THE ROAMING GALLERIST : SEEN & RECOMMENDED

ART WYNWOOD 2024

MIAMI, FLORIDA        

ART WYNWOOD, a continuation of the art happenings inaugurated by Basel and Art Miami in December, doesn’t quite possess all the sparks it did PRE-COVID. Remnants of the bad, the good and even the ugly from the December fair can still be found. Nevertheless, for those who truly seek, there are still some commendable works in the mix. As we’ve already delved into the momentum of the fairs in our previous newsletter, we’ll leave you with a few words and images encapsulating the positive aspects of the event.

Our friend Frank Hyder had two booths showcasing several works from his Janus series. Additionally, there was an installation featuring his illuminated canoe vessels, inspired by his travels and experiences in South America.

Among the memorable booths we encountered in passing were those of Latin Core (Miami), Cernuda Arte (Coral Gables), and Eternity Gallery (Aventura), among others. Masters like Fernando Botero (Latin Core) and contemporary Latin artists have a strong presence here, reflecting Miami’s profound support and admiration for Latin American art. Exploring earlier drawings and paintings by Botero was a special treat, offering a deeper understanding of his work beyond the typical visually striking beauteous female and male forms often seen at Basel and Art Miami. The Latin Core booth provided a rich context for Botero’s oeuvre, highlighting the gallery’s commitment to promoting his work within the art milieu. Similarly, Cernuda Arte (Coral Gables) continued this scholarly approach, showcasing the works of Wifredo Lam, Gina Pellón, and other esteemed contemporary Latin artists.

 

 

MoMA

Do you ever wonder if museums display their entire inventory? MOMA currently provides an answer to that question, offering a fascinating glimpse into its extensive collection. Now on view you can see the pieces from three distinct periods: 1880s — 1940s, 1950s — 1970s, and 1980s — Present.

While all the works on display are remarkable, a significant portion of gallery space is dedicated to the important works of Jacob Lawrence, a pivotal black artist of the 20th century. It’s crucial to pay special attention to these pieces. The series of works presented illustrate concerns such as poverty, justice, and discrimination from not so long ago—issues that unfortunately remain poignant today. These bold, colorful, strong compositions resonate deeply with the black and marginalized human experience in America, a narrative that persists even in the 21st century. His use of bold geometric spaces mirrors the strength and complexity of his subjects’ situations. Lawrence skillfully captures the enormity of the human condition through rhythmic and repetitive figures and patterns, speaking loudly and compellingly to the audience.

Another noteworthy exhibition within the collection features primarily unknown photographers from the earliest years of photography. These works showcase the remarkable excitement and interest in photography, not only as an art form but also as a means of capturing history and circumstance.

 

THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM

In addition to the special attention that the Morgan Library and Museum is giving to introducing us to its past Director Librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, there is an exhibition showcasing the works and historical ephemera to celebrate the importance of Beatrix Potter, the renowned British female writer and illustrator best known for “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” This exhibition not only features delightful drawings of Peter Rabbit and other materials authored by Potter but also offers a fresh perspective on her life’s work. This exhibition will run through June 9, 2024.

By placing her work in historical context, the exhibition provides insight into Potter’s multifaceted identity. She wasn’t just an artist; she was also a significant activist, feminist, and historian. Potter was truly ahead of her time, celebrating the beauty of the land and its natural environment, along with the animals inhabiting it. Notably, she had the means to support her beliefs, investing in both recording farmland, farm life, and the countryside’s beauty and advocating for conservation by generously donating hundreds of acres for preservation in Yorkshire, England’s largest county.

Concurrently, the Morgan is hosting a photography exhibition featuring recent acquisitions that is equally captivating. Alongside works by established artists such as Diane Arbus and Irving Penn, there are also intriguing early photographs by unknown photographers adeptly documenting the human condition. The ongoing changes in programming at the Morgan and MoMA, which now actively acquire and promote the work of lesser-known artists, mark a positive shift from past practices. It’s a commendable step forward for these esteemed institutions.

 

SOTHEBY’S PRINTS & MULTIPLES AUCTION (12 – 19 April, 2024) 

Having found myself near Sotheby’s, I serendipitously wandered into the lobby of their building on 72nd and York Avenue. Upstairs, I discovered an impressive assortment of prints by important contemporary artists, including masters such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Keith Haring, Wayne Thiebaud, and others. This exhibition serves as a preview of works to be offered in their Prints & Multiples Auction (12 – 19 April, 2024). It was a delight to experience this exhibition, not only because of the spacious, airy environment conducive to leisurely contemplation of the artwork, but also because it provides the public with an opportunity to see prints by many great artists displayed side by side, allowing for comparisons of their creative output, sometimes produced concurrently.

