Entry 14: Untitled Art Fair 2022

Miami Art Week is always busy, it’s the final hurrah in the art calendar, with the main attraction being Art Basel Miami. Over the entire week, the fanfare in the city is cranked to 10, from glamourous events sponsored by luxurious brands to celebrity appearances.

With there being such a massive influx of people, many organisations capitalise on this, and over the years, the city has seen an increase in “satellite fairs”. These satellite fairs run parallel with Art Basel Miami, and there’s a wide variety from Scope to Art Miami to Untitled Art Fair.

Last year, 2022, marked the 11th edition of the Untitled Art Fair, and in total, 140 galleries exhibited artwork at the fair. In terms of favourite booths from the fair, it would be Galerie Julien Cadet, DeBuck Gallery, and Addis Fine Art.

Starting with Galerie Julien Cadet, the gallery showed works by Emmanuel Massillon. Emmanuel Massillon is an upcoming name, and I first discovered the artist at a dual show with the London gallery, PM/AM. A talented conceptual artist who works with different mediums from painting to photography to sculpture. His practice examines ideas such as race, identity, and culture. The artist cites his upbringing in Washington D.C. as an important element in his artistic practice. For example, the use of sunflower seeds stems from his childhood.

Emmanuel Massillon at Galerie Julien Cadet. Photo Credit: Chard Adio
Emmanuel Massillon at Galerie Julien Cadet. Photo Credit: Chard Adio
Emmanuel Massillon at Galerie Julien Cadet. Photo Credit: Chard Adio
Emmanuel Massillon at Galerie Julien Cadet. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Next is DeBuck Gallery, and their booth consisted of Devan Shimoyama, Zak Ové and Gommaar Gilliams.

Devan Shimoyama, Zak Ové and Gommaar Gilliams at DeBuck Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio
Devan Shimoyama, Zak Ové and Gommaar Gilliams at DeBuck Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Devan Shimoyama’s works were a visual treat, they exuded a magical aura, and this was evident from the range of materials he used.

The foundation of Shimoyama’s artistic practice centres around his identity and experiences. It is through his scintillating compositions, and varied colour palette, Shimoyama creates heroic and sanguine depictions of Black, queer, male bodies. The artist states he wants his figures to be perceived as “both desirable and desirous.”

Le Diable by Devan Shimoyama at DeBuck Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Effervescent with colour, Zak Ové’s practice draws from his upbringing in London and Trinidad. His work is imbued with the history and lore of the African diaspora to the Caribbean, Britain and beyond. If we look at the pieces shown, they are made from crochet doilies, and they are interwoven with each other to create an intricate layer. Ové’s intention as an artist is to rewrite history for a future audience by showcasing the past in a new light.

No Name in the Street by Zak Ové at DeBuck Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Oscillating between abstraction and representation, Gommaar Gilliams examines how humans search for and utilise repeated symbolic imagery throughout time. By exploring the complexities of our emotions, the artist taps into our shared desires and our wonder of the natural world.

Gommaar Gilliams at DeBuck Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Finally, Addis Fine Art. Addis Fine Art had a solo presentation of works by Nigatu Tsehay. I describe the artist’s compositions as distorted scenes devoid of space, reality and time. The artist states his inspiration comes from growing up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and his current life in Europe. Both of his experiences fuse to create what he calls “the indefinable behavioural nature of mankind, associated with the advancement of technological triumph combined in surreal compositions.” Additionally, the human figure is also a focal point in his practice, as he transfers his sentiment and ideas onto them.

Dreams and Buoyant Space I by Nigatu Tsehay at Addis Fine Art. Photo Credit: Chard Adio
Dreams and Buoyant Space I; Dreams and Buoyant Space VI (left to right) by Nigatu Tsehay at Addis Fine Art. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Next are my favourite artists from the fair. Starting us off is Nate Lewis, who showed with Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery. Lewis’ figures are fluid in their movement; the artist creates vivid and graceful scenes akin to a ballet recital. What makes the work so striking is his use of different materials such as embossed textures, fabric rubs, and coloured inks.

Nate Lewis at Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

British Ghanaian artist Enam Gbewonyo showed two works with TAFETA Gallery. A pair of intricate and thought-provoking pieces, Enam Gbewonyo’s practice examines themes such as identity, womanhood, and humanity through the mediums of textiles and performance. The artist wants to push us to face the truth of a dark past and the emotions it brings forth. By doing this, the audience reaches a point of spiritual awareness within themselves and their humanity.

Cyclical Vein – Concentric Growth 1 by Enam Gbewonyo at TAFETA Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio
Cyclical Vein – Concentric Growth 2 by Enam Gbewonyo at TAFETA Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Drew Weech was another artist who captured my attention. Part of a group presentation with TERN Gallery, Weech’s piece Keepsake was one of my top ten favourites from the entire fair. A true representation of what I love about art – the emotional aspect! I have some questions! Because as viewers, we are presented with a figure contained in what appears to be a glass container which is held up by a black hand, but beyond this, we also see this figure almost being unveiled to an audience as a white hand pulls apart the curtains.

Keepsake by Drew Weech at TERN Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Another name that needs to be mentioned is Nigerian artist Abe Odedina who showed with Diane Rosenstein Gallery. Odedina is someone I have been following since my Volume II series. His figures have such agency in their respective environments. Woven into his practice is his Yoruba heritage, but alongside this are other elements such as Renaissance portraiture, Haitian culture and Ancient Greek mythology.

What I also love about Odedina’s work is his use of gold and black – the two colours complement each other and give his figures such rich skin.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (left to right) by Abe Odedina at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Next is Paul Verdell, an artist known for using oil pastels and crayons. Verdell was part of a group presentation with Library Street Collective, and showed an abstract expressionism piece, A Road to Glory.

A Road to Glory by Paul Verdell at Library Street Collective. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Brooklyn-based artist Martha Tuttle was in a group presentation with Luce Gallery and showed works made from wool, silk, and dye. Tuttle’s pieces have their own characteristics – they have a meditative energy. In these works, we see a range of geometric shapes, such as hexagons and triangles.

Not Yet Titled by Martha Tuttle at Luce Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Last is the icon herself Olga de Amaral. I first discovered Olga de Amaral at the inaugural Paris+ fair, and I instantly had a connection with her work. Made from wool and horsehair, the artist creates these unique works with distinct rich colours. Olga de Amaral is known for pushing the boundaries between crafted objects and artworks. It’s more than tapestry, these works are three-dimensional in shape. A true veteran in the industry, the artist has a career spanning approximately 60 years.

Modular 77, Modulo No 5 by Olga de Amaral at Richard Saltoun Gallery. Photo Credit: Chard Adio

Miami art week has been around for approximately 20 years. During its inaugural year, it was just Art Basel Miami. But then, this fair that happened once every year morphed into this cultural event, and along with that, we saw the emergence of these satellite fairs, and that is how we got Untitled Art Fair – a fair on the shores of South Miami Beach attracting talent from across the globe.

Featured Image: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Emmanuel Massillon at Galerie Julien Cadet by Raphael Oliveira

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