HESSE FLATOW and Amanda Martínez at Intersect Aspen in The Art Newspaper

Torey Akers, The Art Newspaper , August 4, 2023

From handmade paper to crushed quartz pigment, Intersect Aspen fair highlights material specificity

The Intersect Aspen fair (until 4 August) has returned to the Aspen Ice Garden, a skating rink that transforms into a bustling recreation center during the ski town’s temperate summer months, for its third edition under its current structure. (The fair’s predecessor, Art Aspen, launched in 2010). 


The fair coincides with Aspen Art Week, a programme of performances, talks and exhibitions spearheaded by the Aspen Art Museum, including its annual ArtCrush benefit auction (4 August), a highly anticipated event among local collectors.  As Aspen’s only fine art and design fair, Intersect has thrown its current focus behind community connectivity and fresh new voices, foregrounding formalism with bold, bright and tactile elements. 


interventions created specifically for the fair.  These projects are among the most explicitly political works on view at Intersect, and include Micro Mansion, an installation by local artist Chris Erickson that takes on the housing crisis in surrounding Roaring Fork Valley, and a hanging sculptural work by artist Aljoscha that comments on Russia’s war against Ukraine. 



The fair’s arrival in the glamorous mountain environs of Aspen brings with it a concerted emphasis on material transformation.  Intersect, as the name implies, spotlights the overlap between fine art and design, providing a perfect stage for saturated colour, decorative paintings and mid-size sculptural works brimming with textured technicality. 


At the stand of New York gallery Hesse Flatow, Señal (2022), a quiet, stately piece by Amanda Martínez, typifies this fair-wide investment in the procedural aspects of art-making.  “She carves industrial foam in pieces and then adheres them together – it’s all by hand, but they are so precise they almost look laser-cut,” says gallery manager Rana Saner.  “This clay, adobe colour palette really speaks to her Mexican heritage”.  The piece also incorporates enamel, shredded tire rubber and pigmented stucco, layers of fabrication that lend a mystical richness to its ceremonial precision. – Torey Akers