What struck me particularly was how important bodies of print work of some of these artists have become over the course of time, since there is very little of their primary work available. It’s also fascinating to observe how certain pieces by individual artists are valued differently for various reasons—be it popularity, limited editions, or other factors. For those interested in delving into the print market for a particular artist, comparing editions, not only between artists but also within an artist’s body of work, can be both meaningful and educational. With numerous Jasper Johns print works up for sale, one might speculate if Sotheby’s aims to mark a new era of business with his prints, especially considering his advanced age. Collectors must navigate the intricacies of each artist’s history to contextualize each piece, educating themselves on which works fall within certain price ranges. While purchasing art can be a gamble, but for those like me who aren’t in a position to buy, the educational value of viewing such exhibitions is truly priceless.

Adjacent to the preview of Contemporary Prints, another group of gallery spaces celebrates the life and era in which Tamara de Lempicka worked at the beginning of the 20th century. Lempicka, one of the most important female early 20th-century artists, epitomized the vibrant, bold spirit of the roaring ’20s and the industrial rush of the era through her colorful brash, and bold works.

BELLE DA COSTA GREENE : “THE LIBRARIAN”

The life of Belle da Costa Greene, or Belle Marion Greener as she was named at birth, is one for the history books. The title of Librarian seems to be a misnomer for such an exceptional scholar and art entrepreneur of Ms. Greene’s caliber. This woman of color single-handedly developed the most prestigious and treasured library in the world.

The Morgan would not be what it is today without her. She had the courage, scholarship, and moxie to create one of the most important libraries in the world, putting her mostly male peers at bay. Even Mr. Morgan’s keen interest, passion, taste, and great wealth would not have been enough to create such a force in the rare book and art world at that time. The combination of the two was a tour de force. Her life and depth of accomplishment are a testament to her courage, fortitude, and genius.

Despite the unjust shackles that society places on some, both men and women of any color and ethnicity can conquer and aspire to great heights. There are many unsung heroes who rightfully deserve their place in the history books, and Belle da Costa Greene is one of them. Why wasn’t her history shared with us in the classroom in my day? Why didn’t books and teachers discuss great women and people of color? Even being in the Library Club didn’t give me insight into her journey and achievements. Greene’s life of defiance and disguise was the only path that she felt she could take, even sacrificing time with her most treasured father who could not stomach the art of secret passage that she and her family believed they had to subscribe and succumb to in order to have a fulfilled life, home, beauty, and recreation. Much has changed, but too much is still the same.

The story of Belle da Costa Greene was of particular interest to me, prompted by memories of a program for Art Administration I took with my best friend at NYU. One of our collaborations was a paper on the Morgan Library & Museum. It baffles me that neither Morgan nor NYU mentioned the herculean tasks that Greene had to develop such a valuable and comprehensive collection of such world renown. Why didn’t they? My friend and I were two aspiring women who wanted to get involved with the arts, a world still dominated by men, on a high level. I can’t believe we received an A without discussing her at greater length. Why wasn’t she heralded as a great scholar, leader, and entrepreneur? Certainly, she should have been an example and someone to aspire to, not only for all people but particularly for women of color. This valuable information makes a big difference to some and at the very least enlightens others.

I was prompted to take note of this great woman and write this article out of idle curiosity when I was in the wonderful Sanibel Library in Sanibel, Florida. I came across the New York Times bestseller “The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. When I read a synopsis of the story on the back, I couldn’t believe that in all these decades I did not know much about Belle da Costa Greene and her importance. I encourage everyone to read this book. It is beautifully written, an easy read, full of wonderful historical details. Not only does it highlight the incredible life and accomplishments of a woman who had to pass as White, struggling to survive in a world of hypocrisy with all its cruelties, but it also illustrates how societies, both the poor and the privileged, navigated their journeys in life in a United States that is still flawed to this day. Even the existence of this book is hopeful. It is a wonderful story, and it is a true one. We need to celebrate the accomplishments of people like Belle da Costa Greene, pushing forward and advocating for education and awareness for all so that everyone can be enlightened. There is a lot more to the book than its cover.

 

“The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, Berkley, 2021

DON KIMES : ARTIST, EDUCATOR, PROGRAM DEVELOPER, ADMINISTRATOR AND MENTOR 

Don Kimes is truly what, in some circles, would be referred to as the real deal. Any one of the several titles above would be more than sufficient for anyone to tackle and excel in, but truly, he encompasses all of these and more. His practice deserves to be celebrated!

 

In recent years, he relinquished the helm of the Visual Arts Department at the renowned Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY. Its prestigious art program was nurtured and developed for decades by him and his invaluable assistant, Lois Kimes. For over thirty years it has been a respected and exciting educational visual arts program and artist community. The impact of his teachings and programming, even to this day, can be found and felt in the broad artistic community. Many of the artists he mentored continue to engage in the practice of art and exhibit their work. Dozens follow and remain in touch with him. Retirement seems a misnomer for Kimes. He still works as a professor at  American University and once was the Art Department Chair. His students, whom he also educated and mentored while overseeing the Chautauqua Art Program, have for the most part continued to excel in their practices. And, within the past decade, he has also directed an Artist Residency in Italy. When does the man sleep?

DBFA is honored to have represented him and to have exhibited his work.

We celebrate his lifelong dream of having a large studio come to fruition this past year and are excited to see what the realization of this dream has to offer us in his new work.

