Asia’s demand for high quality art is growing stronger each year, and Art Basel certainly met this need. Proving to be the leading international art fair in Asia; Art Basel attracted over 70,000 visitors this year. With a new floor plan designed to give each of the 239 galleries and 16 large-scale “Encounters” work more space, visitors were able to navigate the expanse of the convention centre with ease. The selection of exhibitors represented a truly global view of the modern art scene, with more than half from Asia and the Asia-Pacific.
On the first floor, you may notice two metallic, three dimensional canvas works, protruding from the gallery wall. Jim Lambie’s “Summertime” and “Golden Years” are made of potato bags, acrylic paint, and expanding foam on canvas. Only similar in overwhelming visual presence, these differ in aesthetic to his colourful floor installation works, once displayed at The Tate Britain and The Royal Academy of Arts.
Spread out haphazardly, “Rationalized Legs” by Neil Beloufa appeared like line drawings in space. With dashes of colour in epoxy resin, the transparent nature of these sculptures may be a simple study on iron, or a comment on the fragility of our limbs.
Seemingly normal, till you notice the absence of a head, “Trans-Aimilios” by Kohei Nawa sits hauntingly on the middle of a plinth. The glittering surface sets it apart from other anatomical sculptures. The accompanying performance art video which features two dancers, contorting their bodies, helps to inform the piece.
Swedish artist, Not Vital, plays with polar opposites. Gallerie Thaddaeus Ropac spoke to Hausie and mentioned how the artist is spontaneous with his creations. Beginning with the concept of a vase, Not Vital wanted to counter the industrial quality of stainless steel with anatomical features such as a tail and ear.
Young, contemporary painter Adrian Ghenie’s “Vincent as Old” lies between the realms of surrealism and fauvism. The use of colour is thoughtful and bold, still managing to convey motion within its geometrical elements.
Beijing born Stella Zhang studied Japanese painting; therefore her work is a fusion of both cultures. The result: dark, enigmatic pieces with wabi-sabi sensibilities. The works on display at Art Basel are a continuation of her “0-Viewpoint” series, which reflect on her perception of “self, sexuality and women” (Galerie Du Mond, 2016). The sculptures in the centre especially refer to her idea of the body.
“HK Skyscrapers” is an aptly named piece, considering the parallels between this three dimensional canvas and the host city of Art Basel. Both are dense, varies in topography, and finds meaning in the colour red.
“Easter” shows us the versatility of stainless steel. Contorting the reflections of its surroundings; it appears lucid and seems to move within the space. Tony Cragg’s sculpture is fitting for the city that never sleeps.
Written by Sonia Wan
Edited by Christina WrightReferences
The Modern Institute (2016) Jim Lambie [Online] Available at https://www.themoderninstitute.com/artists/jim-lambie [Accessed 30/03/16]
The Tate (2016) Zobop Jim Lambie [Online] Available at http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/lambie-zobop-t12236 [Accessed 30/03/16]
The Royal Academy of Arts (2016) Zobop Jim Lambie [Online] Available at https://se.royalacademy.org.uk/artwork/Jim-Lambie/2 [Accessed 30/03/16]
Gerhardsen Gerner Gallery (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://www.gerhardsengerner.com/index.htm [Accessed 30/03/16]
Gerhardsen Gerner Gallery (2016) Georg Herold [Online] Available at http://www.gerhardsengerner.com/Artists/gh.htm [Accessed 30/03/16]
Neil Beloufa (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://neilbeloufa.herokuapp.com/ [Accessed 30/03/16]
Art Basel (2016) Kohei Nawa [Online] Available at https://www.artbasel.com/catalog/artwork/33506 [Accessed 30/03/16]
Kohei Nawa (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://kohei-nawa.net/ [Accessed 30/03/16]
Art Basel (2016) Not Vital [Online] Available at https://www.artbasel.com/catalog/artist/7446 [Accessed 30/03/16]
Not Vital (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://notvital.com/ [Accessed 30/03/16]
Gallerie Thaddaeus Ropac (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://ropac.net/ [Accessed 30/03/16]
Art Basel (2016) Adrian Ghenie [Online] Available at https://www.artbasel.com/catalog/artwork/33738 [Accessed 30/03/16]
The Pace Gallery (2016) Adrian Ghenie [Online] Available at http://www.pacegallery.com/artists/144/adrian-ghenie [Accessed 30/03/16]
Art Basel (2016) Stella Zhang [Online] Available at https://www.artbasel.com/catalog/artist/15467 [Accessed 30/03/16]
Galerie Du Mond (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://www.galeriedumonde.com/home/current/art/ [Accessed 30/03/16]
Art Basel (2016) Francesca Pasquali [Online] Available at https://www.artbasel.com/catalog/artist/8829 [Accessed 30/03/16]
Art Basel (2016) Tony Cragg [Online] Available at https://www.artbasel.com/catalog/artist/7420[Accessed 30/03/16]
Tony Cragg (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://www.tony-cragg.com/ [Accessed 30/03/16]