- Lisa Morales
The booths and fair tents have now been vacated, and life in Miami restored to normal traffic woes. But the female voices present at Miami Art Week – an annual flurry of fairs that descend upon the city each December – have resonated far beyond these temporary events.
Amongst the stream of educational seminars held during Miami Art Week, one emphasized the importance of supporting female artists and dealers. Moderated by the Founder and CEO of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), Susan Mumford, “Unconscious Bias and the Art World” took place on Friday, December 2nd in partnership with Aqua Art Miami.
Statistics, problems, and possible solutions were discussed among the panelists. Dawn Delikat, Associate Executive Director of Pen + Brush remarked, “Our major institutions do not present women’s voices.”
Other panelists included Mashonda Tifrere, founder of Art LeadHER, Steven Alan Bennett of The Bennett Collection of Women Realists, and Sara Kay, founder of the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts. The seminar concluded with an important statement by Mumford: “The work we have to do is on ourselves.”
Untitled, Miami Beach
Inga Gallery of Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv) presented a solo show by Israeli artist Yael Burstein. Her work alludes to Picasso and Primitivism, interchanging historic and contemporary themes through her sculptural forms, and pixelated images. Dalit Matatyahu, assistant curator at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art writes of her work, “We too are possessed with this passion for the original, even when we know it is bound to perish. In its imperialist moments, this passion swept a host of atavistic wonders – artefacts that it transferred to museums, deadening these living objects as it tore them from their original fabric of life and use which gave them their meaning; a fabric that, however, still percolates like a secret spell, pointing at the object’s mystical powers.”
Inga Gallery of Contemporary Art, Bar Yokhai St 7, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel +972 3 518 1812
Jenkins Johnson Gallery (San Francisco) presented From Here: a solo show by interdisciplinary artist Sadie Barnette. A chain-link fence print was juxtaposed with a hot pink backdrop for what appeared to be framed mementos, but were actually excerpts from an FBI Surveillance file on Barnette’s father. He was a founder of the Compton, California chapter of the Black Panther Party, a member of the National United Committee to Free Angela Davis, and he opened the first black-owned gay bar in San Francisco. Barnette writes, “I am the Oakland (19)80s baby of the radical and armed movement of love, the interracial, outer-spatial, and of disco idealism. I am the improbable celebration of my parents’ acts of resistance, gender-defiant grace, fierce Midwestern kindness, dearly protected optimism and humor.”
Jenkins Johnson Gallery, 464 Sutter Street San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 677 0770
Haines Gallery (San Francisco) presented mirrored mosaics and reverse-glass paintings by prominent Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. In 1992, she returned to her native country after 25 years of exile in the United States. Her work combines ancient Persian themes with western influences – particularly the aesthetics present in 1950s New York.
Haines Gallery, 49 Geary St #540, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 397 8114
Bernice Steinbaum of Bernice Steinbaum Gallery is undoubtedly one of Miami’s most celebrated gallerists, closing her New York gallery in 2000 to plant new roots in what was then hailed the rather ‘seedy’ Wynwood district. Steinbaum is a pioneer in many respects, with an unwavering mission that refused a ‘separate but equal’ model of representation. Amongst the artists she represents and showcases, half are women, 40 percent are artists of color. At this year’s Miami Art Week, Steinbaum looked for artists whose work used found or repurposed materials and spawned environmental discourse.
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, 2101 Tigertail Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL, USA +1 305 573 2700
Hostler Burrows (New York) presented an installation by Frida Fjellman (Sweden), entitled La Crypte de Velours Bleu. The prismatic glass chandeliers invoke wonderment, and Fjellman felt that if she increased the size of the emerald-shaped ‘gems,’ she would also increase the spectacle of the treasures. Her work diverges from traditional Swedish art and design minimalism, rather exemplifying her mastery of a traditional craft and deep-rooted love for the Northern Swedish landscape.
Hostler Burrows, 51 E 10th St, New York, NY, USA + 1 212 343 0471
Christian Andersen (Copenhagen) is known for representing more female artists than most galleries in Copenhagen. At Art Basel, Andersen exhibited Heavy Birden #1-8 by Israeli-born, Brussels-based Shelly Nadashi. The installation consisted of a series of clay panels and masks displayed at eye level, inviting the viewer to visually interact with the art. Nadashi’s work combines sculpture, writing, video and performance art in order to emphasize the dynamic relationship between the artist, the art, and the viewer.
Christian Andersen, Bispevej 29, 2400 København NV, Denmark +45 25 37 41 01
Think + Feel Contemporary (Miami) presented works by Belorussian artist Anna Silivonchik, a rising star considered a leading force among young Eastern European artists. Her stylistic association with Marc Chagall and Surrealism is evident; however, Silivonchik’s message is reflective of her own cultural influences and thematic interplay of identity, relationships, sexuality, and gender roles.
Think + Feel Contemporary, viewings available by appointment, + 1 305 677 9458 or + 1 202 256 2960