New York Times, 2009
Karen Rosenberg’s review singles out O’Grady’s one-person at Alexander Gray Associates in Art Nova as a “bright spot." The mention fights to be heard, but the article is the best on the fair in itself.
by Karen Rosenberg, NYT, December 4, 2009
Miami Fair: Big Pieces, Smaller Prices and Relief
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Art Basel Miami Beach is a delicate organism. It requires sunlight, optimism and an abundant supply of collectors with open wallets. And while there’s generally plenty of the sun around here, the other two elements were in short supply last December, to the point where some wondered whether this fair could survive. It has, by adapting to the new environment. Crowds are smaller at this year’s fair, which runs through Sunday, and parties more intimate. Discounts are rumored to be larger. The noon stampede on Wednesday, when the fair opened to V.I.P.’s, was an orderly procession. Relief is the prevailing emotion; the irrational exuberance of two or three years ago feels very far away.
The art, however, is big — much of it sized for museums, foundations and private warehouses. And the larger scene surrounding the event, which is now in its eighth year, remains daunting, with upwards of 15 satellite fairs and the usual calendar of dinners, parties, concerts
and talks. From the evidence here, the art fair, as a species, is not endangered: collectors are too attached to its convenience and competitive vibe.
At the main event a clever redesign has distracted most visitors from the lower energy level, and has been generally well received. The most drastic change is the new centrality of Art Positions, a section of the fair dedicated to emerging galleries, which has been relocated from a nearby beach to a ring in the middle of the exhibition hall. Collectors seemed a bit disoriented at first, but no one missed the shipping containers that served as oceanfront booths in past years.
Blue-chip art by Americans is everywhere, from vintage work by Joan Mitchell at Cheim & Read and by James Rosenquist at Acquavella to Alex Katz’s new, eye-popping portraits on cheery yellow and orange grounds, which are at Pace and Jablonka. (The presence of so much high-quality work by sought-after artists may have had something to do with the thriving secondary market fed by collectors in need of quick cash.). . . .
© 2009 Lorraine O'Grady | All rights reserved.