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(e)merge art fair

October 7, 2012

People with opinions on art have strong feelings about art fairs. I happen to adore them. While I found Art Basel Miami to be an overwhelming whirlwind of hedonistic sensory pleasures, I found Washington DC’s two year old fair to be more politically sophisticated and the perfect Sunday jaunt.

Upon walking into (e)merge I was immediately reminded why I love art so hard. J.J.McCracken’s newest performance piece is the perfect feminist statement in response to the idiocy that has flowed through our collective experience in recent months. I found myself at first fooled, then astonished, as well as uncomfortable, and finally proud. I will not spoil your potential surprise by describing the details of the piece, catch it if you can!

One of my favorite Baltimore galleries was my very next stop. Amy Raehse of Goya Contemporary was also one of the vetting committee members for this year’s fair. I’ve praised this lady before, and I’m about to do it again. She is a welcoming spirit, which sadly isn’t true of all the gallery folks, and she knows her business like none other I’ve spoken with. I covet the 3D sculptural cast bronze and silver Marie Bower pieces she had in one of the two rooms Goya encompassed (I especially love ‘The Gossips’ in case anyone would like to help me to enhance my growing collection).

Aside from those two favorites I simply can’t review all of the art I saw. However, here are a few shout outs: I was happy to see so many DC based galleries have sprung up since I lived there, especially Connersmith which supports Mia Feuer (can’t wait to see your Suncorp inspired sculptures!), and Hessman Fine Arts which sells Alexandra Sherman’s response to housing. The Contemporary Wing has enticed me with a return trip to DC for their upcoming ‘Of The People.’ I was also happy to see that Baltimore artists like Joyce Yu-Jean Lee have managed to cross the great divide between the two cities. I hope to take Kevin Havelton up on his Miami VIP offer, and I thank him in the meantime for discussing William P Immer’s amazing throwback collage works. Many thanks to Ethan Cohen Fine Arts for bringing Orly Cogan’s amazing needle point work into my purview.

As for the international crowd: I am thankful the Amstel Gallery from Amsterdam made the trip and introduced me to five amazing photographers, especially David Kretschmer. I look forward to seeing the career of Juno Youn continue to flourish (good luck in Hong Kong!), and I thank him for introducing me to his fellow Canadian Ryan Walker’s work as well.

In sum, what a way to spend a rainy Sunday; I’m left feeling simply lovely and filled with inspiration – thank you to everyone who made this ‘Art Basel of the Northeast’ possible.   —>


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