Altman Siegel is pleased to present new works addressing the mask as an identity construct by legendary Feminist artist Lynn Hershman Leeson.
“The mask has always been a way to hide one’s own vulnerability. Today, masks are interfaces that mutate through connectivity, merging the past and present through use.” – Lynn Hershman Leeson in an E-mail to author Andreas Beitin, August 13, 2014. In this presentation Lynn Hershman Leeson applies a 2020 filter to her ever-evolving aesthetic, in this case, new works on paper of masked women, which were made during, and directly reference, the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. These drawings are new, yet they follow conceptual trajectories clearly defined from the earliest stages of her practice. In these works, Hershman Leeson thematizes the socially relevant development of masks, updating and extending their significance as symbols of an archetype or an avatar. A theme that she has been exploring since 1965. As Hershman Leeson’s work regularly operates in anticipation of social change, rather than as a reaction to it, her work consistently exists as if in a state of sociopolitical and intellectual preparation. Aesthetically, the primarily figurative works appear effortlessly rendered in the artist’s signature mark-making approach and feature open compositions that embrace negative space and poetic connections between shapes and lines within the compositions. Subtle color and collage elements activate the compositional arrangements and line renderings. The works resonate with a playful energy and a masterfully light touch. While her works can and do pursue dark and serious conditions, they always maintain an honest and approachable sense of humor and humanity. Lynn Hershman Leeson has received significant international acclaim for her art and films. She is recognized for her decades of innovative work investigating and articulating issues that are now clearly identifiable as key mechanisms of society, such as relationships between humans and technology, identity constructs, surveillance, and the harnessing of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression. Looking back at her practice reveals a vivid sense of premonition, which speaks to the keen insight she has developed with every project.
Camille Blatrix creates sculptural and wall-based works that confound industrial standardization with manufactured ornament. Both works presented are handmade using traditional wood-marquetry techniques, yet, by dint of a contemporary aesthetic and subject matter, they may appear as digitally printed images. In keeping with his general practice, Blatrix strains the utility of opposing concepts: craftsmanship and industrialization; function and ornament; the contemporary and archaic.
Dennis Cooper is known principally as a poet, critic, editor, filmmaker and novelist (the George Miles Cycle). In recent years, Cooper has been composing animated GIF novels, closing the gap between digital art and literary narrative. With “10 Duets for Zac”, a series of digital wall works consisting of two animated images each, Cooper has created a poetic analogue to his longer-form GIF novels. Just as the young bodies transfix the protagonists of his early novels, “10 Duets for Zac” are designed to command immediate sensual attention from their viewers.
Camille Blatrix was born in 1984. He lives and works in Paris. Blatrix trained at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (ENSBA). His recent exhibitions include solo shows at Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2020); Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2019); Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Brussels (2019); CCA Wattis, San Francisco (2016), amongst others.
Dennis Cooper was born in 1953. He lives in Paris and Los Angeles. Cooper is the author of ten novels as well as numerous books of poetry and non-fiction. His books have been translated into 18 languages and are published in France by Editions POL. His 2005 novel, The Sluts, won the Prix Sade and the Lambda Literary Award for Best Fiction of that year. His most recent novels are The Marbled Swarm (Editions POL, 2016) and I Wished (Editions POL, forthcoming). He has directed two feature films in collaboration with artist/filmmaker Zac Farley, Permanent Green Light (2018) and Like Cattle Towards Glow (2015). He has composed four internationally acclaimed first-of-their-kind fiction books composed entirely of animated gifs, two novels — Zac’s Haunted House (2015), Zac’s Freight Elevator (2016) — and two collections of short works — Zac’s Control Panel (2015), Zac’s Coral Reef (2018), all published by Kiddiepunk Press. He has written the works of French theater director and choreographer Gisele Vienne since 2004. Among their eight-collaborative works are Jerk (2008), This Is How You Will Disappear (2010), The Ventriloquist Convention (2016), and, most recently, Crowd (2018). Cooper is additionally a widely published art critic and journalist as well as a Contributing Editor of Artforum International Magazine.
