Michael Workman is retooling the Bridge Art Fair into the leaner, meaner Verge, which (like Bridge) will focus exclusively on emerging art. (Verge, you may recall, was also the name given to a section of artist-run spaces housed within Bridge). Verge will launch this year in Miami to coincide with Art Basel, December 3-6, 2009. Now, applicants to Verge will be selected by a top-notch curatorial team including Dan Cameron and James Yood — a process that, in an interview with Artnet last week, Workman likened to that of a biennale. (Application deadline is October 1st).
Here’s Artnet’s take on Workman’s new venture:
“After expanding Bridge to two locations last year during Art Basel Miami Beach, in what many saw as overreach, Bridge honcho Michael Workman was compelled to dissolve the non-profit that oversees the fair earlier this year. Now, he has launched the Verge Art Fair to take its place. Verge bows at the Catalina Hotel in Miami Beach — a locale that happens to be Bridge’s old haunt. “Verge,” incidentally, was also the name of a subsection of Bridge focused on “artist-run spaces and projects,” a concept that “didn’t get used well” at Bridge, according to Workman, and is now being channeled in the Verge Art Fair’s focus on “new and emerging art.” The new affair promises 30 exhibitors, rather than the 60 showcased by Bridge last year.
If all this sounds dubious, Workman has enlisted a team that gives the undertaking credibility. He has ceded directorial control to Brooklyn-based artist Edouard Steinhauer (a frequent Bridge exhibitor), while fair participants are being chosen by a team consisting of curator Dan Cameron, collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, Yale School of Art associate dean Samuel Messer, Artforum critic James Yood, and Steinhauer. “It’s more like the way you select things for a biennale,” Workman says of the process, adding that the “orientation of this show itself is a radical departure” from Bridge. For info about the new fair, including prices for would-be exhibitors, see www.vergeartfair.com.