For Art Basel Miami Beach 2022, Eric Firestone Gallery in Booth F2 will present a cross-generational group of painters, sculptors, and collage artists including Ellsworth Ausby, Judy Bowman, Sally Cook, Abigail DeVille, Martha Edelheit, FUTURA2000, Sana Musasama, Joe Overstreet, Pat Passlof, Jeanne Reynal, Thomas Sills, Paul Waters, Peter Williams, and Nina Yankowitz.
These postwar and contemporary figures use radical color, intuitive poetics, and inventive techniques to highlight Black American history, women’s perspectives, and their personal experiences. Abigail DeVille and Peter Williams are also the subjects of current exhibitions at Eric Firestone Gallery’s spaces in New York City, on view through December 23, 2022.These postwar and contemporary figures use radical color, intuitive poetics, and inventive techniques to highlight Black American history, women’s perspectives, and their personal experiences. Abigail DeVille and Peter Williams are also the subjects of current exhibitions at Eric Firestone Gallery’s spaces in New York City, on view through December 23, 2022.
In addition, the Meridians section of Art Basel Miami Beach, curated by Magalí Arriola, will feature a monumental cut canvas collage painting entitled In the Beginning (1970) by Paul Waters. These presentations at Art Basel Miami Beach reflect Eric Firestone Gallery’s programmatic mission to showcase significant yet under-recognized art practices and forms across the 20th and 21st centuries.
At Art Basel Miami Beach, Eric Firestone Gallery will introduce the work of Sally Cook (b. 1932, Buffalo, NY). A fixture of the art community in Western New York, Cook is a painter and poet who captures the absurdity and whimsy of ordinary life. In the 1950s, Cook moved from her hometown of Buffalo to downtown New York City where she presented solo shows at historic Tenth Street co-operative galleries. Like her acquaintance Pat Passlof (b. 1928, Brunswick, GA; d. 2011, New York, NY), Cook was part of the legendary Artists’ Club and exhibited her own Abstract Expressionist paintings alongside Willem de Kooning, Alice Neel, and Franz Kline.
Cook grew restless with the dominance of Abstract Expressionism in New York City and—after returning to Buffalo in the late 1960s—transformed her painting practice into surreal figuration and still life. Such vibrant scenes of magical realism often portray the artist herself and members of her community. For example, Portrait of Another Friend (1973) represents John Crawford, who managed an art glass shop in town and took daily walks around Cook’s neighborhood. Her works are found in the collections of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, NY and the William H. Littlefield Collection at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, among others.
Eric Firestone Gallery will also present historic and recent works by ceramic artist Sana Musasama (b. 1957, St. Albans, NY). Musasama revisited her House series of the 1980s, creating new works to pair with the original sculptures. These stacked ceramic towers have eclectic and multicultural sources, each containing a multitude of references. They are inspired by dwellings and shelters that the African American artist encountered through her travels across West Africa, Asia, and the Western United States. Musasama originally made these works during a period of personal challenges and loss. She now finds that the structures—with their inner volumes—speak to protection, privacy, and healing.
A grid of collage portraits by Judy Bowman (b. 1952, Detroit, MI) will appear alongside large-scale scenes depicting individuals from her community. Her inclusion in Eric Firestone Gallery’s booth runs concurrently with the solo exhibition Judy Bowman: Gratiot Griot (October 2022–March 2023) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI.
Bowman’s collage practice centers on exalting Black culture. She embraces vibrant hues, textured paper, and acrylic paint to convey the full picture of life for Black Americans. Her mixed-media narrative works convey scenes from her childhood in Detroit’s East Side and Black Bottom neighborhoods. Works such as Cigars and Gators (2022) render the humdrum of daily life filled with love and fellowship. Bowman’s work is found in collections such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, MI and the R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, LA, among others.
Paul Waters | In the Beginning, 1970 | oil on cut linen collage on canvas | 70h x 237w in
Paul Waters (b. 1936, Philadelphia, PA) will be featured in Eric Firestone Gallery’s Booth F2 as well as the Meridians section curated by Magalí Arriola. Since the 1960s, Waters has made paintings by using scissors as a drawing tool and his fingertips as a brush. He collages painted hand-cut linen shapes onto primed canvas. These silhouetted forms appear as dancers, birds, female warriors, and natural elements as well as pure abstract shapes. Such symbols evoke African art and artifacts, Henri Matisse’s cut-outs, cave paintings, and Waters’ experiences as an African American artist living in New York during the Civil Rights Movement.
Waters was also an arts educator and cultural organizer who curated historic exhibitions such as Black Artists: Two Generations (1971) at The Newark Museum of Art, NJ. His work was included in several important shows including Afro American Artists: New York and Boston in 1970 at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA. In 2022, Eric Firestone Gallery organized the first solo show on Waters in fifty years.
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH
1901 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach
Eric Firestone Gallery | Booth F2 & Meridians
Private Days (by invitation only):
Tuesday, November 29, 11AM to 7PM | First Choice VIP cardholders
Tuesday, November 29, 4PM to 7PM | Preview VIP cardholders
Wednesday, November 30, 11AM to 7PM | First Choice and Preview VIP cardholders
Vernissage (by invitation only):
Wednesday, November 30, 4PM to 7PM
Thursday, December 1, 2022 | 11AM to 7PM
Friday, December 2 | 11AM to 7PM|
Saturday, December 3, 2022 | 11AM to 6PM
Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139