In addition to all the talents and experience we have already mentioned, he isn’t leaving any stones unturned. Five of his pieces were recently included in “MAD ABSTRACT” exhibition at Jim Kempner Fine Art, NYC, along such prominent artists as Louise Bourgeois, Mel Bochner, Sam Francis, Charlie Hewitt, Mary Heilman, Jay Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Elizabeth Murray, Paula Scher, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly and Stanley Whitney among others. Last year fifteen of his works were presented at the Singapore Global Art Fair by MK Gallery, South Korea. This Summer he will also be returning to Italy for the ACI residency in Umbria. Additionally he recently juried the Winter Exhibition at Blue Mountain Gallery, NYC. Don Kimes did a great job choosing talent for the show. Among those included were familiar faces such as one of our featured artists Doulas Newton and Erin Karp. We were pleased to be a part of its well attended reception. It felt like a Chelsea Art  reception crawl. It was good to see so many people viewing art and intermingling.

In addition to the milestones of experience that we have mentioned, Kimes was the Program Director of the famous New York Studio School on 8th Street in Greenwich Village prior to his lifelong stint at Chautauqua. The Studio School was an incubator of talent and continues to be. Its influence was obviously a significant one for Kimes. Having heard many “art and artist stories,” you can sense that the Studio School provided Kimes, as well as many like him, with the seeds of creativity, discourse, useful art information, tips, and historical reference, among other things. Artists like Andrew Forge (the associate dean) and Mercedes Matter (chief founder) provided impetus and magic amidst the many talents of that day. Kimes is part and parcel of the bumper crop of artists that make these institutions and processes so sacred and fundamental to many aspiring working creatives.

Don Kimes recently wrote an article on the famous artist Philip Guston. We prompt you to click on THIS LINK to read it.

Kimes met Philip Guston at the Studio School. Guston has certainly been part of the history books for a long time but he has always been an idiosyncratic character. Sometimes in the past, he was to some degree under-appreciated. Guston was a “traitor” in the midst of artists that were reveling in abstract expressionism in the late fifties and earlier sixties; he dared to do what he wanted to do and explored and advocated the world of neo-expressionism. And he did so admirably. He was a force to reckon with. In recent years, he and his work have been getting their due. There have been very important exhibitions of his work in New York, recently in Washington, etc.

Please view and enjoy Don Kimes’s works. You can find them on our website www.denisebibrofineart.com, and Artsy.

GERALD WOLFE : STUDIO VISIT

Visiting an artist in their studio has always recharged my batteries and excited me. It is wonderful to see and experience recent works and those in progress, as well as to hear the artist share their ideas, concepts and illustrate the processes involved, deepening one’s understanding of their art practice. It’s all life reinforcing!

Ascending some three plus flights of stairs to Wolfe’s expansive work and living space evoked a sense of déjà vu from the late 70s and 80s when I first began to immerse myself in city life, transitioning from my safe, rural upbringing in Litchfield County, Connecticut. It was an exhilarating time for a young college woman like myself from the boonies. At that time numerous soirées, talks, and parties were commonplace in Soho. Back then, it exuded an edgy and vibrant Bohemian atmosphere, vastly different from what it is today.

It was precious to see that there are still “last men standing” from that illustrious era, untouched by the jaws of gentrification.

Stepping into Wolfe’s expansive space I immediately felt free and could breathe. His studio made my own New York apartment seem as cramped as a high school locker! The scent of paint and wood dust lingered in the air, while raw materials such as plaster, wire, frames, and racks of works adorned the space, showcasing his established practice. Encountering creativity head-on, I was captivated.

Wolfe had new, more three-dimensional pieces. In the past DBFA has shown a number of his wall pieces, although they are often assemblages, the works that I saw were  primarily free-standing sculptures. Some reminded me of the ephemeral pieces one might encounter in the studios of artists like Brâncuși or Giacometti – raw materials displayed, studied, and repurposed for their intrinsic value. In Wolfe’s case, these materials included plaster, wood, rope, and construction wire among others. There was a palpable physicality to his work, celebrating the raw beauty inherent in the recycled materials used to create these sculptures and assemblages.

Wolfe focuses on articulating space, form, and volume while respecting the character of each material he employs. They do not feel predetermined, they are as organic as many of the materials chosen. Even though the compositions are new their whole and parts evoke a sense of an experienced past. Having traveled extensively, Wolfe assimilates his experiences and surroundings into his visual vocabulary, imbuing his compositions with a sense of intimacy and uniqueness that resonates with the viewer. Beyond the sense of space, Wolfe encourages viewers to embark on their individual journeys with his work, engaging with its mystery.

As we sat in old, comfy chairs, Wolfe shared his personal history. Growing up in a modest home in New Jersey, he left at a young age to pursue a life in art, eventually becoming an Art Director in Advertising, all while consistently creating his own work. His story resonates with the familiar struggles of many creatives. Having paid his dues for many years, he has been dedicated to persevere in Soho and continue his art practice both in the city and his upstate home in New York.

We encourage you to view Gerald Wolfe’s work on our website www.denisebibrofineart.com, Artsy, and 1stDibs. For a studio visit please contact: Denise Bibro Fine Art at [email protected].

