Preview Days (by invitation only)
Wednesday, December 6, 11AM–7PM
Thursday, December 7, 11AM–7PM
Friday, December 8, 11AM–6PM
Saturday, December 9, 11AM–6PM
Sunday, December 10, 11AM–6PM
Visit Michael Rosenfeld Gallery at Booth A17
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of American masterworks representative of the gallery’s historically grounded and culturally diverse program. Spanning eight decades, the majority of works on view are standout examples of midcentury American painting, sculpture, and works on paper by the artists that have been the backbone of the gallery’s program since its founding in 1989. Featured artists include Charles Alston, Benny Andrews, Ruth Asawa, Milton Avery, Hannelore Baron, Richmond Barthé, Mary Bauermeister, Romare Bearden, Harry Bertoia, Joseph Cornell, Harold Cousins, Sam Gilliam, Michael Goldberg, Nancy Grossman, Hans Hofmann, Lee Krasner, Yayoi Kusama, Alfred Leslie, Norman Lewis, Conrad Marca-Relli, Alice Neel, Alfonso Ossorio, Irene Rice Pereira, Milton Resnick, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Bob Thompson, Mark Tobey, Charles White, Jack Whitten, Charmion von Wiegand, William T. Williams, and Hale Woodruff.
Organized into sections exploring a range of disciplines and stylistic approaches, Booth A17 includes a Kabinett installation featuring a stunning selection of fifty small-scale works by Claire Falkenstein (1908–1997) from her celebrated Fusion series of abstract metal and glass sculptures. Drawn from the holdings of the artist’s Foundation, the vast majority of the delicate, intimately sized works on view in Michael Rosenfeld Gallery’s presentation have never been publicly exhibited.
Composed of welded metal and melted glass, Claire Falkenstein’s Fusions embody the dichotomies that exemplify the artist’s practice as a whole: solid and fluid, opaque and translucent, durable and fragile. Executed over a thirty-year period, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s, the Fusions constitute Falkenstein’s most sustained exploration of the possibilities inherent to a particular technical approach to sculpture. These works are perhaps the greatest testament to her artistic ingenuity, as they encompass a seemingly infinite array of shapes, scales, and palettes; some are quite minimalist, while others are a dense tangle of metal with many colors of glass. The small-scale Fusions on view in Booth A17 demonstrate the sculptor’s singular range; also a successful jewelry designer, Falkenstein is widely remembered for her large-scale public artworks and architectural installations, yet observers of her delicately diminutive works will see that the formal and material nuance for which her oeuvre is celebrated is consistent across her work of all scales. Testifying to her unique ability to execute minutely intricate works without losing any formal or conceptual power, the small-scale Fusions embody the fundamental concepts that shaped Falkenstein’s visual vocabulary throughout her career.
Read more about Claire Falkenstein's Fusions here.
In addition to the Kabinett installation, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery’s Art Basel Miami Beach presentation features key works shown in the gallery’s exhibition program of the past year, presenting highlights from the exhibitions Harold Cousins: Forms of Empty Space, Bob Thompson: Agony & Ecstasy, and Norman Lewis: Give Me Wings To Fly. A major canvas by Thompson, Untitled (The Proofing of the Cross) (1963), exemplifies the painter’s prescient approach to figurative expressionism and his signature appropriative technique. Executed while he was living in Spain, Thompson’s painting riffs on the compositional structure of Piero della Francesca’s Proofing of the Cross, the Legend of the True Cross (1455–66) in the Basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo, Italy, transmuting a Renaissance rendition of a Christian legend into a psychedelic tableaux of otherworldly, animalistic creatures engaged in an enigmatic ritual that evokes, as curator Slade Stumbo writes, “a sense of a dream state which is furthered by the fantastic setting that is absent of any reference to any actual place. Thompson’s overarching theme in this work becomes the movement between realms, metamorphosis.” Also on view at Booth A17 is a large-scale work featured in the gallery’s recent solo exhibition William T. Williams: Tension to the Edge (September 8–November 5, 2022) titled Avon, Rainmakers Piss (1970), an important canvas from the artist’s earliest mature body of work. A concise selection of works similar to those exhibited in the gallery’s current show, Mary Bauermeister: Fuck the System—recently deemed a “Must-See” by Artforum—will complete the overview.
Augmenting the wall-sized paintings installed on the booth’s exterior is an alcove dedicated to figuration. A large collage painting by Benny Andrews, Thanks (1977), hangs adjacent to a quintessential portrait by one of Andrews’ good friends, Alice Neel, as well as one of Beauford Delaney’s most accomplished portraits depicting the influential journalist and critic Colin Gravois. Across the booth from this section is another alcove dedicated to material explorations of collage and assemblage, featuring an abstract painted canvas collage by Conrad Marca-Relli, a striking “Congregation” by Alfonso Ossorio from his celebrated series of intricate found-object assemblages, and a historic, large-scale paper collage by Romare Bearden from his Of the Blues series dedicated to the key players, composers, songs, and locales that were integral to the blues and jazz music that deeply informed the artist’s practice.
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is recognized for its commitment to advancing an expanded view of twentieth- and twenty-first century American art. For over three decades, the gallery has presented an ambitious and diverse exhibition program informed by a progressive vision and an inclusive understanding of art history. Through the championing and recontextualization of works by a range of important twentieth-century artists, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery remains committed to expanding the canon of American art. A member of the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) since 2000, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery proudly represents the distinguished living artists Nancy Grossman and William T. Williams, as well as the estates and families of Benny Andrews, Hannelore Baron, Mary Bauermeister, John Biggers, Federico Castellon, Harold Cousins, Beauford Delaney, Claire Falkenstein, Michael Goldberg, Morris Graves, Norman Lewis, Seymour Lipton, Boris Margo, Alfonso Ossorio, Theodore Roszak, Louis Stone, Bob Thompson, and Charmion von Wiegand.