7 Booths from SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW 2023 - WILDCARD - FAD Magazine

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FAD Magazine covers contemporary art – News, Exhibitions and Interviews reported on from London


SPRING/BREAK Art Show New York City returned for its 12th edition from September 6th-11th, 2023, featuring more than 120 curatorial exhibitions, Special Projects and our new section Artist Spotlight. 625 Madison Avenue, New York City.

Congratulations to all of the participating artists in this year’s SPRING BREAK Art Show, and thank you to those specifically who shared with me their “bigger picture”. I deeply appreciate being granted the access to understanding your processes, practices and unique artistic histories. 

A bit of prosecco with just as much tea next year please xx

Special mentions for artists who had exceptional presentations that I could unfortunately not include on my list:

Booth:1007 Kyle Utter’s painting in Artist Spotlight Salon Show curated by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori.

Booth:1019 Kay Seohyung Lee’s paintings in A comfortable Violence curated by Blah Blah Gallery (Philly).

Booth:1048 Debbi Keynote’s sculptural paintings in Surface Level curated by Alex Feim and Matt Logsdon.

Booth:1411 Christina Massey’s aluminium can sculptures in Uncharted Growth curated by Etty Yaniv.

Booth:1142 Fuck Stories curated by Caroline Weinstock.

Booth:1013 Ask The Tempted – Lisa Bowman. Curated by Kelly Reichart and Brigitte Engler 

Lisa Bowman. Color Wheel, 2022. Oil stick, tape, collaged paper printed on silk chiffon. Photo courtesy of the gallery.

Lisa Bowman’s work was granted enough space in Kelly Reichart and Brigitte Engler’s refined booth to allow each of her silk piece’s fifteen tessellated color wheels their own vibrant independence. Bowman’s beautifully draped chiffon print was accompanied by a compilation of her more well known collaborative collages inspired by the originally Surrealist art game: exquisite corpse. Artist’s involved in Bowman’s 2020 project, which included Walter Robinson, Scooter LaForge, Erik Foss, Tessa Hughes Freeland, Kenny Sharf, and my personal favorite Jodie Foster to name just a few, were encouraged to render their own anatomical parts anonymously, and then return them to Bowman for her to eventually reveal the most peculiarly new, and sporadically stylised ‘bodies’. Ask The Tempted successfully validates the process of collage not only through the artist’s own material sophistication, but in her ability to assimilate over 100 of today’s most visionary artist’s own beautiful and crazy interpretations as well. 

Booth:1150 The Unbearable Weight of Expectations – Santina Amato, Katya Grokhovsky, Anja Marais, Jiwon Rhie, Manal Shoukair. Curated by Katya Grokhovsky

L-R: Santina Amato, Carol and Deidre, from the series Portraits of Women With Their Weight In Dough, 2019, photograph. Anja Marais, Return of the Corn Mothers – Skin, 2022, found object, maize meal, saffron, turmeric.

Ceiling: Manal Shoukair, hold pom, 2023, nylon, pomegranates. Floor: Jiwon Rhie, Flower Dogs, 2019-2023, mixed media. Photography courtesy of Yi Hsuan Lai.

I find myself writing about Jiwon Rhie’s sculptures without even trying to. The artist’s Flower Dogs vibrate and jive on The Unbearable Weight of Expectation’s black and white checkers. A maniacal and colorful spectacle of a floor activation somehow subtle enough to focus on other works in the exhibition, yet impossible to keep you from giggling. Katya Grokhovsky’s stunning acrylic painting Selfish which recalls the frisky and gestural qualities of Jenny Saville’s grotesque self portraits, and Santina Amato’s sincere and peculiar Weight in Dough photographic series both derive from bodies of work way too heartfelt to merely mention in a listicle. Looking forward to asking Amato for a gluten free option to coat my own body in if she lets me. Dogs, dough, and gynocentricity – why would I need anything more?

Booth:1125 Transformation Sequence – Yen Yen Chou, Fuko Ito, Christina Yuna Ko, Jeannie Rhyu, and Huidi Xiang. Curated by Yen Yen Chou and Jeannie Rhyu.

Transformation Sequence, 2023. Yen Yen Chou, Fuko Ito, Christina Yuna Ko, Jeannie Rhyu, and Huidi Xiang. Curated by Yen Yen Chou and Jeannie Rhyu. Photo Credit: Samuel Morgan Photography, @SammySachs. Copyright (c) SPRING/BREAK Art Show @springbreakartshow

Rainbows bounce across interdisciplinarily crafted objects in this hyper-femme and galactic booth. Speckly and silvery reflective surfaces cover the entirety of the booth’s floor and ceiling and enrapture visitors inside of five very different east-asian artists’ interpretations of a Transformation Sequence. Magically transformative scenes, like protagonist Sakura’s ‘Star Transformation’ in Card Captors, or other visually insane unleashing of superior alter-egos in animated series like Sailor Moon, have inspired Huidi Xiang’s precious yet serious chrome silver water sculpture; raised just above the ground, and audibly trickling in the center of the room. Jeannie Rhyu’s two monotypes strike and stand at eye level with celebratory (almost firework) marks in eccentric pinks, purples and reds, and romanticise fantasies that fit neither within fact nor fiction. Fuko Ito’s watercolor and colored pencil drawings fathom scenes that look not only delicious but like the best pillow you’ve ever laid your head on. Yen Yen Chou’s teardrop gloop sculptures adorn the space in their signature gradianted pastels, and Christina Yuna Ko’s unconventionally shaped paintings both appear as unique keepsakes one could encounter during their own transformation sequence. Looking well beyond the magical, and tantalizing aesthetics of their chosen theme, Rhyu and Chou unapologetically seduce viewers into a powerfully feminine, identity-altering, and metamorphic universe of their own. 

