PaperCity Magazine

September 2014 - Houston

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Drew Tal's Faith, 2009, at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery INTERNATIONAL AND NOTABLE ARRIVALS With an Opening Night benefitting Asia Society Texas Center and exhibitors culled from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East — including an installation by a Cairo-based talent that's fresh from the 2013 Venice Biennale — this year's Houston Fine Art Fair is spun around the diversity of our town. It also boasts programming reflective of the curatorial and artistic voices that characterize our state and region — yet would not be characterized by the often pejorative label "regional." Instead, we would argue that this fair is all about a sense of place. It could be subtitled, "The fair for Houston, the art city." It's deeply interwoven into this community, with a kind of dual global-local emphasis. Consequently, Houston nonprofits such as FotoFest will have a strong presence as a partner, mounting the must-see exhibition "Selection from the FotoFest 2014 Biennial" with a topical Arab World theme. Watch for calligraphically inspired work by Moroccan- born, NYC-based Lalla Essaydi as well as some of the lesser known but equally significant lensmen who comment on the charged sociopolitical terrain of the Middle East. A LITTLE HISTORY The art fairs first galloped into town in 2011. Houston Fine Art Fair was the original one, produced by the Hamptons Expo Group, founded by charismatic entrepreneur/collector Rick Friedman. (His '80s program Dance Fever even boasted Andy Warhol as celeb guest judge.) Friedman — who's mad about Pollock and the ab- ex masters, and has a collection to prove it — is the mastermind behind HFAF. His other fair ventures encompass locales in wealthy watering spots: ArtAspen, ArtHamptons, Palms Springs Fine Art Fair and the innovative Silicon Valley Contemporary. But it's his Houston fair that has the most chops and potential in terms of the importance of the collector community in this metropolis. Joining Friedman in molding this iteration of the HFAF is chairman Deborah Colton, the force behind her eponymous Deborah Colton Gallery, which has a history of mounting exhibitions featuring artists from around the globe, especially the Middle East; DCG was the only United States gallery exhibiting in the first Abu Dhabi Art Fair in 2007. (Fittingly the gallery hosts the official Fair After Party on Saturday night, which doubles as an opener for an exhibition that distills the essence of the current Middle Eastern dialogue. "Mapping Strife: Reality and Perception" includes Fulbright- winning, Venice Biennale-exhibited Khaled Hafez of Egypt, whose installation from the Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Biennale (2013) will be presented at the Fair — one of year four's absolute highlights. (Hafez will be in from Cairo to attend both Fair and the group show at Deborah Colton Gallery). SEOUL CITY TO MEXICO CITY Continuing its emphasis on Korea as an epicenter of the art-making avant-garde, HFAF invites gallerist Ken Kim of Kips Gallery, NYC, to organize the "KP Project," which showcases a quartet of contemporary Korean visualists: Jung Jong-Mee, Kim Keun-Joong, Kim Ho-Deuk and Suk Chul-Joo. This unique museum-caliber show, within a special section of the Fair, mirrors the Korean stance taken by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in its Arts of Asia galleries. Watch for the four headliners to turn tropes of historical Korean painting on its head while paying respect to cultural antecedents. Landscape painting, dramatic ink-brush works, portraiture including depictions of sacred Buddhas and riotous, stylized blossoms are some of the topics that receive a 21st-century treatment. Meanwhile, Mexico City artist Nacho Rodriguez Bach's metaphoric, hypnotic sight-sound installation, Asterismos, conflates the constellations with the piano keys into an immersive environment — one-part science, one-part wonder and perfumed with ambiguity. Watch for a symphony- worthy piano recital connected to a bank of neon lights that evoke the cosmos. The presentation is organized and sponsored by curator/patron Mariana Valdes Debes, who also weighs in as the moderator of the Latin American panel, set for early Friday evening. Noteworthy is the aforementioned presentation of Khaled Hafez's video work from the 55th Venice Biennale, entitled "On Noise, Sound and Silence." Family memory and collective history are interwoven into a potent, elusive video installation complete with memory box that underscores the fragile, ephemeral nature of time and eternity, with the grand landscape of now set against Pharaonic ages. Further underscoring the diversity of the offerings and the Middle Eastern explorations, a panel on a special Arab World topic will be one of final flourishes of Sunday afternoon. GONE GLOBAL Manuel Mendive's The Waters, 2008, at Collage Habana Gallery HOUSTON FINE ART FAIR 2014 | NRG CENTER (FORMERLY RELIANT CENTER) | INFO@HEGSHOWS.COM | HOUSTONFINEARTFAIR.COM PAPERCITY ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT COURTESY THE ARTIST AND KIPS GALLERY, NYC COURTESY THE ARTIST AND DEBORAH COLTON GALLERY, HOUSTON COURTESY THE ARTIST AND EMMANUEL FREMIN GALLERY, NYC COURTESY THE ARTIST AND COLLAGE HABANA GALLERY, HAVANA THE ESSENTIALS: HOUSTON FINE ART FAIR 2014 "THIS YEAR'S HOUSTON FINE ART FAIR IS SPUN AROUND THE DIVERSITY OF OUR TOWN." Kim Keun-Joong's Natural Being, 2010, at KP Project Houston Fine Art Fair Preview Party: Thursday, September 18, 6 to 7:30 pm Black Card access, 7:30 to 9:30 pm VIP Pass. Fair Days: Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20, 11 am to 7 pm; Sunday, September 21, 11 am to 6 pm. Where: NRG Center (formerly Reliant Center). Who: More than 50 international, national and Texas galleries. Note: Opening Night benefits Asia Society Texas Center. Tariff: First-Look Black Card (earliest Fair admission) $100; VIP Pass $75; one-day pass $25. Contact/Info:; HOUSTON FINE ART FAIR, YEAR FOUR A FIRST LOOK AT SOME OF THE 50 FAR-FLUNG GALLERIES AND WHO SHOULD BE ON YOUR COLLECTING RADAR. SPECIALLY CURATED PROJECTS, ILLUSTRIOUS ART-WORLD HONOREES CALENDAR THESE DATES: SEPTEMBER 18 THROUGH 21, ARRIVING FROM TOKYO TO BOGOTÁ, AT NRG CENTER AND PREPARE TO ACQUIRE. Khaled Hafez's Houston Angels, 2014, at Deborah Colton Gallery Peter Zelle's Ocean Sonata, 2013, at Zoya Tommy Gallery COURTESY THE ARTIST AND ZOYA TOMMY GALLERY, HOUSTON

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