REVIEW: Seattle Art Fair 2019
Last weekend, the Seattle Art Fair opened it’s doors for the fifth time, welcoming Seattleites to discover nearly 100 galleries, special performances, and interactive installations. The fair hosted galleries from all over the world, presenting an eclectic look at fine art through a variety of mediums.
Notable mentions include Angela Heisch’s summer-y abstract paintings at Davidson Gallery (New York), the daring and exquisite hyperreal paintings of Taylor Schultek at Gallery Poulsen (Copenhagen), gestural painterly goodness via Heather Day’s solo booth with Joshua Liner Gallery (New York), and Los Angeles based artist Patrick Martinez’s touching memorial painting of the recently deceased LA community activist and rapper Nipsey Hussle at Charlie James Gallery (Los Angeles).
“Returning Seattle Art Fair Artistic Director Nato Thompson curated a Wunderkammers-inspired slate of Projects & Talks, including Stephanie Dinkins’ voice-activated AI robot Not The Only One (N’TOO) that tells the stories of multigenerational black women; Incubator for Earthquakes, a kinetic dinner table sculpture that mimicked an earthquake with rattling china by Swedish artist duo Bigert & Bergström; The Bond and The Loafers by Patricia Piccinini, an intriguing anthropomorphic sculpture made predominantly of silicone and hair; and an insightful discussion on contemporary curating practices with Larry Ossei-Mensah, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Paula Marincola, executive director of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and Rita Gonzalez, head of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and a discussion about how artists and collectors can collaborate to create market disruption and dynamic innovations.
In addition, The Frye Art Museum acquired artworks from four Pacific Northwest galleries. From Portland, a work on paper by Jeffry Mitchell from PDX CONTEMPORARY ART and a multimedia artwork by Ko Kirk Yamahira from Russo Lee Gallery. From Seattle, a drawing by Mary Ann Peters from James Harris Gallery and a painting by Anthony White from Greg Kucera Gallery.”
Russo Lee Gallery (Portland, OR) brought some serious heavy hitters, the booth had some beautiful new works on paper from Portland-based artist Dan Gluibizzi, showcasing some of his signature assembled portraits as well as some newer sculptures from 2019. In addition, we were mesmerized by the delicately draped textile works of Ko Kirk Yamahira, which was swiftly acquired by Frye Museum. as well as the insanely hyperreal still life paintings of Sherrie Wolf. One of the biggest double-take booths at the fair was by far Hashimoto Contemporary (San Francisco / New York) They presented some decidedly psychedelic works this year that made visitors turn their head more than once. Crowd favorite Peter Gronquist had two new infinity mirror works, adorned with various flora fauna. San Francisco based artist Sean Newport’s colorful and optical illusionary wall works also drew a crowd. Lastly, Laura Berger had a selection of new paintings, deploying some bold 70’s palettes and graphic geometric designs.
Barney Savage Gallery (New York) took a different approach, presenting an entire solo booth of large oil paintings from NY artist Jillian Denby, the series being a romantic love letter to nature. Evocative of American naturalist and European Roccoco painters, the works offer a binocular view into a myriad of summer activities set among a lush green environment. Beautifully executed (and mostly done outside, Plein-air style) these landscape scenes are joyous, contemporary and a breath of fresh air. Lastly, one of our favorites was by far any of the daily performances from Bread Face (learn more here). Engaging visitors to participate and ‘bread face’ themselves, either in public on the show floor or in the privacy of a curtained room, the installation shocked and awed visitors, which was just as entertaining to watch as it is to watch Bread Face do what she does best.