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Five Strong Presentations from Future Fair 2024

Five Strong Presentations from Future Fair 2024

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Future Fair
Duran Mashaal’s solo presentation of Canadian painter Maude Deslauriers’s recent works at the entrance of Future Fair 2024. Image courtesy of the artist and Duran Mashaal.

New York’s Future Fair is gaining further credence in its 4th edition. The fair is located in Chelsea Industrial, on the corner of West 28th, where a new cohesively walkable 11th Avenue fair district is forming alongside 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair across the street, with Frieze a few blocks to the north and NADA a stone’s throw to the south on West 22nd. This proximity to high caliber fairs makes Future Fair a convenient stop along any route, increasing the quality of foot traffic to the space, as well as a noticeable increase in the quality of offerings across this edition’s participating galleries. This may be due in part to the fair subsidizing galleries participation through $12,000 in distributed grants from its “Pay it Forward Fund” for Founding Galleries. Future Fair is unique in adopting this innovative ecosystem approach to supporting its exhibitors, and now it can be seen as a worthy investment in its rise on the art fair scene. Approachable and inviting in the atmosphere–though circuitous and one-directional in navigating the space–Future Fair succeeded in attracting A-list celebrities, foundation directors, notable international collectors, museum curators, and even foreign dignitaries, including the Danish Ambassador and Austrian Consulate General, during the its VIP preview on May 1st.

Female artists take pride of place along each alleé, corner, and crevice: nearly every booth was teaming with energetic talent ranging from the technical to the imaginative with douses of feminine whimsy to spare. It is no surprise that a wide range of aesthetic perspectives and material investigations grappled with representing the female figure throughout many sections of the fair, becoming an unplanned theme throughout this article as well. Engaging for collectors and gallerists alike, here are five strong presentations to anchor any Chelsea fair outing with a visit to Future Fair’s 2024 edition.

Massey Klein Future Fair
Massey Klein Gallery’s solo booth presentation of Dutch artist Martine Johanna’s recent paintings on panel (2024). Image courtesy of the artist and Massey Klein Gallery.

Massey Klein Gallery’s Solo Presentation of Dutch Painter Martine Johanna

A 4-year veteran of Future Fair, Massey Klein Gallery steals the show with the intoxicating pull of recent paintings on panel by Dutch artist Martine Johanna. Technically precise from Johanna’s rigorous draftsmanship, these works strike an amplified emotional register through the artist’s juxtaposition of deep gem tones and fluorescent hues. The result is a series of captivating female portraits that humorously invert contemporary framing trends by extruding the plane of the panel out past the hand-painted frame, undeniably enveloping the viewer into her visionary worlds. Don’t miss the chance to see these works in person as their intensity cannot be matched by their photographic presence.

Duran Mashaal Future Fair
Duran Mashaal’s booth installation image featuring the paintings of Oriele Steiner and Rosalie Gamache (2024). Image courtesy of the artists and Duran Mashaal.

Duran Mashaal’s Duo Presentation of Oriele Steiner and Rosalie Gamache

Montreal-based gallery Duran Mashaal presented across two spaces, both welcoming visitors to the fair with a monumental presentation of Canadian painter Maude Deslauriers’s recently shaped canvas panels in addition to their booth’s dual presentation of British painter Oriele Steiner and Canadian painter Rosalie Gamache. Lightly kaleidoscopic Steiner composes swirling piles of disembodied limbs softly draping upon flowing cascades of hair. The soothingly choreographed mashups balance bodily curving contours with the rolling sweep of idyllic hillsides to create verdant dreamscapes replete with orgiastic potential. Paired with the melting fingers and limbs of Gamache’s cropped bodies, these works escalate sensuous tactility into fully heightened vignettes of rapturous movement. Shaving cream appears to be a repeating motif (and apropos metaphor) in the artist’s oeuvre expanding the joie de vivre frisson and carnal undertones conveyed by her figures.

Future Fair Mia Weiner Mama Projects
Mama Projects’s solo booth presentation of American artist Mia Weiner’s weavings. Image courtesy of the artist and Mama Projects.

Mama Projects Solo Presentation of American Weaver Mia Weiner

The photographic trace is palpable in Mia Weiner’s mid- to large-scale figural weavings. A subtle palette offsets the luminous highlights of supple curving bodies while the image’s translation into woven cloth adds a comforting tactility akin to a second skin. Only upon close looking do subtle alterations to Weiner’s figures render them incomplete as fragmentary as classical ancient sculptures or, perhaps, headless mannequins, rendering the forms more proximate to a European lineage of allegorical figures. Cropped arrangements of draped limbs further disembody these images from gender categorizations as textual tattoos draw these woven hangings into conversation with scrolling mottos of medieval tapestry traditions.

Con Altura Future Fair
Con Altura’s booth installation image features the ceramics of Natalia Arbelaez, fiber art by Liv Aanrud, and paintings by Tom Sanford. Image courtesy of the artists and Con Altura.

Con Altura’s Trio Presentation of Natalia Arbelaez, Liv Aanrud, and Tom Sanford

Curatorial design transformed this booth’s difficult angular and narrow floor plan into a captivatingly balanced display of fiber art, ceramics, and unapologetically New York paintings. Kudos to Con Altura, a Lower East Side gallery veteran presenting in the city once again after a stint away from the contemporary art scene. This presentation showcases each artist’s technical acumen in their chosen medium from the dense tufted line work of Aanrud’s patterned hangings, to the gold glazed accents of Arbeleaz’s mid-sized vessels inspired by Moche pottery, to the intensity of color and contours with which Sanford wholly captures the frenetic quirks of our urban existence in his large-scale figurative paintings. Con Altura’s arrangement of works keeps giving, even expanding the viewer’s interest well beyond one’s expectations of the initial encounter.

Soho Revue Future Fair Lorena Lohr
Soho Revue’s solo booth presentation of Canadian-British artist Lorena Lohr’s recent oil paintings. Image courtesy of the artist and Soho Revue.

Soho Revue Solo Presentation of Lorena Lohr’s Desert Nudes

London-based gallery Soho Revue presents daintily framed miniature paintings by self-taught Canadian-British artist Lorena Lohr offering visitors intimate encounters with her female nudes. Quotidianly round in form, yet earnestly camp in their desirous stances, Lohr’s women are uplifting each with their own playfully liberated spirit. Requiring a close encounter to inspect the details of each blush-toned scene, viewers are cloaked in arrays of the afternoon sun’s warm glow; perhaps reminiscent of Lohr’s initial desert inspiration. The tiniest of Lohr’s delights in the tondo format were sold out, so only requests for commissions can be scored for this scale of her work through the run of the fair.

Future Fair’s 4th Edition at Chelsea Industrial, 535 W 28th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenue, is open through May 4, 2024. 

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