Volta Art Fair (in New York City this year from 6-9 March 2014) continues to offer a unique, fresh and edgy alternative to those from more established galleries participating in the bigger fairs like The Armory Show and the ADAA. Housed in the lofty warehouse space of 82 Mercer in SoHo, the venue enhances the youthful spirit of the fair, and we narrowed down a shortlist of our favorite booths at the show.
Tony Romano at Clint Roenisch Gallery (Toronto)
Canadian artist Tony Romano's multidisciplinary approach is on full display in this impeccably installed exhibition from the Clint Roenisch Gallery. While there is always a danger of having an artist lose a cohesive vision by attempting to display too many talents, Romano's combination of drawing, painting, photography and sculpture work together solidly to demonstrate his interest in figurative representation within the history of art. The abstract forms produced through a skillful application of carpentry and iron-work are tempered by a series of delicate and playful ink drawings of artists avoiding getting their work done.
Matthew Craven at DCKT Gallery (New York)
New York-based artist Matthew Craven uses relics from lost cultures as a form of abstract storytelling. Rather than relying on historical accuracy, his blend of drawing and collage focuses on shape and composition to allude to the myths of the past; creating all-new stories. These works—on show thanks to DCKT Gallery—are history in the most modern way.
Alfred Steiner at Gallery Poulsen (Copenhagen)
Alfred Steiner's work—on show at the Gallery Poulsen booth—has been described as a place where Audubon nature paintings collide with Nickelodeon and a barrage of various images. To create his meticulous watercolors, Steiner starts by choosing a character like Spongebob's neighbor Squidward and replaces his physical features with visually relatable objects: a hand becomes a ladle, a nose becomes a puffin egg. The stylized results are at once surreal and naturalistic. Steiner manages to access that extraordinary place in which the familiar becomes the bizarre.
Photos by Jonah Samson