Marjan Teeuwen’s Destroyed House series explores themes related to architecture, reconstruction, loss, and memory through the mediums of sculpture, performance, installation, and photography. Each project is a massive undertaking, and begins with the demolition of a found abandoned building. The artist then reconstructs the space by using the buildings’ own debris to create an installation composed of architectural and sculptural forms. The installation is open to the public for a short period of time, photographed, and then ultimately demolished. The only surviving part of the project is the image.
In the summer of 2019 Teeuwen was invited to participate in Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, France, and created Destroyed House Arles. This work was comprised of two rooms: one circular and white with a distinct chapel feeling, and the other is square and made of darker wood materials. The entire installation featured a false ceiling, which allowed for a glow of natural sunlight to be let in.
The artist’s most recent project is in Kyoto, Japan, and is currently open to the public in a limited capacity as part of Kyotographie the international photography festival. The ninth work in the artist’s Destroyed House series, Destroyed House Kyoto is built in two traditional machiya houses. By tearing down and rebuilding a series of tatami rooms, Teeuwen sought to organize chaos, and create beauty from destruction, which is perfectly matched with the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi. The artist also drew inspiration from Ihyou, a powerful concept in contemporary Japanese architecture, which is something unexpected that sparks curiosity. Ever present in the installation, and each resultant picture, is this idea, as well as the reminder of impermanence.
Born in 1953 in Venlo, Holland, Teeuwen now lives and works in Amsterdam. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg, followed by Academy of Fine Arts and Design St. Joost in Breda. In 2014 Teeuwen participated in a residency in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work has been exhibited widely in institutions and is held in numerous private and public collections including ARCAM, Amsterdam; Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden; Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam; Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami.
For Art Basel’s OVR:2020, the new digital event exclusively featuring works made in 2020, we will present sculptures by Nina Canell and Jimmie Durham, an installation with paintings and objects by Ian Kiaer, and new photographs by Elisabeth Neudörfl.
In his text piece “Observations”, Jimmie Durham (b. 1940) writes: “So many countries are now run destructively by men who seem deranged, yet immensely popular. At the same time environmental crises multiply and grow more severe. We live in a time of a dangerous epidemic; a virus that knows no borders nor politics. ‘why does the sun continue to rise?’ one might well ask […]” Aside from his sculptures and drawings, Durham reflects on the world in texts and poems. We will publish the third volume of new poems in fall 2020. At the Online Viewing Room, we show a new sculpture: OPERA, a piece which Durham produced with glass blowers in Murano.
From the Swedish artist Nina Canell (b. 1979), whose work revolves less around the finished art object than the surprising process, we will show new sculptures from her exhibition “Dits Dahs”, currently on view at our gallery. The exhibition title, an oddly formed onomatopoeia, is borrowed from the two different signal durations of Morse code, called dots and dashes or dits and dahs. Canell’s new body of work takes its cue from such transfers – its gaps as well as glitches – breaking down conduits in order to reflect on material interference and perception.
The British artist Ian Kiaer (b. 1971) is a painter whose works reflect on questions of architecture and philosophy, and alternative structures of cities and communities. Continuing these topics from his previous project “Quick City”, Kiaer’s installation “Endnote ping, (J-L Cheret)” is on the same thematic lines concerning the contemporary philosopher Michael Marder. Kiaer combines theatre set models with architectural models, with the notion that plant life is a prompt for radical architecture. The project’s title “Endnote, ping” is taken from Samuel Beckett’s short story Ping published in 1966, that alludes to an embodied space where repeated words defy a linear reading in favour of something more spatial, material and rhythmic.
The new photographic series “Five” by German artist Elisabeth Neudörfl (b. 1968) refers to the five key demands of the Hong Kong protest movement. The series consists of 96 photographs taken in Hong Kong between February 25 and March 5, 2020, when Neudörfl visited the city. At that time, Hong Kong’s streets and public spaces were deserted because of the Corona virus lockdown, and the traces of the political movement, such as graffiti, have been already removed, whitewashed. Thomas Weski wrote: “In her work Elisabeth Neudörfl produces extensive photographic documentations of urban space and the transition zones between city and countryside. She has used this approach in various projects in Germany and Asia. Neudörfl analyzes urban structures as prerequisite for social behavior and thus combines an artistic perspective with social analysis.”
All works were conceived and produced short before, during and after the lockdown, reflecting the personal experience and the vulnerability of social environments.
