Photography in the 2013 Pulse Contemporary Art Fair, Part 1 of 2

After stepping out of the drenching late morning rain with squelching shoes, I hit the ground running at Pulse yesterday and was surprised to find plenty of noteworthy photography on view. The mix was decidedly new and emerging, with very little vintage work and few marquee names on display. I’ve broken the report into two parts, given the large group of photographs worth talking about.

My approach to fair reporting continues to evolve, and following up on the positive feedback from my recent more image-centric AIPAD summary (here), I have once again opted for less tallying and counting of every last picture, spending more time on image highlights. What you’ll find below is an edited sample of what I found unusual or unexpected, with gallery names/links followed by the artist/photographer name, the price of the work, and some notes as appropriate.

z20 Galleria/Sara Zanin (here): Beatrice Pediconi, €8500. What looks like a misty Donald Sultan smoke ring is actually a diffusing paint in water motion study.

Steven Kasher Gallery (here): Daido Moriyama, $12000. Gritty checkerboard tile turned into a subtly shifting texture exercise.

Nohra Haime Gallery (here): Natalia Arias, $10000. A hybrid concoction of female imagery and transforming butterfly motifs.

Pablo’s Birthday (here): Thorsten Brinkmann, $16200. Elegant portraiture cleverly upended by found object sculptural assemblage.

Adamson Gallery (here): Chuck Close, $25000. The mottled, shifting color background of this daguerreotype silhouette of Kara Walker gives it a mysterious mood.

Galerie Stefan Röpke (here): Aitor Ortiz, $7250. Futuristic wire mesh abstraction, full of waves and overlaps. A bit reminiscent of Moriyama’s legs in mesh tights.

Von Lintel Gallery (here): Amanda Means, $4900. I liked the chance splash technique in this gridded off darkroom abstraction, almost an echo of Chuck Close’s painting approach but reconsidered in a photographic process context. From afar, the work looks like it is fluttering in the wind.

Galeria Habana (here): Liset Castillo, $8500. Sand sculptures that show off smart texture contrast, from smooth molded forms to rough remainder.

Tyler Rollins Fine Art (here): Tracey Moffatt, $10000. Seemingly mundane black and white scenes overlaid with colored stencils implying hidden histories. Deborah Luster has been here already, but the letters add a bold graphic element.

Waltman Ortega Fine Art (here): Rune Guneriussen, $6900. Both of the artists in this booth are playing with performative interventions in landscape. Guineriussen’s winding path of man-made lights through the nighttime snow is jarringly magical.

Waltman Ortega Fine Art (here): Aleix Plademunt, $3600. Both of the artists in this booth are playing with performative interventions in landscape. Plademunt’s array of chairs flanking the nuclear power plant seems more confrontationally conceptual.

Continue to Part 2 of this report here.

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Read more about: Aitor Ortiz, Aleix Plademunt, Amanda Means, Beatrice Pediconi, Chuck Close, Daido Moriyama, Liset Castillo, Natalia Arias, Rune Guneriussen, Thorsten Brinkmann, Tracey Moffatt, Adamson Gallery, Galería Habana, Nohra Haime Gallery, Pablo's Birthday, Steven Kasher Gallery, Tyler Rollins Fine Art, Von Lintel Gallery ~ 2685 South La Cienega Boulevard, Waltman Ortega Fine Art, z20 Galleria/Sara Zanin, Pulse New York

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