Art Fair Week NYC

This past week there were nine different art fairs held in New York City. The largest was the Art Fair Week NYC that was held on a pier on the west side of town. The Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery from Berlin was there, featuring the work of Marianne Vitale. She made with this very interesting floor sculpture made of rusted steel rail road track.


Marianne Vitale – 2016 – Steel
Picture courtesy of the gallery and the artist

This piece is a square composed of four squares that are placed so the parallel lines of each square are perpendicular to the parallel line of the adjacent squares. This reminded me of the process of weaving with the perpendicular warp and weft.

The next day I went to the Art on Paper Fair where I saw this wall hanging “16th Vanishing and Emerging Wall” by Hideho Tanaka at the browngrotta arts (Wilton, CT) booth.


Hideho Tanaka – “16th Vanishing and Emerging Wall” – 2009
Picture courtesy of the gallery and the artist

Although the outer edge of this work is an oval the piece is all about parallel and perpendicular.


Hideho Tanaka – “16th Vanishing and Emerging Wall” (Detail) – 2009
Picture courtesy of the gallery and the artist

Each of the sections – most are square – are placed so that the parallel lines in each square are at a 90 degree angle with the parallel lines in the adjacent squares  in a similar fashion as the squares in Vitale’s floor sculpture.

Over the course of three days I saw a lot of art and navigated crowds of people. At some points it was bit overwhelming. It was gratifying to see two artists tackle the same geometric theme in two unique ways.

Susan Happersett

El Anatsui at the Jack Shainman Gallery

El Anatsui is one of the greatest and most famous Contemporary African artists. His work is in the collections of most major museums throughout the world. I have been an admirer of his constructions for many years. He creates wall hangings and 3-D structures using metal bottle caps, printing plates, copper wire, as well as other recycled materials.

In the exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery titled “Trains of Thought” there is a huge wall hanging with some interesting mathematical elements.


El Anatsui uses multiples of the same type of object and flattens and folds them into uniform geometric shapes.


Here is a close up of a top section of the wall hanging. Using narrow rectangles of rolled metal elements he constructs squares. He patterns  the squares either with vertical stripes or horizontal stripes, creating a mathematical tiling using recycled materials.