Bendt Eyckermans‘ enigmatic new paintings suggest glimpses into hidden psychological spaces. The tense, unstable narratives Eyckermans constructs through cryptic symbols and spliced, ambiguous Hitchcockian scenes create emotionally charged, complex and impenetrable internal worlds. The paintings depict people and places that surround the artist and are composed from life or from the artist’s own drawings, attempting to describe fragmented memories and moments.
Statues appear in these paintings as a looming presence or as statue-like bodies. Eyckermans is a painter born into five generations of sculptors and reveals through his compositions a complicated personal lineage in relation to these objects, as well as the complex genealogy of these objects themselves, weighted by European and colonial art histories.
For Art Basel’s OVR:2020, Catriona Jeffries proposes a selection of works that are complex relational and critical responses to 2020 through both body and landscape – those very loaded sites – simultaneously contending and transforming with global socio/political conditions and histories. We have structured our presentation by following the works of three indigenous artists, Brian Jungen, Tanya Lukin Linklater and Duane Linklater who lead our curatorial focus along with Abbas Akhavan, Geoffrey Farmer, Liz Magor and Elizabeth McIntosh, Ashes Withyman.
A new video work by Tanya Lukin Linklater, moves from her ongoing engagement with performative histories and translations through the body, text and landscape as medium to deeply consider our time. In her video This moment an endurance to the end forever, merges super 8 film footage of the artist moving in relation to large minimalist sculptural forms in a domestic interior, with stunning video of landscape and choreographed dancers in situ often overlaid with poetic text. These interior and exterior sites are a poignant outcome of the restrictions of COVID 19 culture. Tanya Lukin Linklater, a new artist to the gallery, is currently presenting this work at the Richmond ICA, Virginia, while a major installation and performance work will be exhibited at the Tate Modern in 2021. A newly commissioned work was featured in Soft Power at SFMOMA in late 2019.
Duane Linklater’s most recent work, i want to forget the english language, ulterior, documented in his remote outdoor studio in Northern Canada, continues his recent focus on the teepee form. A trajectory that commenced on the High Line and at Artists Space in New York, as well as his recent installation at SFMOMA, bringing nomadic bodies and architectures in conversation. By using land as studio, outside and free of western architecture, he constructs the work to be returned to the loaded site of contemporary art. Traditional materials and form contrast with the contemporary, pointing to land demarcation and the colonial histories of land and body.
In Gateway Liz Magor presents us with a figure and landscape, a sublime view formed from commercial and psychological refuse – deconstructed shopping bags, wrapping paper, toy doll, cigar box and iridescent paint. This extends from her recent work that has skillfully combined commercial packaging unexpectedly with the figures of stuffed animals, cartoon and taxidermy, as seen in her recent solo exhibitions at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago and 500 Capp Street Foundation in San Francisco.
Elizabeth McIntosh’s painting, Bent Tree, deftly expands upon a found image from a historical painting, one of a tree losing it’s limb. McIntosh expands this sample multifold in scale, creating deep allegorical and metaphorical potential in the immediacy of todays social and political climate, through sophisticated and restrained technique.
Commonwealth and Council
Commonwealth and Council presents six works by gallery artists Beatriz Cortez, Carolina Caycedo, Clarissa Tossin, Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, and EJ Hill. These works meditate on the present moment, variously capturing anxiety, yearning, and also hope, considering the resilience of nature, the liberatory potential of the erotic and bodily, and Indigenous knowledge.
Flood represents a new series of neon verses by EJ Hill. Their pink glow channels the fleshy insides of our porous and vulnerable yet also strong bodies. Hill seeks the intimacy denied under conditions of quarantine and physical distancing, projecting a future in which what is repressed can be unleashed: a revolution emanating from the personal.
Clarissa Tossin and Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio grapple with ethical concerns of extractivist, twenty-first century Anthropocene life. Tossin’s Circumnavigation Towards Exhaustion: Coltan Mines weaves a tapestry from used Amazon.com delivery boxes and a topographical map of the mines from which a crucial element in smartphone manufacture is sourced. These mines often employ forced indigenous and/or child labor, expose miners to hazardous working conditions, and cause long-term environmental damage to the surrounding ecology and communities. An ambiguous sphere criss-crossed with Indigenous woven patterns and the ubiquitous Amazon logo, the weaving is a visual klaxon, deep orange and red. At what price are modernity and progress sustained? Tossin asks.
