Volta: Highlights and Favorites

Volta is a fantastic show because the exhibitors present one single artist’s works.

This year Volta offered a very innovative idea for their catalog – instead of a big heavy tome, visitors were given an empty folder and the information prospectus were available at each booth, granting the viewer the ability to personalize their catalog with the information of the art they liked.

Following my current inclination towards big bright abstracted painting, my favorite booth was Pierre-François Ouellette.  Artist Dil Hildebrand starts with a hyperrealistic ground (for this show being the staircase in his studio) and then paints layers and blocks of paint building up vivid abstractions of texture and line.

Several galleries presented very small scaled artworks.   Since Volta is a smaller scaled show, the physical space provides for a more intimate experience with art,  so that these small works are not over looked.

Oana Farcas tiny 2 inch² paintings at Larmgalleri, and the miniature constructed architectural environments by Jeremy Mora at Wolfe Contemporary which paired nicely with tree vitrine rooted in plaster by Paul Nugent at Kevin Kavanagh.

To be expected, beautiful but politically charged art was rampant, like Alberto Borea’s photos about drug wars at Isabel Hurley, Mark Jenkins’ terrifying installation of a masked thugs, Dan Tague’s photos of folded dollar bills which spell out messages for help at Jonathan Ferrara, and Mary Temple’s ink drawings on paper of portraits of political figures.

Of course a stunning array of notable paintings bringing a vibrant dose of colour to the fair.  Jennie Ottinger’s books at Johansson Projects, Peter Oppenheim’s large paintings, Summer Wheat’s portraits of zombie heads.  I had the pleasure of meeting artist Ryan Fenchel who told me about his exploration of working through sculptural design in creating these collaged planed pastels on paper.

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