Verge Emerging Art Fair

Certainly there is a place among the New York art fairs for a venue dedicated to emerging artists–however, I’m not sure how well Verge fills it. While much of the work was interesting and well-executed, even exciting, overall the quality was uneven.

The set up in the Dylan Hotel was extraordinarily intimate, with each organization having a separate room. This could be good or bad, depending on the people and art. Scariest moment: When I walked into an empty, dimly lit room to watch a video playing on a white screen around which a mirror and sex toys were arranged, I said to my friend that the video projection must be reflecting in the mirror, when a disembodied voice replied, “No, it’s playing through the latex screen.” I jumped out of my skin!

If that was the bad (and not so very horrible at that), this is the good:

Work by John Breiner, Mighty Tanaka Gallery

  • Brooklyn galleries represent! Some great work from Antidote, Slate, Wildspace, and others.

Marc Anthony Polizzi, Untitled, 2010

  • Installations from the large sprawling pinkness on the 2nd floor stairwell (above) to metal boxes and bedspreads (Galerie Yellow Fish Art)
  • Take something besides a flier home: from a ASMPNY project benefiting Haiti to Fuse Works, which promotes multiples and editioned work, not only can you afford to take something home, but you can even put your token in a Artist Meeting Art Machine, a fine art dispensing device set up in the lobby.
  • Laurence Hegarty, Cash Register, Sarah Nightingale Gallery

What bothers me about Verge is not that anything is so very terrible about it, but that it should be better than it is. Emerging art should be the most exciting work to see, and here the uneven curation left me with the feeling I had been at a thrift store, sorting through racks to find a good sweater.


5 thoughts on “Verge Emerging Art Fair

  1. Yes, but then what is the point of curation, or charging the galleries fees to show?

    Oh, good for you. I hope for your sake you aren’t–that disembodied voice can be creepy!!

  2. I too am often scared by work.

    I felt like I could endorse Antidote, which was curated well and the various benefits for Doctors WIthout Borders and Haiti were actually quite good. Benefits during art fairs are a great idea.

    Verge does not have big money behind it. Larger fairs have backers – and Basil is state funded, which may be why it can be curated.

    Is art just about trophy hunting?

    It is more important to look at the whole ecology – I found the Armory oppressive, Scope really pleasant – and it wasn’t the work, it was the environment.

    Buy what you like, is my clever idea.

    Verge was pleasant. The party was good too.

  3. Buy what you like is all you can do, really.

    I agree that the way the fair is set up can help or hinder your ability to appreciate a piece. There were some fantastic works at Armory, but for the most part I found it to be too overwhelming. Scope and Pulse were very nicely done

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