I spent this past week in New York for the Armory Show, dashing back and forth across the city enveloped in the customary "fairpocalypse" mode of being. Independent once again stood out among the myriad of fairs, featuring a tightly curated presentation of fifty international galleries and non-profit institutions. Here are four highlights:
This is the first retrospective of Robert Heinecken, a lesser known American artist who began working in Los Angeles in the 1960s. From the MoMA exhibition catalogue:
Heinecken described himself as a “para-photographer” because his work stood “beside” or “beyond” traditional notions of the medium. He extended photographic processes and materials into lithography, collage, photo-based painting and sculpture, and installation. Drawing on the countless pictures in magazines, books, pornography, television, and even consumer items such as TV dinners, Heinecken used found images to explore the manufacture of daily life by mass media and the relationship between the original and the copy, both in art and in our culture at large.
Who better to explain Heinecken than Heinecken himself?
Re-View: Onnasch Collection
Paul Schimmel curates the private collection of Reinhard Onnasch, focused between the periods of 1950 and 1970. One of the first German art dealers to open a gallery in New York City following World War II, Onnasch had a keen eye that was far ahead of his time and developed close personal relationships with the artists in his stable. Schimmel notes that it was unclear whether Onnasch was a collector to be a dealer or a dealer to be a collector, an ambiguity that makes this non-selling exhibition at a commercial gallery all the more provocative. This is a must see for any aspiring collector.
Frances Stark frequently uses technology and social media as an artistic medium. On display at the Independent Art Fair was an installation of unique digital c-prints culled from her Instagram account.
Urs Fischer presents an installation in the Lever House lobby of twenty-six mirrored boxes, printed on each side with silkscreened photographs of everyday household objects. He created a commercial environment in this corporate office building by carpeting the floor and adding bright fluorescent lights. Richard Marshall (Curator, Lever House Art Collection):
Fischer was initially trained as a photographer, and these works display his involvement with appropriation, technique, and presentation. Each object is digitally photographed in small parts, from all five vantage points. These small details are then congealed into one singular image revealing no perspective and with equal lighting on all sides. They are randomly sized and fill the perimeters of the mirrored box, and seem to float in space. The boxes are carefully crafted with thin mirror so that mitered joints are not visible and the illusion of reality can persist.