On March 10th, I went to the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair in Manhattan. Several dozen galleries participated. The whole place seemed cramped, and the booths in the Impulse section were closet-sized. The crowded space, plus many encounters with people I know, made it hard to focus on the art.
At Julie Saul Gallery, there was a group of gouache-on-paper portraits by Maira Kalman, the illustrator who created the famous “New Yorkistan” cover for The New Yorker. One of them really popped off the wall (photo above right).
At Heather Marx Gallery, I encountered San Francisco artist Michael Arcega, who posed next to one of his Conquistadork sculptures, made from Manila folders (photo above). Mike has also made—and sailed in—a Manila Galleon, also made of folders. Originally from the Philippines, Arcega is interested in colonialism and other modes of domination. (No, he didn’t seek out this gallery because the owner’s name is Marx.)
The gallery offered much to see—altogether one of the best showings in the fair. On the wall opposite Arcega's sculpture was a group of new graphite drawings by San Francisco artist Libby Black. My sister Jan Burchard, who accompanied me to the fair, purchased one of the best (photo above).
At Catherine Clark Gallery, Reuben Lorch-Miller offered a banner for the times (photo above). Just the thing when you feel history is going in reverse.
At the Brussels gallery Aliceday, I noticed some tiny paintings by Charlotte Beaudry and asked for more information. In many works, she paints objects so inconsequential that they would barely be noticed in real life. One that captured my fancy is a medium-sized painting of a support post in a garage, a work not shown at the fair (photo above).
At Freight + Volume, I loved Michael Scoggins’s huge version of a schoolboy’s notebook doodles, entitled “U.S.A. Jet Fighter.” The piece was 67" x 51", and it was hung with the bottom edge curled under (photo above).
At one of the Impulse booths, Jeff Bailey had new color pencil drawings by Julia Randall. She has gotten interested in rendering the mouth during speech, with elegant but creepy results. The image floats in one corner of the paper (see photo above, which shows just the image area).
There was much more to see at this fair—for example, Gregory Lind Gallery always shows some good work—but I spent too much time chatting and didn’t take enough notes or photos.