PaperCity Magazine

November 2014 - Houston

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NOVEMBER | PAGE 14 | 2014 TEXAS CONTEMPORARY, Fourth Edition The Bold, Brash Fair of Fall GIANT POP MATCHBOOKS, AVANT-GARDE VIDEOS, CARDBOARD CAKES AND $10,000 TO A NEW CORE FELLOW … THESE WERE SOME OF THE INDELIBLE HIGHLIGHTS FROM TEXAS CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR'S FOURTH GO-ROUND THIS FALL. HERE'S THE OFFICIAL RECAP. HERE'S MY PERSONAL TOP 10. CATHERINE D. ANSPON REPORTS. PHOTOGRAPHY EMILE BROWNE, JEFFREY CHU. 1. The wide open spaces of the George R. Brown Convention Center were used to great advantages by Fair founders Max Fishko and Jeffrey Wainhause, who went with ample, clearly demarcated aisles (a departure from years past, which featured a labyrinthine layout). Providing a dynamic visual elixir, the GRB's Pompidou-inspired Yves Klein blue supporting girders doubled as a sculptural prop for artist Adela Andea, who suspended a floating coral reef from the beams, made up of an array of shimmering, sprawling light components. 6. Meeting photog and videoist Barry Stone at Art Palace's stand was a thrill; I've been tracking him for years. Even better: Observing the Art Prince, aka Lester Marks, purchase a Stone video. 8. The VIP Lounge, devised by MaRS Architecture's Kelie Mayfield and Erick Ragni, was a compelling punctuation point, occupying the GRB's expansive back wall. University of Houston MFA candidate Heather Bause devised the clever paint drips that ran down the booth, while text fragments gleaned from conversations at previous Texas Contemporary Fairs were employed throughout the lounge — which, natch, was stocked with Ligne Roset furnishings. 9. Houston dealers acquitted themselves with great aplomb amidst the field of out-of-towners. Standouts: Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts' with '80s photo great Sandy Skoglund, featuring the artist's strange domestic scenarios; Devin Borden Gallery's densely packed stand, heavy with Texas talents such as Geoff Hippenstiel, Jillian Conrad, and Ted Kincaid; and Nathaniel Donnett's outspoken clothing at Linda Darke Gallery. Meanwhile at Moody Gallery, a Mary McCleary birthday-party collage was seen being carried off, destined for Marc Melcher's Saturday night Tex-Mex Fair bash. 10. My personal fave? Skylar Fein's jumbo matchbooks, which reigned supreme in Jonathan Ferrara Gallery's booth (the New Orleans-based dealer is one of the best of the Crescent City). The matchbooks could be opened, so they functioned as Pop objects as well as beguiling text pieces with a whiff of nostalgia. At $8,500 each for a Whitney-collected artist, they rapidly flew off the wall when the record-setting crowd of 13,000 came through. 2. The best booth in the house and the talent deserving of the $10,000 Texas Contemporary Award were one and the same: photographic video maker Rodrigo Valenzuela at Upfor Gallery, in from Portland, Oregon. The artist's stunning video about domestic workers left viewers empathetic and riveted. He's an incoming Core Fellow at the MFAH Glassell School of Art, so we'll be seeing plenty of his art-making in the next two years; CAMH's man-at-the-top, director Bill Arning, was the juror. 7. What's a fair without a terrific party? Friday night's bash chez Lucinda and Javier Loya lived up to any evening during Art Basel Miami Beach week. Dashing European Antoine Roset, who directs Ligne Roset North America, was wowed by the Loyas' decor and collection. Roset and Houston/Dallas Roset owners Brittany and Adam Branscum clinked cocktails and chatted up the art-smart crowd. (Roset was a headliner at the PaperCity-sponsored design panel the next day, while Ligne Roset Houston hosted the kickoff a week earlier that launched the fourth iteration of the Texas Contemporary). 3. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is now $25,000 richer, thanks to the proceeds from Opening Night; the vernissage set a record with 4,000 collector types in attendance, including Opening Night chairs CAMH board chairman Bill Goldberg, Marita and J.B. Fairbanks (going home with a new Vincent Valdez drawing from Houston's David Shelton Gallery), Judie Oudt, and Yvette and Scott Hill. 4. Yet again, Rice Gallery democratically curated its booth with a nifty installation for acquisition: cool cardboard creations, tiny houses and miniature cakes created by Ana Serrano, in from Los Angeles and a past Rice headliner. (This scribe snapped up a flower-bedecked paper cake sculpture for just $75.) 5. Damien Hirst's gallery for multiples was also surprisingly affordable: Other Criteria traveled in from NYC with finds such as sepia-toned photographs by Brit master Mat Collishaw, which possessed all the gravitas of a Dutch still life, while depicting images of inmates' last suppers, as haunting as they were beautiful — and bargains too, at around $5,000, for small editions exquisitely printed on goatskin parchment. Marita Fairbanks Adam Branscum Wayne Gilbert Jessica Phifer Patrick Reynolds Linarejos Moreno Matt Johns Felipe Lopez Nick Silvers Sharon Lott Erin Siudzinski Yvonamor Palix Steven Evans David Klonkowski Erick Ragni Taking in the MaRS VIP Lounge Kelie Mayfield Kerry Inman Toby Kamps Antoine Roset Adela Andea Natalia Ferreyra Jeffrey Welch Barbara Davis Rodrigo Valenzuela Basking in Paul Fleming Anya Tish Catherine D. Anspon Lester Marks Penelope Marks Sharon Neyland Ana Serrano Mary Arocha Bernard Arocha Bill Arning Mise en scène Max Fishko Host Lucinda Loya Jeffrey Wainhause Host Javier Loya Claudia Schmuckli Artful attire Brittany Branscum Jonathan Ferrara Matthew Showman

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