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Miami Art Week 2013: Folded, Rippled and Melted

Our highlights of non-traditional shapes across sculpture and painting

by David Graver in Culture on 13 December 2013

Whether angled or oozing, wave-like or crumpled, shapes in art and design have always stepped beyond the boundaries of traditional form. During our recent exploration of art in Miami, a few works caught our attention, and also begged to be touched. While we actually couldn't poke at any of the pieces, we were intrigued by their uncommon structure, the processes behind them and their sensory appeal. At times, there was tactile evidence of the hand element, at times you really just wanted to grab hold.

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Ethereal undulations compose Loris Cecchini's "Wallwave Vibrations (Asynchronous emotions)" (2012). Polyester resin molds an in-the-wall sculpture, covered in paint to create the effect of a stone dropped into an already shaken pond. Presented by the Diana Lowenstein Gallery at Pulse Miami, the scope and scale overwhelmed, but with soothing liquid vibes.

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"Impression," (2013) a massive steel and mixed materials construct by Jacqueline Gilmore is an oversized version of the children's toy Pin Art. The artist utilized actual human impressions in the development of the piece. Each side appears amorphous yet entirely sturdy. This piece, playfully referencing the human form through metallic waves, was seen at the Red Dot Art Fair.

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At this year's Untitled Art Fair, Rincón Project's defined Gabriel Antolinez "White Fur" (2013) as having variable dimensions. This is evident in its curling, tendril-like nature. A little mammalian, entirely not alive, its shape twists and changes based on placement.

Gallery Geranmayeh, also at the Untitled Art Fair, presented Jan Maarten Voskuil's "Squeezed Square In Thirds #6 and #7" (2013). As simple as they are beautiful, the linen wall-hung pieces are bent yielding an unsettling broken energy in conflict with the purity of its stark gesso acrylic's whiteness. Altogether, it is powerful.

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"KnotMarble_L45" (2012), by industrial designer and sculptor Arik Levy, makes the most functional advantage of folded structure. There is a cleanliness to this marble side table, shown by Priveekollektie at Design Miami. Once again, simple yet strangely unfamiliar. For such a heavy source materiel, its shape also leads to a lightness.

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Robert Burnier's "Reset" (2013), "Twenty Five" (2013) and "Twenty Four" (2013) could be perceived as crumpled or folded. Either way, these pieces composed of primer on aluminum, have a destructed sensibility. Rather than coming across as damaged, or even representing detritus, they're delicate and elegant. There is a collapsed nature to these that provokes thought about what it would look like in its "original" form. Each piece was presented at the Andrew Rafacz Gallery booth at the Untitled Art Fair

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With a greater element of organized chaos, through folds and ripples, Matt Chambers's "Warts And All" (2013) incorporates acrylic, enamel based adhesive and nylon flocking on canvas. There is a thoughtful disarray, fanning about. The deep red monochromatic nature seems to reference layers of muscle and tendon. NYC's Untitled Gallery booth at Art Basel Miami Beach presented this wall-mounted series of four.

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Giving the impression that the human form is melting away and with it, our definition of beauty, artist Fabian Marcaccio's "2012 Woman of Sinaloa" (2013) re-imagines a beauty pageant subject at the painting's center. Seen thanks to BravinLee at the Untitled Art Fair, there is an eeriness as the alkyd and silicone shrouds the true image of the woman, while also giving the work on Manila rope its definition. According to the artist, "This is not an abstract or figurative painting. It is a network of pictorial events secreting a provisional image. A constellation of amplified paint models."

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"Team Extreme Jesus" (2013) by Michael Murphy, is a sculptural portrait of Jesus, built of plastic army men and urethane. Seen at Gallery Nine5's booth at Art Miami, each tiny action figure climbs and crawls atop of one another, at times melting into each other. The struggling mass forms the details of Christ's face. It's a bold, aggressive statement, executed in a new way, with a message that reads loud and clear.

Additional reporting by Josh Rubin, Karen Day and Jonah Samson

"Warts And All" images courtesy of Untitled Gallery, "Wallwave Vibrations (Asynchronous emotions)" photo by Karen Day, "Impression," "White Fur," "2012 Woman of Sinaloa" and "Team Extreme Jesus" photos by David Graver, all others by Jonah Samson

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