Open Call #COLLAGENOW 2024

UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you to everyone who has applied for our open call.

Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC, is proud to announce our virtual open call for the upcoming virtual exhibition #COLLAGENOW.

Employing the internet and social media as a platform for showcasing art has become extremely important during the past years, when virtual exhibitions and showrooms are now the new norm. After the success of last year’s show we are once again announcing an open call for the artists working in collage, especially for those actively using social media such as Instagram as a platform to promote and expose their art.

We will pick several finalists to showcase their work in our #COLLAGENOW exhibition. The chosen pieces will be featured on our online platforms and promoted on all our social media.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 30, 2024

 

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  • This call is open to artists working in collage or media that is 80% collage-based
  • No primary gallery representation
  • Completed Prospectus Form
  • $50 entry fee

 

ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Please pay via PayPal [email protected]. Include first name and last name OR make a check payable to Denise Bibro Fine Art: PO Box 1071, New York, NY 10011
  • Please email all virtual documents to [email protected]
  • Email subject line: #COLLAGENOW, FIRST NAME, LAST NAME
  • Fill out this application form including:

* A maximum of 10 hi-res images as jpgs, file title should be title of the work

* Email should include title, date, size, medium, and retail price for all works

* State whether you paid via PayPal or check

  • CV as a Word document

* Instagram handle (if applicable)

 

SELECTION PROCESS:

Jurying will begin on a rolling basis. Artists will be notified within two weeks after deadline if they are selected.

 

 

THE ROAMING GALLERIST : MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS NOT TO MISS


Judy Chicago: Herstory

10/12/23 – 01/14/24

New Museum

235 Bowery

New York, NY 10002

212.219.1222

At the New Museum is the long overdue and most deserved first comprehensive survey of the 20-21st Century feminist artist Judy Chicago. The museum has dedicated four floors of space to encompass and illustrate the girth and breath of her work including painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, textiles, photography, stained glass, needle work, and printmaking.

The strength and influence of Chicago’s work is emphasized and well illustrated by putting it in historical context. Alongside “Judy Chicago: Herstory,” New Museum also presented “City of Ladies,” which is an exhibition within the exhibition. “City of Ladies” comprises artworks, photographs, film, writings of powerful female artists, thinkers, writers, dancers, photographers from across the centuries. Included among them are Simone de Beauvoir, Hildegard of Bingen, Artemisia Gentileschi, Zora Neale Hurston, Frida Kahlo, Hilma af Klint, Virginia Woolf, Louise Nevelson, Martha Graham, etc. All of these creatives impacted Chicago’s art and work of an enormous number of living contemporary artist of all genders, cultures and ethnicities.

Going from the upper floors of this survey, viewing Judy Chicago’s early minimalist works of the 60’s and 70’s makes the best sense. By viewing in this progression one can sense the power and evolution of a woman creative that has a lot of guts, soul, relentless intellect, courage and resolve. Her vocabulary and craft are limitless. She employed any media and excelled on many fronts such as sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, sewing, stained glass. Each finished piece is not an ending and instead seems to present another challenge or discussion. On the lower floors her revolutionary feminist works can be seen as well as her narrative works from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Her most recent works confront concerns about the environment, disasters and perils, creation, masculinity, and morality.

The exhibition deftly conceptualizes her feminist methodology with many art movements. It successfully illustrates the critical and impactful role Chicago has played not only as an artist in her own right, but also as an advocate in claiming space for women artists.

Maria Prymachenko: Glory to Ukraine

7 October 2023 – 7 April 2024

The Ukrainian Museum

222 East 6th Street

New York, NY 10003

212 228 0110

The Ukrainian Museum in the heart of the East Village is a jewel of a museum. Its recent exhibition of one of Ukraine’s most beloved artists, Maria Prymachenko, should be a must see.

I was particularly provoked to see the show not only because of the horrors of the ongoing war Russia brought upon Ukrainian people, but because of my own father who was born in a Polish country village, similar to Prymachenko’s. Many of her works remind me of the stories from those days. The animals, farms, daily chores, and doings of ordinary life. I was happy to see her wonderful depictions of people, her craft work, her garments. What I saw endeared me to think of my own Grandmother. She had little, yet still sent me a handmade skirt and vest to show love for a granddaughter whom she didn’t know, and to share her culture that her son abandoned because of war. I revel in pride that Poland has opened their arms to welcome refugees from their neighboring countries. There is something to learn from this for everyone.

Maria Prymachenko was a born in a peasant family in the village of Bolotnya, Kiev Oblast. She was self-taught and relentless in creating her art. She has been loved for her vividly colorful, decorative, and sensitive perception of reality. Her works primarily depict animal scenes, often with mythological context, village life, and provide social commentary. Her works have been used on Ukrainian currency snd stamps.

This is the first exhibition of the artist’s work outside of Europe. She exhibited in France, Bulgaria, and other Eastern European venues. In France Picasso saw an exhibition of her work and said, “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.”

