Miami Art Week 2019 hosted the people’s fairs. Artists at the most democratic fairs ever at Miami Beach and Miami during Miami Art Week used art and craft to deliver clear messages for all the people, showering truth over fictions. Looking toward the future, and back toward the past, work addressed truth versus colonial myth and threats to our common environment, be they political or climatic. The work demanded that we look at ourselves, examine our attitudes and recognize our differences but realize we must come together to save our common world.
Had I a fortune, I would spend it at Landau Fine Art, Montreal, for “Caroline,” 1963, oil on canvas, the Alberto Giacometti painting full of mournful emotion expressed in grays and taupes with sparing lines on an off-white ground; so little said with so few lines, each making a mournful mark. Yves Tanguy’s “Titre inconnu” (5634), 1927, oil on canvas, was a plausible rendition of the surrealism of the era between two wars. Jean Dubuffet’s “Passe Train,” acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, seemed contemporary in its convoluted marks and bold colors filling in parts of the outlined forms. Fernand Léger was well represented at Landau Fine Art, with “Les trois femmes au bouquet,” 1922, oil on canvas, contemporary in its grouping of three women, seemingly relaxed, in conversation with each other, and Léger’s “Le grand déjeuner,” 1921, oil on canvas, again featuring a grouping of three, sans men, literally letting their hair down. Sculpture was not ignored as Henry Moore’s “Two Seated Women and a Child,” 1945, bronze, edition of 7, was a small rendition of loving adults holding a child. For those only able to look, not buy, the best “museum” here provided a mini-course in art history by “Professor” Landau.
At Art Basel, the glitz was turned down a notch, as installations with mirrored glass made architectural statements. At the main Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 fair, Olafur Eliasson’s “Dusk Reflection Progression,” 2019, laminated color glass mirrors (shades of gray), aluminum, at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, set a new standard, for Eliasson and for mirrored sculpture, declaring him the latest master of this form since predecessor Gerhard Richter. Recalling Richter’s production of “Eight Gray,” Eliasson’s work reflected the viewer when confronted, but allowed the viewer to turn their back to avoid the view of themself and any, turning rather to the crowd of “others,” and joining them. Tanya Bonakdar also showcased Mark Manders’ “Iron Figure,” 2009-11, cast iron frame (RVS steel), a colorful sphere comprised of angular colored and clear glass segments, united colorful segments to form a globe of colors.