Constantin Brâncuși, Jeune Fille Sophistiquée, 1928. Polished bronze. 21 5/8 x 5 7/8 x 8 5/8 in. Edition three of five. Edition cast by Susse Fondeur, Paris, 2013. Photo: ©The Artist. Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Romanian artist Constantin Brâncuși (1856-1957) was a seminal modernist sculptor, known for his semi-abstract and streamlined polished metal, marble, and wood works. At The Art Show, Paul Kasmin Gallery is showing a lesser known piece inspired by Nancy Cunard, an heiress, muse, and activist, who was deeply entrenched in the 1920s Paris art scene. The bronze body and marble base exemplifies the artist's tendency to mix mediums within the components of his sculptures.
Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled, 1975. Plaster and butterfly. 10.63 x 18.31 x 11.42 in. Photo: Courtesy of Bortolami Gallery.
In the 1970s, Italian artist Claudio Parmiggiani (b. 1943) created a series of assemblages, a selection of which is on display at Bortolami Gallery's booth. Consisting of mysterious and mythic objects, like books and boat models, these were inspired by juxtapositons the artist had discovered in a cluttered storage unit. Here, a butterfly balances on a plaster cast of a classical bust, a reproduction of a 5th century Greek statue.
Haim Steinbach, Shelf with Globe, 1980. Contact paper, wall paper, and wood shelf; aluminum globe. 31 x 20 x 18 in. Photo: Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.
In the 1980s, Israeli-born artist Haim Steinbach began making a "Shelf" series, constructing atypical shelves and pairing them with an object. Here, the misshapen supporting pieces play off the patterns of landmasses, while the shelf—a common object, but here, unique—constrasts with the mass-produced globe.
In his solo presentation for Tanya Bonakdar, Steinbach continues to contemplate construction and architecture, having erected an exposed wall that obscures the booth.
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Cordoni (Cords), 2014. Silkscreen on polished super mirror stainless steel. 98 3/8 x 196 13/16 in. Photo: Courtesy of Luhring Augustine.
This large-scale "mirror painting" seemed to serve its purpose as an #artselfie magnet during the fair's opening. And it didn't hurt that, at 16 feet long, it was facing the venue's main entrance. It's no coincidence that Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933), who made this last year with the fair in mind, painted rope barriers across the width.
Nam June Paik, Music Box, Based on Piano Piece Composed in Tokyo in 1954, 1994. Antique TV cabinet, 10 inch color TV, mini video camera, incandescent light bulb, 1 Reuge 144 note music box mechanism. 19.5 x 19 x 18.75 in. Edition of 10. Photo: Courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.
A pioneering video artist, Korean-born Nam June Paik (1932-2006) started out studying music in Tokyo in the 1950s. This object, created some four decades after he left Japan, is a music mechanism, similar to a music box, inside an old-fashioned TV set. The screen shows a live feed of the revolving steel cylinder as its tuned teeth pluck a steel comb, playing one of the artist's compositions.
Brodsky & Utkin, Still Life, 1989. Gass top iron table with painted plaster objects. 92 x 162 x 30 in. Photo: Casey Dorobek, courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.
Architects and artists Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin (both b. 1955), as partners simply called Brodsky & Utkin, were the internationally acclaimed standouts of an informal movement of artists called the "paper architects," who worked out of Moscow in the '80s and early '90s. As a subversive protest against the austere architecture of Soviet Russia, "paper architects" would devise fantastically impossible buildings and cities. Pictured is Still Life, a table densely packed with variably sized plaster bottles and heads–but from a distance, it's an uncanny city skyline.
Judy Pfaff, Jingdezhen, 1992. Blown glass, steel, tin, glass, wire. 100 x 42 x 60 in. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York.
Hailed as a pioneer of installation art in the 1970s, London-born Judy Pfaff (b. 1946) is known for her sprawling assemblages that can fill up a room with steel, wire, and other found components. This example, a Pavel Zoubok gallerist pointed out, even at 8 feet tall, is a relatively small work for Pfaff.
Sam Messenger, Aegyptus, 2014. Mixed media on canvas. 111 x 82 1/2 in. Photo: Courtesy of Maxwell Davidson Gallery.
Named after a figure in Greek mythology, this work is a continuation of a 2012 series by British artist Sam Messenger (b. 1980). A massive, unstructured grid appears to materialize out of the black background, an effect of Messenger's intense dying process that involves watercolor and ash. The pattern of the grid is a combination of the artist's random choices and rigidly applied rules.
All four works: Christina Ramberg, Untitled, 1967. 6 x 6 in. Photo: Courtesy of David Nolan Gallery.
For the Chicago-based artist Christina Ramberg (1946-1995), vivid memories of her mother putting on a corset influenced much of her practice. Her graphic illustrations and paintings often focus on female figures in various states of dressing, often so entangled in their clothes that they appear deformed, or become one with the fabric altogether.
Lorna Simpson, TCI, 2013. Collage. 29.5 x 21.75 in. Photo: Courtesy of Salon94, New York.
Salon94 curated a wide-ranging and excellent solo booth showcasing the work of Lorna Simpson (b. 1960). Simpson is a New York born artist who rose to prominence in the 1980s for large-scale photographic and text works that mainly dealt with gender, sexuality, and race. In 2013, she debuted a series of "Ebony Collages," an example of which is pictured here.