Artists Go Head-to-Head with “Conversations” at PULSE New York• February 10, 2016

Artists Go Head-to-Head with "Conversations" at PULSE New-York

• February 10, 2016 • 

Vice Creators | Alyssa Buffenstein

Sabrina Ratté, Escales II, (2015) video,still. Image: Courtesy of Laffy Maffei Gallery

Eight galleries will participate in a new platform that encourages dialogue—but not with words—between artists.

Art fairs can be boring, and curatorial statements, beyond dull, but at PULSE New York Contemporary Art Fair this year, a new platform called Conversations encourages galleries to engage in a more stimulating and critical form of curation.

Participating galleries bring two artists each to their booths, to engage their work in visual and conceptual (but not actual, words-coming-out-of-their-mouths) dialogue. Conversations began last year at PULSE Miami Beach, and eight galleries out of 45 total exhibitors will participate in the program this year in New York. Among them are Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, CEDE Gallery, Galerie L’Inlassable, Kinder MODERN, Laffy Maffei Gallery, mc2gallery, Pentimenti Gallery, and Uprise Art.

Galleries like Laffy Maffei use Conversations as a prompt for collaboration. Brenna Murphy and Sabrina Ratté, inspired by Foucault and the internet, will present a collaborative installation under the title Other Spaces. Working with projections on prints, the works will synthesize Murphy’s digital architectural spaces with Ratté’s glitchy abstractions to depict “an impalpable reality where architectures and interlocking lattices are continuously evolving, transforming and morphing into new environments, thus unfolding a constantly shifting perspective between dimensions,” according to the gallery. 

Brenna Murphy, Sky Lattice Chant Array, (2015). Image: Courtesy of Laffy Maffei Gallery


Conversations encourages collaboration between artists and the synthesis of new ideas. To participate, galleries must take an extra step in their curation, working to increase the symbolic value of both artists’ works. And the more symbolic value a work builds, through literature, scholarly discourse, or programs like this, the more economic value collectors are willing to shell out on owning it. And what else is the goal of an art fair?

PULSE will take place at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 W 18th Street, New York, NY, from March 3-6.