Prymachenko knew war well. She knew and felt loss, having lost family members through war, including her brother. Many of her works were created from these experiences. It is so sadly ironic that due partly to war some of here work is gone, making this exhibition and the work even more relevant.

Although self taught, her work’s strength is in its resilient use of color and simple forms all in their brute force. Its strength is in the truths that it empowers. There is a frankness and immediacy in her work that captures the viewers attention.

When going through this exhibition I thought of an affiliated artist of ours, Ola Rondiak, whose works also often illustrate the social and political issues of Ukraine, particularly in reference to Ukrainian women’s roles in society. Her husband is still staying in the country, even despite the ongoing war. Rondiak’s works of Ukrainian women in traditional garments illustrate the valuable role models that are powerful in her country. I was pleased to see her prints and posters displayed and offered at the museum shop, and supported her by buying a print.

Ola Rondiak, “Unforgivable,” 2022, acrylic and charcoal collage on canvas, 12 x 12 in

I encourage everyone to go to this exhibition and support the museum. The admission is nominal and becoming a member does not cost much more either. It is public and world knowledge that Ukraine is being ravished physically, socially, and financially. Its people, their homes, artifacts, art, and architecture are being destroyed, which further shows the urgent need to support institutions like this and help them preserve and share the wonderful culture of Ukraine.

Clio Art Fair

On one of our walks through Chelsea, we popped into an international curated Clio Art Fair, a fair new to us. It focuses on showcasing independent artists who are not represented by any NYC gallery. It is worth noting, its very existence, as so many other recent satellite and pop up fairs, reflect the challenges, the difficult quirks, curatorial problems, and severe economic concerns that affect all these venues, artists, and the artistic community at large. Nevertheless, such things as the lack of opportunities and the closing of physical galleries continue to inspire the community to seek out alternatives, and broaden horizons, despite the many pitfalls any of these options may have.

It was interesting to notice the organization of this fair echoed some issues we’ve noticed at Art Miami and Art Context. Because of the current economics and all the various costs that come with organizing and participating in such an event, there was some lack of space and possibly the need to compromise the quality of installations in some respect.

Despite the fact that the art fair was perhaps not ideally curated and the quality of features work was uneven, yet it was a joy to see how artists and curators poor their hearts and soul into promoting independent talent. It is vital for us as a community to support the artists and curators as mush as possible.

THE ROAMING GALLERIST : NATURE AND ART OF MIAMI

 

To take refuge from the labors of trying to put our house in Florida back together after the hurricane and to give ourselves a little treat for our anniversary, my husband and I ventured to Naples Botanical Garden. For years I have been curious about it, but since Sanibel was its own paradise and our visits were few and far between, we never had time. I should also admit that having been to the wonderful gardens that Brooklyn and the Bronx have to offer, I was misguided to have the jaded perception that Naples would not measure up. I should be embarrassed to admit that I was surely wrong. Never make assumptions. If you are in Southwest Florida, the Naples Botanical Garden is a must. It is a beautiful gem that provides not only the tantalizing wonders of topical nature but also quiet places for meditation, beautiful walking trails, special exhibitions of outdoor sculpture, and presentations. And if you have little ones in your life it also has a cornucopia of educational entertainment.

Naples Botanical Garden is a testament to the fact that there are well-meaning generous individuals, who have been successful putting their minds and hearts to important causes and putting their time and money where their mouths are. Despite the hustle and bustle of the modern day they care about what brought people here in the first place – nature’s beauty. And they have the foresight to preserve it. Board member Grace Evenstad and her late husband Ken have been Naples Botanical Graden’s benefactors for a long time, and they became the lead donors for the construction of Evenstad Horticulture Campus. With the help of other important donors and Henry Kapnick buying the 170 acres of land, they anchored the project. It is incredible that it only started in 1993. When visiting this wonderful place it feels like it has always been like this. It goes to show that the world needs visionaries like them and a stellar team made up of Ellin Goetz, Ted Flato, Raymond Jungles, Herb Schaal, Bob Truskowski and Made Wijaya, who completed a master plan of the project. Naples Botanical Gardens is a celebration of the Art of Nature. For me, being an artsy person and a nature lover, it was a tour de force!

FRIDA AND HER GARDEN IS ON VIEW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10, 2023

In the middle of the Naples Botanical Garden we found a special exhibition honoring a 20th century visionary painter Frida Kahlo. She was the first female Latin American artist to be exhibited in Louvre in Paris, France, and is arguably the most recognizable female Latin American artist in history. In recent years her work has been greatly referenced and exhibited. During her tenure she was often overshadowed by the strength of character and machismo of her famous husband Diego Rivera, who is considered one of the most famous muralists of the 20th century. He is well known for his monumental works on the subjects of social inequality and political context around labor. His frank and powerful murals resonated the pain, toil, and humble character of the worker.

Frida Kahlo herself was also an activist, who fought gender inequity and exposed the struggles and hardships of an indigenous woman in her paintings. She was a woman plagued with her own constant medical pains, which reflected in her work as well. Kahlo transformed her pain and emotions into visual language that pierced through the angst and noise around her. Nature and its lush beauty were an important part of that language too. In her garden in Coyoacán, Mexico City, she found solace and inspiration for her work. Naples Botanical Garden provides a replica of it with its cacti, plants, and blooming flowers. Frida’s easel is placed in the garden as well, evoking the presence of the artist. Various pictures and descriptions provide the viewer a sense of place and history. When in the garden, you can’t help but to be affected by its beauty and the power of nature. It gives an understanding of how Kahlo used this space as a sanctuary for creativity, meditation, and thought. As if nature led her eyes, heart, and then her hands on the canvas.

Within this garden the curators have placed contemporary sculptures by artists influenced by the same colors and patterns that resonated with Kahlo. These works echo to the viewer how this environment lends itself to others and inspires unlimited creative interpretations. I believe that Frida Kahlo would have loved these wonderful works.

Also not to be missed is a wonderful natural sculpture installation “Sea Change” by North Carolina based sculptor and environmental artist Patrick Dougherty. He is well known for his site-specific designs. This piece can be visited and experienced on the Kapnick Caribbean Garden lawn and will be there for approximately two years.

It is made from Interconnected circles of Pussy Willow from Canada and Coastal Plain Willow from Naples Botanical Garden, the branches creating wavy shapes of woven saplings. The artist’s son, Sam, and handpicked local volunteers assisted Dougherty in transforming nature into a massive interactive work of art. The piece has a feeling of grandeur and openness. The large empty biomorphic spaces within the design structure invite the view to experience it from within. Children and adults revel at its beauty and are delighted to walk into it and experience a sense of inclusion and venture. I could not help but to conjure and compare the feelings that it evoked in me with those I felt when looking at works of the 20th Century master sculptor Henry Moore. Although very different in context, the innate sense of natural shapes, form, line, and beauty are present in both.

As my Yorkshire English husband often says when he is emphatic about something: This is a work that one cannot choose to ignore, “Full STOP”.

The grounds of the Naples Botanical Garden have an abundance of various sculptures of multiple genres. Ona can find lively, almost human sized and human like bronze animals, small and monumental mosaic installations, multicolored sculpted birds inspired by Caribbean and Latino cultures, modern biomorphic shapes, and iconic images of Buddha to evoke feelings of calm reverence and meditative peace.

Art Wynwood, a smaller but well established fair in Miami, was a pleasant surprise this year. The fair, established for a number of years, has always taken off from the coattails of Art Miami and Art Context in February. The fair is owned and produced by the same London based company, Informa Markets, which has just recently acquired it from the previous partners, including the founder Nick Korniloff.

Art Wynwood, to some extent, is a step child to the two bigger fairs that take place at the same time as Basel in December. It has often been foreshadowed  by the bigger fairs. Many years, perhaps due to the crunch of filling spaces and financial pressure, its curation has not been the best. Which has always been a puzzlement to myself and to many others because the desire and number of applicants almost always exceeds the amount of space.

I am happy to say that this year was a more pleasant experience. Although there was a number of the same participants from the two fairs in December, it was better curated. The bad, and ugly bling was not as big of a factor. The bling that existed was palpable and, in some cases, even quite entertaining to look at.

As in Basel, Art Miami, and Context there was a contingent number of galleries focusing on Latin American art, most from Miami and the greater Miami area. As expected they brought with them a number of masterpieces of the well established living and dead masters like Roberto Matta and Wifredo Lam. Kudos to Latin Art Core, Miami, Fl, who made a large effort to feature contemporary female Latin artists. One in particular, Gina Pellón (1926-2014), was featured and inspired a great deal of interest. Pellón graduated from Havana’s San Alejandro Academy in 1954. A year prior, she exhibited at the Cuban Salon of the Beau Arts. To support herself she was a caregiver and later went to Paris and took care of small children. This theme permeates through her works. She was an artistic force in the early 50’s. She was influenced and informed by many art movements including surrealism and the wrks of Anton Breton, Roberto Matta, Wilfred Lam. She was also influenced by expressionism. Pellón was admired and talked about by many great visionaries. Her works reminded me of the works of Dustly Boyton who we showed in Art Miami and Art Context some years ago.

Gina Pellón (on the left) and Dusty Boynton (on the right)

It was good to see the works of other female masters like the noted sculptor Louise Nevelson, painter Lynne Drexler, who has recently been rediscovered and is now getting well deserved attention, especially from Berry Campbell in NYC. Drexler, an artist from Virginia, spent most of her productive life in New York and Monhegan Island, Maine, where she created. She was married to another great artist, John Hultberg, who showed with Martha Jackson Gallery in the past and DBFA in the 90’s. Drexler’s work were inspired by the natural beauty around her. Her colorful vibrant abstract compositions were explosive in color, they were electric and developed more into impactful abstractions with figures in her later life.

It was good to see artist friend, Art Students League Instructor, Bruce Dorfman, who we have featured in some of our special exhibitions at DBFA. He was featured by the Boston, NYC, and Miami based gallerist, Liz Clement. Alongside of Dorfman’s work were small paintings by Larry Poons, another connection with the Art Students’s League of New York. Poons rediscovery, thankfully in his life time, which is a rare phenomena, has skyrocketed in recent years. I have often seen his work shown in the Art Student’s League windows. A sacred place which, despite the claws of real estate entrepreneurs, has managed to avoid the temptation to cash in and the kiss of death.

Bruce Dorfman (on the left) and Larry Poons (on the right)

Frank Hyder, an artists friend and an affiliated artist of DBFA, had a stellar solo both at the fair. His new Janus pieces created in bronze and cement were featured with his paintings and mixed media works. This was arguably one of the best fair solo showings he has ever had. Recently, Hyder has also installed his large sculpture Janis – 2 Shades of Gray at the KuBe Art Center, Beacon, NY. It is located only a couple of minutes away from Dia: Beacon.

Frank Hyder’s booth at Art Wynwood, Miami, FL

Janis – 2 Shades of Gray by Frank Hyder at the KuBe Art Center, Beacon, NY

*To see other works of Frank Hyder visit our Artsy.

Art Wynwood had many wonderful things to look at, not only from the Miami and greater Miami area but from other states, Europe, and Asia. Many of them were viewing and acquiring worthy. You can see the examples in our collages.

We look forward to the fair’s continued success and do hope that as much effort will be made in curating as well as marketing it.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami and the nearby surrounding Maurice A. Ferré Park in downtown Miami, Florida, gives the world at large and Miami a wealth of culture and entertainment. It offers a wonderful outdoor space for recreational activities as well as a chance to observe the beauty of nature and revel at the surrounding artworks.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami has a number of exhibitions to celebrate fantastic women in the arts such as iconic contemporary Asian artist Yayoi Kusama, a filmmaker and artist Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, and a Brazilian-born artist Marcela Cantuária.

Yayoi Kusama, LOVE IS CALLING, 2013

Photo: Ernie Galan

© YAYOI KUSAMA.

Courtesy David Zwirner and Ota Fine Arts

 

Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, still from Too Bright to See (Part I), 2023

Courtesy the artist

Marcela Cantuária, Os mortos não estão mortos, 2020

Photo: Vicente de Mello

 

In addition to that they have a number of other wonderful exhibitions showing the works of Leandro Erlich, Christo, Hélio Oiticica, and Carlos Cruz-Diez.

The Maurice A. Ferré Park on Biscayne Bay also hosted a major exhibition of the renowned Costa Rican sculptor Jorge Jiménez Deredia. The exhibition is sponsored by the City of Miami, the Bayfront Management Trust, and the Museum of Cuban Diaspora. In this spectacular solo show a number of his works were displayed within the areas of the park. The city succeeds in its efforts to bring artists of various cultures and backgrounds, highlighting the beauty of the human creativity and how it relates to nature and the urban environment. All of this artistic and natural splendor at the footsteps of the Pérez Art Museum Miami is a triumph of the great use of public space, giving a respite to all from the hectic life of a vibrant city.

Hugo Rodriguez Loredo (on the left) and Sandra Victoria, Armando Blanco (on the right)

OPEN CALL: Art from the Boros X 2023

UPDATE: We are no longer accepting anymore applications. Thank you to everyone who has applied for our open call.

It’s that time of the year, Denise Bibro Fine Art is having its open call for Art from The Boros X, 2023. For the past nine years we have selected diverse and hardworking artists to participate in this annual group show highlighting talent found within New York City’s five boroughs. The mission of the exhibition is to seek and find the pulse of talent in the city that is often overlooked and underexposed.

We are asking artists in the five boroughs to submit all works virtually. From these submissions we will choose TEN artists for a virtual exhibition (on our website and Artsy.com). From those ten artists we will then choose ONE artist to have a solo virtual exhibition later this year.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, May 15, 2023
Open to all mediums; performance art must be digital

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  1. No primary gallery representation
  2. Live and/or work in any of the five NYC boroughs
  3. Completed Prospectus Form
  4. $50 entry fee

 

ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Please make a check payable to Denise Bibro Fine Art and mail it to the following address: PO Box 1071, New York, NY 10011 OR pay via PayPal ([email protected]). Include your first name and last name.
  2. Please email all virtual documents to [email protected]
  3. Email subject line: ART FROM THE BOROS X, FIRST NAME, LAST NAME
  4. Please attach the following to the email:
  • Completed Prospectus Form
  • A maximum of 10 hi-res images as jpgs (file title should be title of the work)
  • Email should include title, date, size, medium, and retail price for all works
  • State whether you paid via PayPal or check
  • CV as a Word document

 

SELECTION PROCESS:

Jurying will begin on a rolling basis. Artists will be notified within three weeks after deadline if they are selected. All artists that are considered for the exhibition must be agreeable to be available for a Director studio visit if needed.

THE ROAMING GALLERIST : MIAMI ART WEEK

 

2022 has just flown by, ending with artful minds being in the throes of the Art Basel happenings. Once again I found myself compelled to be a part of the insatiable Basel Art Week scene. In its own way it always seems to be a unique barometer of the current economic market. It also reflects our present decisive and precarious times. The year before conversations about NFTs even being advertised by airplanes passing the city back and forth was echoing throughout Basel and around. The blow out of NFTs and the ping pong existence of crypto currency have brought markets back to basic…perhaps ground zero. In some regard the decreased economic frenzy validated good art, well established artists, and those who deserve to be.

