Heading South For The Winter

Lauren Kalman, photographs from the series But if the Crime is Beautiful..., 2016, presented by Sienna Patti Gallery, Lenox, MA, at Pulse Art Fair, Miami Beach.


J. Fatima Martins

The dozen or so New England-based or affiliated artists and galleries, many of whom have been featured in Artscope, participated in the visually colossal annual Miami Art Fair Week to do one thing — make a lot of money.

While Art Basel Miami Beach, celebrating its 15th edition, continued as the dominant force of the week, setting the curatorial tone of “diverse global inclusion” as its theme and robustly maintaining its status as the center point for the international art market, the New England-based inclusions were selling primarily offsite at the other important fairs such as Scope, Context, Art Miami, Satellite, Aqua and Pulse. At these fairs, a strong “anything goes” attitude permeated the exhibition marketplace, where the lesser-known artists and dealers fought hard for visibility.

The purpose of being in Miami was commercial and the attitude among the dealers vacillated between the marketplace’s typical gleeful excitement to smug tiredness. Many artists, via performance, capitalized on the feral promotional aspect of the fairs to sell themselves. Dealers and artists who used social media
as a communication tool, and included installations and live-action with audience engagement in their booths, attracted more foot traffic, press attention and potential buyers. For artists, getting the “word out” about their work was critical before, during and after the event.

Due to the participation in exhibiting with Art Basel Miami Beach fair at the convention center, Artscope didn’t see all of the New England-based galleries exhibiting in Miami during Fair Week. The ones reviewed here were visited by this writer, who talked with some of the dealers and artists on site. The galleries were Aureus Contemporary, Providence, R.I.; Samuel Owen Gallery, Greenwich, Conn.; HAVOC Gallery, Burlington, Vermont; Walker Contemporary, Waitsfield, Vermont; and several Mass. galleries including Adelson Galleries, Boston; Clark Gallery, Lincoln; William Baczek Fine Arts, Northampton; and Sienna Patti Gallery, Lenox.

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