Booth: 1108 Lifelines – Natsuki Takauji. // Booth: 1109 In the Waiting Room – Lydia Nobles. Curated by KAPOW – Kourosh Mahboubian.

Lydia Nobles. Blair, 2021. Acrylic, highchair, pleather, polyester, resin, velvet. 21 x 25 x 34 in. Photo courtesy of the artist. 

Koroush Mahboubian has two booths at Spring Break this year, so for the first time in months I was finally able to see my dear friend – ironically in a waiting room, with almost zero time to talk before his next appointment. Lydia Noble’s saddling sculptures aggrandize various women’s abortion experiences and patiently wait to be acknowledged, judged, and have every inch of them scrutinized by their audience. Ring a bell, Ladies? Nobles uses translucent materials, resins, and a multitude of textures to create awkwardly shaped, sometimes prickly visual representations of some very difficult, yet enlightening stories that now exist as hard and soft symbolic structures. Similarly, Mahboubian’s other curated booth Lifelines showcases an equally extravagant and rather invasive installation by Natsuki Takauji made from hand-blown glass, fabric and brass wires that really make you question what other materials she’s using in her studio. Utilizing medical imagery at an extreme closeup, Takauji’s own ovum pattern creates her tree of life’s flouring green top, while her Believers series includes viscerally arresting blotty abstractions, shaded in various tones of blood-red. 

Booth:1143 The Imperfect Game – Saul Acevedo Gomez. Curated by Antonio Del Valle-Lago

CHAPTER 27. To Who Do You Pray and Why? God, Nature, Universe. I Will Ask For Guidance Every Morning, 2023. Thread, color pencils, watercolor pencils, and dye on canvas. 28 x 22 x 1.5 in. Photos courtesy of SPRING/BREAK Art Show.

I first met Antonio Del Valle-Lago when we were both working at the Modern in 2019. While I wasn’t aware of his curatorial endeavours at the time, I had only been in the States for less than six months, and he was one of the first people in New York I had met that actually seemed to have time to talk about art history – something surprisingly difficult to find even at THAT museum. Over the last couple of years since,  I have come to realise Antonio probably has no time at all anymore – period, yet will make it for the ones he believes in. For Saul Acevedo Gomez’s case, in the most passionate and blatant manner possible. 

As each work’s title suggests, the artist explores his own existentialism, position in the game of life, and questions concepts like order, compulsion, and life’s larger ‘what ifs?’ Using thread, gesso, oil paint and watercolor to visually troubleshoot, Gomex blurs the lines between the internal and external dialogues he engages in, or is otherwise forced into as a self-critical painter. Symbols like wildflowers and other types of plant life, UFOs, and nature’s elemental forces combine at this year’s fair and hopefully forecast the next body of the artist’s psychologically expansive, self-reflective, and occasionally inverted canvases. Rain or shine, Gomez’s mental weather promises an unpredictable amount of questioning. The originality and beauty of each work is the only problem that he’s managed to solve yet. 

Booth: 1002 Paisajes conocidos, en lugares tan extraños – Laura Camila Medina.  Curated by Filo Sofi Arts

Laura Camila Medina. Paisajes conocidos, en lugares tan extraños, 2023. Photo courtesy of Filo Sofi Arts NYC

Running into two beautiful people in the elevator as soon as I entered the building (who were kind enough to advise me on how I should start my fair navigation before my first coffee), led me straight into the day-dreamy atmosphere of Laura Camila Medina’s Paisajes conocidos, en lugares tan extraños curated by Gabrielle Aruta of Filo Sofi Arts. Setting a high-as-a-kite standard for the rest of the fair, the Colombian-born multimedia artist told me in her own words that she couldn’t decide to stick to one medium, so decided to embrace them all. Paper Mache, hand-painted silk, hand-made paper and various ceramic objects translate Madina’s nursery of childhood experiences into diluted memories brought back to life through physically manipulated materials and digitally rendered 3D videos. I am so happy to have been made aware of this artist. Bravo!

Booth:1164 Unlimited Supply – Tiko Imnadze, Gvantsa Jishkariani, Sandro Pachuashvili, Mishiko Sulakauri. Curated by CH64 Gallery.

Mishiko Sulakauri. Black Spot, 2023. Vehicle exhaust soot on paper. 72 x 72 in. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mishiko Sulakauri played me a video of him crouching on the side of the road shoving rolled-up paper into an exhaust pipe, then yelling at the driver to put his foot on the gas, and then proceeding to carefully retract it. Sulakauri’s enchanting piece Black Spot documents his carbon footprint and traffic-based explorations in his home country of Georgia, and compiles carefully selected soot-stained paper into a large and chaptered graphite drawing. As much as Sulakauri came across as tender and delicate in demeanour, his process must have been so loud, messy, extremely dangerous, and most likely to come with a long list of potential health risks. If we had managed to get that drink I had offered him after the fair, (which he clearly fucking needed), I would’ve thanked him for revitalising my faith in real artistry, and let him know that his piece was the most pulsating, and certainly my most favored work of the entire fair.



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