Miami Art Week 2015: Context Takes on Figurative Art

To say that Context Art Miami was crowded during its VIP opening would be a severe understatement. With throngs of people flooding the Will Call booths for hours, fair attendants struggled to accommodate the hoards of eager masses waiting to get a glimpse at what international galleries brought to the tent.

Yet, among the bustle of people, it was the work hung on the wall that left the most impression. Figurative art stood out among the diverse set of galleries that flew in from far flung corners of the world. Though each of the many artists had varied takes on the human form, it's the renewed interest in the once overlooked genre that deserves special credit. 

Contemporary figurative painting has been traditionally shunned in the art market and replaced by pop art. With two art world heavyweights, Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian, mounting a joint exhibition of celebrated works within the genre in the Design District's Moore Building, the trend has managed to trickle down to the satellite fairs. 

At Context, the human body took center stage — regardless of medium. Sculpture, paintings, installation, and other mixed media works served to highlight the now burgeoning trend. The body was often abstracted, however, the basic representational elements were always recognizable; highlighting the effects of the human form along with its warmth. 

Despite certain levels of abstraction, the renewed interest in figuration came through as you made your way through the crowded space. Even certain conceptual pieces had hints of the human body. In Down Boy, by Andrew Myers (Lawrence Cantor Gallery, Los Angeles) the artists plays with the notion of the famed chrome balloon dog by Jeff Koons. With an irreverent sense of humor, Myers introduces representational elements, while making a critical point on the notion of mass-produced high art that has become so fashionable in the past decade.  

Context Art Miami
December 1 through 6 at 3101 NE First Ave., Miami. For more information regarding schedule, and pricing visit artmiami.com

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