The art world converges on Miami this week for a constellation of fairs centered around Art Basel | Basel. We had a chance to preview works and catch up with collectors, curators, artists and dealers. Overall, there is renewed vitality at the fair this year, a great deal of work on display seemed either recent work or historically relevant - not quite so much secondary market repetition. While we like to visit with friends, we focus on exploring new galleries with whom we are unfamiliar and want to highlight two great installations and give a shout out to specific works presented by old friends.
Gallery Lia Rumma / Milan: Booth T5
Shame on us for not being familiar with the program of this gallery from Milan. At the entrance to three well-curated section were placed two important documentations of Marina Abramovic performances including 'Breathing In / Breathing Out from 1977.
Entering the booth, we found interesting Pistoletto mirror paintings presented alongside late 1970s examples of Gino De Dominicis' work and that of Enrico Castellani.
The second room featured two large-scale Thomas Ruff photographs from the Nudes series flanking an industrial landscape.
In the last room, a series of William Kentridge drawings rounded out an outstanding presentation of new and historical work. Bravissimo!
Carlier Gebauer / Berlin: Booth A5
This Berlin-based gallery presented new and iconic erasure works by Paul Pffeifer, new work by Amy Sillman, intimate watercolors by Julie Mehretu along with strong work by the South African artist, Robin Rhode.
Two further shoutouts to:
Alexander Gray Associates / New York. S1. Alex's excellent program is rooted in a keen curatorial eye. Well-earned, this spot at the most important art fair in the United States and impressive given the relative youth of the program. Gray is showing an outstanding installation by the artist, writer and critic Lorraine O'Grady. We had a chance to meet this great artist at the fair; this work is both beautiful, conceptually important and moving.
Lastly, there is an amazing new Anish Kapoor sculpture at Lisson gallery. Executed in 2009, this untitled piece is stainless steel, with a concave surface of hundreds of squares which serve as an acoustic amplifier, allowing whatever is said nearby to be perfectly discernible across the room. It's really great.
More to come from the satellite fairs...send your observations/shout-outs/picks/pans to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll feature them at