Wynwood Miami, FL – Art Miami proved an embarrassment of riches. If you always wanted it, now is the time to buy it, because it’s available. Magnificent Fernand Léger paintings, the best of which is “Les trois femmes au bouquet,” 1922, oil on canvas, at Landau Contemporary. Six Henry Moore macquets of bronze, “Two Seats Women and a Child,” 1945, from an edition of seven also at Landau Contemporary, and a full-size, “Mother and Child, Black Seat” (1983-84) at Landau Contemporary of bronze with brown patina literally rounded out this display. That patina is the patina of age and undisputed elegance of line and form. You have seen these in the best museum gardens, and they are available now because we no longer live in mansions with gardens appropriate to accommodate them, so if you can…
Clearly, Landau Contemporary had the best work at Art Miami, all on the secondary market. Jean Dubuffet’s including “Year Close” (1954) oil on canvas, and the larger and more overall designed “Passe train,” 1965, acrylic on paper showed that works on paper, preserved well, are just as beautiful, if less expensive than oils on canvas.
Mel Bochner’s “Blah, Blah, Blah” mono print with engraving and embossment on handmade paper, at Liam Shearburn Gallery of Missouri, looked as typical Mel Bochner as ever. The 89-inch high work was imposing, and the message unfortunately still timely. Interestingly, the work at Landau and at Shearburn was signature work of the artist represented. It is immediately recognizable as that artist’s work to all who view it.
Shepherd Fairey’s “Welcome Visitor,” 2017, silkscreen and mixed media collage on wood, took his work to a new and different level, using his own image of a woman juxtaposed against images of flags, a policeman and the Statue of Liberty in an imposing collaged statement referring to the history of immigration in the United States.
“Erro,” Picasso Rodez’s 2001 acrylic on canvas, was a compartmentalized history of Picasso’s images of women. I wanted an explanation of the work, and perhaps requiring an explanation meant the work did not make an adequate statement.
The word love was present in droves at Art Miami. Some of the best were the ballpoint pen, ink and acrylic on paper of Jacqueline Suowart at Avant Gallery, presenting a proud black woman, declaring “Love Over Rules” (2018) on a twist on the statement that various groups of people matter, but also that if we have love, we do not need rules. Recalling the Beatles song, “All You Need Is Love,” this work becomes all important in the present day.
From work by artists from 1922 through the decades finally ending in this year, 2018, this fair included political statements made with creativity and even, beauty, leaving me in a hopeful and peaceful mood. That is, at the present time, a good state in which to be.
(Look for Artscope national correspondent Nancy Nesvet’s feature on Art Basel Miami Beach And Miami Art Week 2018 in our January/February 2019 issue, out the first week of the new year.)