There’s a lot of great work at Seattle Art Fair 2017, of course, and the overall presentation of the fair has been very attractive. Consistently, the booths that are showing a single artist have been very well designed. It takes real curatorial chops, however, to create a cohesive experience in a booth that 1) is set up quickly in a confined space and 2) unites work by many artists in a way that flatters them all. Here are four of our favorite booths that really nailed it this year.
Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe (Booth C17)
Talk about a feast for the eyes. With a bevy of colorful abstractions by Marcus Linnenbrink, Tomory Dodge, Tom LaDuke and others, the works at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe might be too much all together, right? Only for some viewers, but the gallerists went even further and covered some of the walls with wide, drippy black stripes. It makes works like Linnenbrink’s feel even more potent and playful than a white wall would. Meanwhile, the more subdued color field by Patrick Wilson hangs on an eggshell colored wall, where it doesn’t get overpowered.
And then you round a corner and see a giant, cheeky portrait of a beauty pageant awards ceremony by Bo Bartlett. It comes as a curve ball amid all the splashy abstraction, and feels just right. Preview some of the works online.
Joshua Liner Gallery (Booth B4)
No tricks here…just really strong work. Joshua Liner Gallery‘s booth alone is a satisfying sampling of contemporary styles in painting. One of the artists is Fukahori Riusuke, who has the rare distinction of being a contemporary painter whose work has gone viral. Videos of Fukahori creating his signature paintings of fish in resin racked up millions of views on social media. It shares space with lush, mandala like work of Pema Rinzin and the chic minimalism of Johnny Abrams. It borders on being a bit cramped, but when the work is this strong, it’s had to fault anyone. Preview some of the works online.
NanHai Art (Booth A27)
NanHai Art’s booth isn’t just beautiful. It actually feels nourishing. The works themselves have that quality, but the compelling ways they are displayed only enhance them. Videos and small bios help lead visitors into the works by revealing the intricate process of creation. Traditional paper making and calligraphy dominate, and this lightness is balanced with water-hewn stones by He Kunlin and scrolls printed with a wooden drop block press, which itself is on display. You can preview some works online, but honestly, the digital images on Artsy do not translate at all. Just go.
Muriel Guépin Gallery (Booth A15)
Another feel-good booth: Muriel Guépin Gallery presents works from a range of artists, and the key word I would use here is “organic.” Leaves and branches become sculpture in the works of Susanna Bauer and Esther Traugot. In the loosest sense, this is also the case with Karen Margolis, who works on (and in) paper. Margolis puts countless holes into the paper until it resembles a matrix of cells, then fills the interstice with bursts of color. Preview some of the works online.
Featured image: “The Ark (Goldfish Salvation),” by Riusuke Fukahori. Image courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery.