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ArtNet News The Best and Worst of the Downtown Art Fair.

May 10, 2014

 

ArtNet News The Best and Worst of the Downtown Art Fair.

The new Downtown Fair, Art Miami’s first crack at a New York City fair, is an eclectic affair. Its strong suit of secondary market dealers sets it apart from the rest of the Frieze Week slate, but it also makes for a lot of repetition in the booths at the 69th Regiment Armory. Works by John Chamberlain, Alexander Calder, Ed Ruscha, Robert Indiana, and the like abound, though the fair’s unquestioned king is Fernando Botero, who has work in virtually every other booth. That said, Miami’s Ascaso Gallery has brought a 1961 Botero, Mona Lisa a Caballo, that offers a rare glimpse of the Colombian artist’s work before he developed his signature style and is well worth seeking out in the fair’s far corner.

In addition to those heavyweights of postwar art, there are plenty of strong and worthwhile booths, and one-off wonders peppered throughout the rest of the fair. Herewith, some favorites.

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The Santa Fe-based gallery has a fantastic booth with colorful works in virtually every medium, from a beautiful orange Op art painting by Julian Stanczak, Divided Red (1990, priced at $40,000), to a set of glossy urethane-on-wood sculptures by Beverly Fishman. But the stand-out offerings are a pair of Nancy Dwyer sculptures: the wooden text piece ME, MAN, MEN, MEAN (1987), priced at $10,000; and the deceptively pretty Selfish Idiot (2014), whose colorful garlands of painted plastic orbs spell out the titular insult, priced at $8,000.

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