The Starter Fair: INK at Art Basel Miami Beach

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Best and Worst at Art Basel Miami Beach

Suzy’s First Fair, BEST and WORST at INK Miami Beach 2016

On Thursday night walking Ocean and Collins, things were a bit dead. I’m not seeing anything like the massive crowds of two years ago. We walked past some questionable “mobile galleries” – basically Uhauls with art under $500 – and thought about turning in early, but then we arrived at INK.

This fair, featuring modern and contemporary works on paper, is giving me life! INK is a solid addition to the fair circuit, not too crazy or overwhelming, and offers a range of famous to not-so-famous artists and a range of prices, mainly because of the affordability of prints and paper.


INK is sponsored by the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFDA) and the exhibitors are selected from members of the Association. This fair has existed since 2006 and this year hosted 11 dealers at a small walk-up hotel, similar to Aqua. This made our decisions on the 10 Best and 10 Worst difficult because most galleries contained both.

On Thursday night, it wasn’t too crowded but we did see a decent number of red dots. Everything looked expensive and the hotel was nice, despite the fact that they had to use existing hotel lighting, augmented with clam lights, at times.

10 BEST WORKS at INK 2016:

Andy Burgess “Pool House 2” at Tandem Press


Andy Burgess, “South Beach” and “Gotham II” at Tandem Press. Same artist, but different style. These are made of vintage matchbooks.

15252697_10155677956169062_4203787097673056795_oLarry Rivers, “Bronx Zoo” at Childs Gallery

15230765_10155677957654062_3061752178015065801_nPaul Endres Jr, “Tub” at Childs Gallery, one of a very few oil paintings in this show


15253647_10155677957874062_1858734404535061906_nEmily Lombardo, “The Caprichos,” Childs Gallery, series of 80 etchings done in homage to Goya – overview and detail


Gwyneth Leech, “Reflected Building East, 9 am,” Oil on board at Susan Teller Gallery (on left is “Reflected Building, North, 4 pm” by the same artist)


Emma Stibbon Ra, “Stromboli Smoke” at Rabley Contemporary. The artists paints directly with volcanic ash and intaglio. The galleries was super nice and showed us a bunch more from the series.


15338705_10155677957869062_6345747577301772393_nDetail of a huge and un-documentable Duke Riley, “Monkey Biz at USF.” The artist started out doing  tattoos and is now making large scale woodblock prints.

15327323_10155677957864062_3624243501987776702_nRobert Rauschenberg, “Test Stone 2” at Gregg Steinbaum, lithograph

15202771_10155677957859062_3113579997130612404_nKelly Reemsten, “Hammer, Clippers, Shears” at Flying Horse Editions, screen print and copperplate etchings

WORST ART at INK 2016 (for various reasons):

15338852_10155677958659062_5075309215983713832_nBoth Thomas French and Childs Gallery are showing the 1921 Edward Hopper print “Night Shadows” … in a fair this small, it seems like a mistake. Childs was $15,000 more expensive, so I guess we can assume it’s lower in the edition of 500? An odd choice for sure and very avoidable.

15283963_10155677958649062_2893423625630804186_nDamien Hirst, “I Love You, Coral, Cool Gold, Oriental Gold,” silkscreen at Hamilton-Selway

15326438_10155677958664062_529614854835115699_n“Mr. Brainwash,” Banksy Teller, Stencil and Mixed Media at Hamilton-Selway

15327305_10155677958654062_230722284363473314_n“Lodi Garden” by Dan Rizzie at Tandem Press

15219445_10155677958669062_8993119878312123516_nDon Joint, “What Nots series” installation, Mixed Media at Childs Gallery

15338852_10155677958814062_3299472040086451812_nFanny Hillsmith, “Raspberry Vino,” Oil on Canvas, at Susan Teller

15285043_10155677958819062_5580141557077237382_nJanaina Tachäpe, “Inaie,” Lithography at USF

15219535_10155677958824062_2923156896925215590_nAlex Katz, “Katy,” lithography at USF. This is less an issue with the work itself and more about the over-saturation of this artist. This fair also had a lot of Warhol, Ruscha, Haring, and Hirst at multiple galleries.

15253634_10155677958834062_7967925113982415303_nLarry Rivers, “Stencil Camel” at Gregg Steinbaum. Proof that even the best can swing and miss!

15253489_10155677958829062_232728321720753109_nEd Ruscha, “Do as you’re told or suffer, you will eat hot lead,” Photogravure with screen print at USF. I love Ruscha, but this installation is super crappy.


Our group had mixed feelings on the art at INK. It was a mix of good and bad. At certain points, it felt like galleries were pulling out big names, just for the names and not necessarily for the quality of the piece. We saw a lot of the same sort of stuff over and over, a heavy rotation of the “greatest hits” and I was especially disappointed with the galleries from  Miami, Hollywood, and NY, but impressed by the international ones – a few from England, and Ireland, and this work was more appealing to me.

I am seeing my own artistic biases in my best and worst list, and am trying to move beyond my own tastes… I could have picked ten horrible squiqqle paintings, and maybe there is a good abstract squiggle painting somewhere in there? I definitely prefer architectural and blocky figurative paintings, but those Damien Hurst butterflies and dots are just bad.

INK is definitely worth attending. I like works on paper shows because they feel approachable. The prices are a good goal for my own practice. At INK this year, we saw more prints than anything else, some drawings, some collage, and very little watercolor.



Our Miami coverage is a team effort between Cara Ober, Editor at BmoreArt and Suzy Kopf, a recent Brooklyn to Baltimore transplant. Suzy is a painter and just completed an MFA degree at MICA. She is a co-founder of the Gowanus Swim Society, a Brooklyn, NY based art collective.

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