Home > Article > Glass Meets Road > NYC fairs part 2

The Armory this year was solid. Pulse and Volta, on the other hand, felt mostly like the art world slinging the same hash we’ve been chowing down for the past decade.

For example:

A mechanical bull decorated with cut-up Budweiser cans and bling, by Kristian Kozul with TZR.

If that weren’t enough, check out Kozul’s pink sequined saddle* in the TZR booth:

Paddy Johnson, Artfagcity blogger, pointed out the saddle theme. Check out her insightful fair coverage. Here she is:


Like many dealers at Pulse, Austin’s Lora Reynolds followed the Volta practice of only showing one artist, in this case Tom Molloy. Here is Reynolds:

Also flying the TX flag with nary a sequined saddle in sight was Dallas’ Light & Sie, who were busy in their crowded booth:


Everyone kept saying that Volta was much better than Pulse. I think that’s true, though it’s easier to like Volta because the single-artist approach helps keep things visually consistent. I ran into artist Hilary Wilder there:

She’s one of those artists who no longer live in Texas who we miss having around.


Nuthin’ but luv for the guys from Houston’s CTRL Gallery (with Dan Kopp’s paintings)



Here are Sterling Allen and Arturo Palacios from Austin’s Art Palace.

Allen drew and redrew things starting with each letter of the alphabet until the image was completely abstracted, then constructed a sculpture to resemble that image. Here is his drawing for "F":

And here is the fish sculpture:

He had a sculpture for every letter of the alphabet in the booth.


Across the way was Margarita Cabrera, on view in the booth of LA dealer Walter Maciel. Cabrera has continued the series of terra cotta sculptures first displayed at Arthouse for her Texas Prize project in 2007. For that show, she created a life-sized terra cotta tractor decorated with the little clay flowers and birds that are "mass produced" by women in Mexico. The Maciel booth featured more manageably sized versions of other farm implements:


Alejandro Diaz, whom I still think of as a San Antonio artist even though he hasn’t lived there for years, had a terrific booth for LA’s The Happy Lion that got mentioned in the NYT for the affordability of Diaz’s marker-on-cardboard drawings:


After Pulse and Volta, I decided to skip the rest of the fairs and visit museums. Martin Kippenberger’s show at MoMA was a revelation for the hilarious attitude and mockery of the hyperserious postwar German art scene. Every young artist making bad paintings for the sake of being funny and giving the art world the finger needs to see this show, and find something else to do with their time. Kudos to MoMA for their helpful, intelligent, pitch-perfect wall text in this show. Whoever’s writing that stuff deserves a big raise.

After Kippenberger, the Museum of Art and Design was deeply disappointing, but I’ll save that rant for later this week.


*There is a lack of irony in the way Kozul has gone swimming in Texas kitsch that suggests (ironically?) the very same lack of irony in the works of the Serious German Painters (Richter, Polke, etc) that Kippenberger mocks in his MoMA show. What is it about German culture that makes it so darned earnest? And whose German head did Kippenberger himself spring out of?


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6 Responses

  1. bruce

    Have either Sterling Allen or Arturo Palacios actually seen a real fish?
    This stuff is embarrassing. The neon, the cardboard, all of it.

  2. bruce

    Dale’s silver saddle is here and it is so much better in so many ways. I’d have to do some Googleing to find out where poor old Trigger is, but he should be here too.

  3. bruce

    Trigger, Roy Rogers’ Horse

    Died 1965 – Branson, Missouri

    The Roy Rogers/Dale Evans Museum gets 200,000 visitors a year. Most come to see Trigger, Roy’s dead horse.

    Roy Rogers, Jr., who manages the museum, says “We close at five and stop selling tickets at 4:30. But people come after that and beg to get in for a few minutes. They drove 3,000 miles just to see Trigger. We let them in — and they go away, happy.

    While Roy Rogers, Sr. won’t be coming by in his golf cart to pose in the lobby any more (he died in 1998), Trigger still has star power. Outside, a 24-foot-tall fiberglass Trigger, reared on his hind legs, lets visitors know that they have arrived.

    Roy’s dog, Bullet.Trigger was ridden by Rogers in every one of his motion pictures, finding his own fame in the process. After Trigger died at age 33, his hide was stretched over a plaster likeness and put on display, also reared on two legs, inside the museum. He is mounted, then, not stuffed. Remember this when you speak to museum personnel, who will loudly correct you if you get it wrong.

    Trigger is not alone; Buttermilk (Dale Evans’ horse) and Bullet (the Rogers’ German Shepherd) are mounted alongside. But these lesser lights are given only cursory glances by visitors, attracting about as much attention as the Roy Rogers fishing trophy or Grand Marshall saddle. People linger over Trigger, studying, pointing.

    The museum moved from Victorville, California to Branson, Missouri in 2003.

  4. Asshole

    I stood next to one of those giant Clydesdale horses yesterday. The woman put her hands on it and told me that way it wouldn’t kick me.

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