Newspaper article International New York Times

Scanning the Horizon for New Sculpture Show

Newspaper article International New York Times

Scanning the Horizon for New Sculpture Show

Article excerpt

Sydney Picasso, the co-curator of "Night Fishing," a new section of Tefaf, talks about her work with the fair and how she chose the art for the exhibition.

This year The European Fine Art Fair, or Tefaf, is adding a new section, "Night Fishing," to its Modern section. The exhibition gathers eight artists and focuses on sculpture.

Sydney Picasso, an art historian and author who is a curator of "Night Fishing," spoke recently with Hannah Olivennes about her collaboration with Tefaf, her selection process, and the story behind the name of the new section.

Q. How did you come to curate a section of Tefaf?

The Tefaf board has been trying to look at ways of keeping this fair contemporary and present, especially with all the temporal changes in the art world schedules but also with all the different collectors.

This had been done in other fairs, notably in Frieze Masters [in London], and so I said it should be so distinctive that people will notice it.

[Tefaf's] architect, Tom Postma, who has also worked for Art Basel, has really dedicated himself in making something that will stand out, without taking away from the galleries.

Q. How long did it take to put "Night Fishing" together?

A.We've been speaking about it since August. In September, we really came up with the concept. We wanted to have everyone signed up by December, so it was very unnerving at times.

Q. Why did you choose to focus on sculpture?

A.The idea behind it is that sculpture is something that speaks to the past and the future. But also technically speaking, sculpture has always been part of my training.

I'm very interested in materials, composition, prints and how things are made, and that's why the subtitle of the section is "Hands On."

I think that many people don't understand what is a mold or an undermold. Contemporary sculpture usually bares it bones, and it's very self-evident.

Q. How did you come up with the name "Night Fishing"? Is it an homage to "Night Fishing at Antibes," which your former father-in- law, Pablo Picasso, painted in 1939? (Ms. Picasso was married to the artist's son Claude.)

A.With the idea of sculpture, you somehow can't really not talk about Picasso. His sculptural activity and work is one of the major contributions to art history in the 20th century.Brassai said of Picasso: "Sculpture was lurking like a virtuality deep within his paintings themselves, betraying a nostalgia for art in the round."

It was really a working title in the beginning. Everyone liked it, but the first problem was the concept of night fishing. Originally, night fishing is done at night, with a lamp, and that is illegal today. That was a problem because I didn't want anyone to think I was pushing anyone into illegal activities.

But the other idea of night fishing is that it is about scanning the horizon, filtering and focusing on things. …

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