Yes, Pulse is Totally Worth a Visit • March 5, 2016

Yes Pulse is totally worth a visit

• March 5, 2016 • 

ARTFCITY | Alexxa Gotthardt

Within five minutes of walking into Pulse, an Italian gallerist had asked me to pose for a selfie with her and then doused us both in black confetti. I think it’s still stuck in my hair. I mention this because it set the tone for what was to come—for better or for worse, Pulse this year was unpredictable and characterized by a sense of fun. There were gimmicky gestures aplenty, but no one seemed to be taking themselves too seriously. It felt less like an art fair and more like several dozen simultaneous art openings.

Contrast that with The Armory Show, where there were almost no surprises and the general feeling in the cavernous hall was one of boredom and/or irritation. Here, though, artists and dealers alike seemed eager to discuss the work. Even if something’s not great, it’s made more endearing by enthusiasm. Walking around this fair’s New York iteration, I thought of Paddy’s post from Miami, Great Strides Made Yet Needed at Pulse. All of it rings true here. There’s a lot of schlocky work on display, but in an odd way, that makes it easier to spot the worthwhile highlights. With the extremes of quality in such sharp relief, there’s space for experimentation and a sense of play lacking at so many fairs

Brenna Murphy at Laffy Maffei Gallery (Paris). The whole booth was covered in digitally-printed wallpaper and projections, inspired by Foucault’s theories of permeable, ever-changing utopian/dystopian architectures