~INDEPENDENT and . . .

so, the ARMORY ART FAIR – isn’t exactly the right cup of tea – for this art lover, despite the first line of Roberta Smith’s March 4, 2011 New York Times review: “Art Fairs are for art lovers.” ha.
. . . but I made it to the INDEPENDENT.

where the third floor – was my fave.

right off the stairs – you could encounter the fair’s ‘creative adviser’ – MATTHEW HIGGS of WHITE COLUMNS.

just like a lot of others, the first thing to catch my attention was the big red car – which re-cycled into 2 BICYCLES (!!) by FOLKE KOBBERLONG and MARTIN KALTWASSER at the JACK HANLEY space.
and I say, space – because thank the lordy – there were no booths. this fair has lots of open space and very little in the way of walls.

a SAAB 900 gutted, and transformed into two motorbikes. FOLKE KOBBERLING and MARTIN KALTWASSER.


close-up: motorbike assembled from car parts. FOLKE KOBBERLING and MARTIN KALTWASSER. JACK HANLEY


just across the way, I found FLORENCE BONNEFOUS of Air de Paris . . . Paris. France.

who was able to show me video on her iPad – and yes. CLAIRE FONTAINE really did set the wall on fire – in her current gallery exhibit – back at the Air de Paris gallery in Paris.


detailed ‘pin’ work by SARAH PUCCI – the mother of contemporary artist DOROTHY IANNONE . . . AIR de PARIS.
(the finely detailed and well-cared-for works were going for between $8,700 and $10,200 US DOLLARS)

AIR de PARIS – this gallery was the only one – that really struck me – as to having a super relevant dialog to what was going on in my head, what I was doing and seeing in the art world in New York, and the precarious condition of the global – world outside.

meaning guns (ALFREDO MARTINEZ), and artisans. historical narrative (the OLD STONE HOUSE show), folk art, and even devotional ones, scrimshaw !! and the commorative plates of DUKE RILEY. and, artifacts, and even when you think about it – that includes the JACK EARLY VICTROLA at DANIEL REICH. beauty vs. social deconstruction in a nutshell.

though FLORENCE BONNEFOUS did unnerve me when she strove to stress that these objects were “not done as art. they were devotional in nature.” I mean what the hell is the difference, and isn’t that the point. get over it already. art theory also makes a mess of it . . . they are great art. skills. it’s all about skills and visual richness. and feelings, what about feelings. most definitely devotional feelings – inform skills. feelings are what inspire artists, no ? like even the Impressionists. or Braque and notoriously, Picasso.
I mean, I consider the above Claire Fontaine wall burnings – to be ‘devotional offerings’ to a world on the brink . . . don’t you ?

SARAH PUCCI, detail.
I can also relate to these on a personal level, as can probably any artisan working in Brooklyn right now – who takes up a needle to embroider or embellish. any time I lose a tiny sequin, or a sweet vintage button rolls away, or a tiny glass or plastic bead escapes – when I find it – it goes right on my pincushion – with a needle through its heart (hole). and when the pincushion is full – as Kate will tell ya – it gets put away somewhere safe. but sadly, we don’t have as many lovely embellishments now, as Sarah Pucci had at her fingertips – inspiring and enriching – her lovely and dramatic confections !! that’s for sure.

all us outsiders derive great pleasure when a previously unrecognized artist -or artisan – or even primitive – sorry. finally gets their day in the art world sun. really, it’s everybody else – who has to catch up.

SARAH PUCCI – the AIR de PARIS cutting edge booth at Independent – seen through the eyes of a long ago – devotional keepsake – artisan. love it. right on the dot. the sequin. the paste pearl. the glass bead. you got it.

AIR de PARIS, Independent Art Fair, NYC. Spring 2011.

AIR de PARIS . . .

AIR de PARIS, photos by BRUNO SERRALONGUE . . . nice.


AIR de PARIS, drawing by JEAN-LUC VERNA.

a sequential looped video word piece by PIERRE JOSEPH, AIR de PARIS.


sometimes when you see greatly detailed, vintage artisanal work, not to mention gritty urban landscape photographs – it’s a nice contrast – to read some – cutting edge – contemporary – words !!
especially addressed to photography, per se.

happened to run into NYC artist EVAN GREENFIELD . . .
he and ERIKA SOMYGI just a new baby girl, their first. and her name is River.

his favorite piece on this floor, literally – was this assemblage by LIONEL MAUNZ, from BUREAU, NYC.


on the right, GABRIELLE GIATTINO, of BUREAU, New York City. (127 Henry St.)
she says her gallery is a teeny tiny space on Henry St. in the Lower East Side.
Gabrielle is well-known to us as a former curator at the esteemed SWISS INSTITUTE in Soho. (2002-2007)

another BUREAU piece, incorporating a genuine Berber rug by TOM HOLMES.

left, ELIZABETH DEE – of the ELIZABETH DEE GALLERY in Chelsea, and one of the founders of the Independent, happens by.

the pink and blue neon light behind her – is by BLAIR THURMAN represented by HARD HAT of Geneva.


ANNA LUNTLEY, gallery associate at MARY MARY of Glasgow.

left, HANNAH ROBINSON – the owner director of MARY MARY.

besides having a fascinating and very animated personal style, Hannah Robinson’s MARY MARY – seems to have a very cutting edge agenda.

on the floor work by NICK EVANS at MARY MARY.

NICK EVANS. I don’t quite know what to say, yes. I am speechless. go figure. but I really liked it.
when I looked up his work on their website – to clarify the mystery of the appeal – I got the bigger picture – and obviously his main body of work was too large to transport to a weekend in New York !!

I really liked the way the signs denoting each gallery were placed in different positions, and admired their typeface and gray tone.

nice touch.

just to show you – not all the work – was capital A for ART – a funny brute piece by JON PYLYPCHUK at CHINA ART OBJECTS.

a series of abstract wall paintings by DAN REES, girl not included. at NEW GALERIE, Paris.

an overview of the the third floor – INDEPENDENT Art Fair, New York, March 3-6, 2011.

. . . closing in, on the GALERIE BEN KAUFMAN from Berlin, Germany.
that just might be Ben Kaufman leaning over, in the red sweater ?

strange and interesting. arresting even. small paintings by HANSJOERG DOBLIAR. GALERIE BEN KAUFMAN

. . . and if it hadn’t been raining truly cats and dogs – I might, just might, not really – have made it up to the THE ART SHOW at the PARK AVENUE ARMORY.

one: I really enjoyed KEN JOHNSON’S take on it . . . that began:
“The Art Show is the Benjamin Button of art fairs. The annual production of the Art dealers Association of America, it is still the most conservative of the three major and several smaller fairs happening this weekend, but it has gotten younger in spirit over the past decades. If it keeps aging in reverse, it may one day replace the Armory Fair and the Independent as the go-to-place for connoisseurs of the hip.”
see: ‘The Uncluttered Look Has its Day’ by KEN JOHNSON/NEW YORK TIMES/MARCH 4, 2011

Charles Burchfield, ‘Sparrow hawk weather’, (1960), at DEBRA FORCE/PHOTO COURTESY: DEBRA FORCE via the NEW YORK TIMES.

and two: I would have loved to have see this CHARLES BURCHFIELD painting, titled ‘Sparrow hawk weather’ (1960) at DEBRA FORCE – who is apparently showcasing several of his big “radiantly transcendental watercolor landscapes along with paintings by his perennially underappreciated contemporary Oscar Bluemer.” (Johnson)

ALL PHOTOS: by NANCY SMITH. NYC, MARCH 5, 2011 – unless otherwise indicated.