital paintings,” abstract images constructed in Photoshop and printed onto aluminum.
Sam Moyer has called her glass-and-canvas compositions “wall sculptures” or “picture objects,” and her ink-and-marble-on-canvas works could fit the moniker as well. This uncertain designation does not refer to an ambivalence of form; rather, these works simultaneously engage with multiple forms of media, from their sculptural construction to their nod to painting as they hang, rectangle-bound, on the wall.
Black pervades Denver artist Zach Reini’s practice, in an effort, he says, to eliminate unwanted allusions and find the most minimal means of expression. This reduction of meaning through the spare application of color or image is offset by the artist’s use of iconic imagery, from simple signs to rich, symbolic figures like Mickey Mouse. Work from the latter series, like the one shown here, is on view at NADA this week.
Calling into question the obvious associations evoked by mass-produced images and objects, Sara Cwynar tampers with perception across her work. The artist often begins with found materials and manipulates them in the process of reproducing them, as in her “Woman” series of distorted scans of old adult magazine spreads.
Whether framing glass and window tint to make sculptures or re-stretching found paintings into unorthodox shapes, Graham Collins gives new life to materials, creating a second experience of an object that partially conceals the evidence of the first. The enigmatic artist’s work will be featured in the spring at a solo exhibition in The Journal Gallery’s Brooklyn space.
Mark Flood caused a stir earlier this year when he launched the Insider Art Fair in New York—devoted entirely to his own highly sought-after works. Chief among them are the iconic “lace paintings” that Flood has been creating since 2000, layering lace and canvas and painting directly over it in a sort of manual transfer process that brings the traditional decorative material into a contemporary context.
Joining the growing ranks of artists whose physically constructed works resemble virtual creations, Trudy Benson fuses a street-art aesthetic (in the vein of Keith Haring or Barry McGee) with a polished application and crisp layered effect that suggests a digitally rendered image. Her energetic paintings vibrate with pop art heritage, but update this tradition with a decidedly “post-internet” sensibility.
The digital-analog interchange that pervades Joel Holmberg’s diverse practice serves to foreground the techniques and the reach of corporate media manipulation. By manually recreating an impeccably branded website, the artist calls attention to the image’s conventions; on the other end of the spectrum, Holmberg often interjects unexpected or unsettling content into public platforms like Yahoo! Answers or YouTube in an effort he has called “public art.”
Belgian painter Michiel Ceulers’s irreverent practice engages with the history of the medium through negation and alteration; rather than making direct reference to tradition, the painter recalls conventions by diverging from them while remaining in the arena of paint-on-rectangular-canvas. Ceulers is well-known for his haphazard storage methods, which encourage the influence of accident on “finished” works.
Jennifer Paige Cohen’s plaster-cast-and-deconstructed-garment sculptures meld corporeal forms with the fabrics that cover and protect them. Bound together and broken down, these raw materials give way to their essential relationship, with function and form coalescing in one impossibly graceful movement.
L.A.-based artist Anthony Pearson’s bronze sculptures are first formed in clay, in an open, malleable process akin to making a sketch. Though this initial form is made permanent by being cast in bronze, its sense of movement is retained; Pearson’s sculptures, albeit solid, feel ambivalent, reaching beyond the spaces they occupy and, ultimately, toward the viewer.
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