BY HAMZAT SANI
(All Images by Hamzat Sani for East City Art)
As a first timer I didn’t quite realize what I got myself into when I accepted this assignment. The scale of Miami Art Week and Basel is quite unimaginable for the uninitiated. The range of genres throughout the fairs is tremendous as almost all the fairs find a way to create their own marker on the larger scene.
In total I covered four major fairs, five galleries, numerous DC artists and downed a tremendous amount of coffee to keep my eyes fresh enough to take in all that I saw. This feature is by no means an exhaustive listing of all the DC artists and galleries present at the art fairs in Miami this past weekend but rather a sample of some of what was shown.
Here is what I found.
My first stop on the DC art hunt started at Pulse on Miami Beach. I caught up with Adah Rose Bitterbaum of Adah Rose Gallery showing work by sculptor Jessica Drenk. Adah Rose is a veteran of the fair circuit having shown at various Miami Art Week fairs including Context and Art Miami at least five times. On display were works from the Drenk’s Cerebral Mapping, Reading our Remains, spine and Immutable Ice series.
After taking in some more of the art at Pulse I decided to wrap it up for the night passing by the NADA art show and a few other hotel fairs in search of nourishment after a rather full day. Pulse taught me to pace myself and instead of loitering at each fair I decided to go straight to several DC galleries’ exhibit spaces. At Spectrum Miami Art, I made a beeline straight to Nihal Kececi’s Gallery NK booth. Nihal, also a veteran of the fairs, saw her Gallery take home the “Platform Artist of the Year Award” for works by West Virginia-based artist Peter Kephart and Indian Artist Asit Kumar Patnaik. Gallery NK also displayed work by Virginia Artist Leslie Nolan, Spanish artist Alfredo Palermo, sculptures from London artist Nadia Arditti, Milanese artist Federico T. Bianchi, Mira DeMartino, Maryland based Nipun Kumar as well as works from Kececi herself.
On our way out of Spectrum we stumbled upon University of Maryland alumna Rhona Schonwald’s work being exhibited by Blink Art Resource.
Next I dropped by the Context Art Miami show to peek in on what Rofa Projects and Alida Anderson Art Projects were showing. At Rofa Project’s booth I got a tour of conceptual Latin American art from CEO Gabriela Rosso showing tremendous art with complex social commentary from various artists.
I ended my time at Context viewing works exhibited by Alida Anderson Art Projects featuring local artist Georgia Nassikas and one time local artist Jodi Walsh. Both artists were in attendance. Lenny Campello gave me the run down on the Basel scene and where to find a cortadito.
My last day in the Miami sun was spent conveniently in South Beach checking out the art on display at Scope. Gateway Arts District artist Tim Tate of the Washington Glass School showed a new series of work.
While I did not have a chance to see every DC artist in attendance I did get a sense how much the DC art scene has grown as I overheard discussion of numerous local artists being selected for other large scale fairs by various gallerists. It was wonderful to chat with the artists and galleries that made all that we saw possible and to hear the stories of process, struggle and triumph that went into each piece. I’m looking forward to next year when the art world descends upon Miami all over again.
Hamzat Sani enjoys writing about anything that stirs the soul. A collector of many stories and a sharer of some, Hamzat has a background in nonprofit communications and programming. He resides in the DC metro area.