Miami Art Week Fashion

Miami Art Week is still one of the few opportunities in the world for a given week that one can flux wantonly through art, music, social mores, and various cultures without trepidation. Very few places are like Miami and it’s Wynwood section, where art can be seen continuously on building walls along with people walking or dancing to the beat of the music throughout the wee hours of the night. There is an insatiable appetite for art and being seen around it, however good, bad, or ugly it may be. And there is certainly a fair share of it all on the streets, in the fairs, and all over the city. Art, fashion, music, and design vibrate freely through the air. This week of extravaganza world class fairs like Basel, Art Miami, CONTEXT Art Miami, Untitled to name a few transform Miami for that week and it goes back to something else the day after all the crowds pay up, check out, and fly or Jetset and drive home. Miami is certainly a fun and hopping place after but it doesn’t have the the same atmosphere as during the Basel week.

Art Miami

The fairs themselves perhaps are a double edged sword. They give visitors an opportunity to see established galleries and their world famous artists. They also have some very good but middle sized galleries, that are pushed to their limits with the high cost of participating and paying for large gallery spaces. Moreover, the fairs have an abundance of very commercial and not-so-good art as well. Yet, such situation still provides the public a generous opportunity to see and experience. When schools and universities are cutting down on art programming and art cultivating has become less practiced in raising the young, it is a godsend to have this chance. There are many people nowadays who do not visit museums or galleries on their own accord and there are many who do, and Basel caters to both of these categories. The sophisticated and the avid students of the arts as well as people with perhaps less interest in visual culture are drawn to various media, genres and styles of work, to fun and lively atmosphere, and to other fascinating people from all over the world. Even though nothing is cheap these days, you couldn’t see and experience all of this with one trip in one week unless you are a wealthy world traveler (a price tag and time not too many can afford). 

CONTEXT Art Miami 

As mentioned above, the fairs this year were a mixed bag. There still were the standard good and great galleries, many of them showing superstars of art history like Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Niki de Saint Phalle, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Keith Haring, Sol LeWitt, Barbara Hepworth, Roy Lichtenstein, etc. Present were also the works of living superstars such as Judy Chicago, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Andrea Zittel, Kara Walker, Robert Longo among others. With this prestigious groups there are examples of some of their best pieces that are available on the secondary market, and their secondary works as well. If one is willing to invest their time and vision and look hard enough throughout the best fairs, there are still large morsels of less known and emerging artists that are worthy to obtain for both experienced collectors as well as aspiring ones.

Design Miami

What makes this potpourri somewhat complexing and challenging yet eventually rewarding is to sift through all the bad and the ugly to find the good. It is definitely advisable to take at least 3-5 days to peruse the fairs, because this kind of effort, although enjoyable and entertaining, requires viewer to take a break from time to time and join in on the fun available that week. Filtering special pieces out of the swarms of commercial art featuring various yet uninspired images of Mickey Mouses, Marylin Monroes, and King Kongs is a task not for the faint at heart. But if you do, you would be able to develop a refined art aesthetic and eventually find many great works in the offering in any of the shows. One can say that visiting these art fairs will suffice any art class at a university. 

We hope that the montage of photos in this article will give you some flavor of what art Basel brings to the table and encourage you to also look at what DBFA has to offer on our social media platforms.

DAVID HERMAN STUDIO VISIT

 

A trip to Long Island rendered a wonderful opportunity to visit the studio of a Long Island artist David Herman, whom we have exhibited for many years. Creating is in Herman’s DNA for sure. Besides developing his craft as an artist, he has been working as an accomplished violin restorer.  The underpinnings of his artistic practice is observation and experiences, specifically the ones he gained during his extensive travels. The things Herman saw and felt in his trips give his works their character and girth and become the context in which his art is brought to life. These encounters with the world are the tendons of his art.

How Herman has found time to travel in various corners of the world and still accomplish to master art and violin restoration is a wonder and a testament to his character. My recent visit to his studio proved that despite COVID and the limited ability to travel, he has still persevered and produced an impressive body of work. 

Herman’s works tend to go two different directions: they either show landscapes that emote the sheer beauty of shapes, forms, and the architecture; or his images reflect and illustrate things, people, and events encountered during his travels. 

The latter often depict unique and strong characters, regular yet extraordinary happenings, specific conditions and contexts in which persons of different social standings exist, and how a human being can overcome hardships with dignity and honor.

On the other hand, the abstract landscapes that he creates are primal yet complex. They are formed by shapes and swaps of bold color, and every element of them is very carefully articulated. Regardless of what type of works he produces, they are always emotive and exude a sense of careful control. 

Nevertheless, Herman still provides viewers with an opportunity to experience his art for themselves, without dictating the meaning or emotions one can see and feel. The freedom of interpretation is a vital part of the dialog Herman strived to build between his art and the public.