With a hanging sheet of rubber cast from a tree trunk, Aparicio similarly recalls histories of economic and environmental exploitation embedded in the materials of daily life. Rubber, processed from the sap of trees native to Latin America, motivated much of American intervention into civil wars and political upheaval in the twentieth century, a legacy which threads its way to Latinx diasporic communities in the United States. These threads converge with Aparicio, whose is of Salvadoran heritage and grew up in Los Angeles; the tree trunk from which Aparicio cast Hojas de Vidrio (Volcán Guazapa) stands in a primarily Central American neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The industrial and handcrafted again converge in Tombstone/Lápida, a headstone with an embroidered epitaph composed of testimonies from children at migrant detention facilities run by the United States Customs and Border Protection. In English and Spanish, the text includes declarations such as “I am always hungry here,” “I have a metal blanket.” Beatriz Cortez’s tombstone is a chilling elegy, a cold pillow.
Flying Massachusett refers to the Indigenous tribes that inhabited New England and from whom the state Massachusetts derives its name. An artisanal fishing net, trap, and hammock recall the shape of a fish. Carolina Caycedo and Cortez find connections to Indigeneity in the natural world yet refuse to restrict these concepts to a preindustrial or precolonial past; Cortez’s Roots 1 upends the anatomy of a tree crafted from steel—rendering the industrial organic, its tangle of roots now a rhizomatic network of grey matter.
Beatriz Cortez (b. 1970, San Salvador, El Salvador; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from Arizona State University. She has had solo exhibitions at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2019); Clockshop, Los Angeles (2018); Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles (2016). Cortez has participated in group exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2019); Ballroom Marfa, TX (2019); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2019); John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); BANK/MABSOCIETY, Shanghai, China (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador (2016); and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2016). Cortez is the recipient of the Artadia Los Angeles Award (2020), the inaugural Frieze Arto LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize (2019), the Emergency Grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts (2019), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2018), the Artist Community Engagement Grant (2017), and the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2016). Her sculpture Glacial Erratic is currently on display at Rockefeller Center, New York as part of Frieze Sculpture.
Carolina Caycedo (b. 1978, London, UK, to Colombian parents; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA from the University of Southern California in 2014 and a BFA from Los Andes University in Bogotá (1999). Caycedo’s work has been exhibited worldwide, with solo shows at Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2020); Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, CA (2019); Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland (2019); UNECE, Astana, Kazakhstan (2018); NUMU, Guatemala (2017); Clockshop, Los Angeles (2015); and Instituto de Visión, Bogotá, Colombia (2014). She has participated in group exhibitions at Chicago Architecture Biennial (2019); Museo de Arte São Paulo, Brazil (2019); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017); Les Recontres, Arles, France (2017); and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2014). Selected grants and residencies include Main Museum Artist-in-Residence (2017); California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2017); FAAP Artistic Residency, São Paulo Biennial (2016); Creative Capital Award (2015); and Art Matters Foundation Grant (2014). A survey of her practice thus far will open at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in December 2020.
Clarissa Tossin (b. 1973, Porto Alegre, Brazil; lives and works in Los Angeles) has held solo exhibitions at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica (2019); Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard, MA (2018); Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo, Brazil (2018); Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2018); JOAN, Los Angeles (2016); and Galeria Baobá, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil (2015). Selected group exhibitions include MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2020); Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2020); Luhring Augustine, New York (2019); Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard, MA (2018); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); 12th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2018); Kunsthalle Mulhouse, Mulhouse, France (2018); and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014). Tossin is the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Visual Arts Grant (2019), Fellows of Contemporary Art Fellowship (2019), Artadia Los Angeles Award (2018), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship at Harvard University (2018), the California Community Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fellowship (2014), the Center for Cultural Innovation’s Artistic Innovation Grant (2012), and the Core Program Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston (2010-12). An upcoming solo exhibition will open at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France in June 2021.
Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio (b. 1990, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA from Yale University in 2016 and BA in Studio Art from Bard College in 2012, and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Paramo, Guadalajara (2019), The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2018) and Green Gallery, New Haven, CT (2016). Aparicio has participated in group exhibitions at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (2020); Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City (2018); Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2018); Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2017); and Abrons Art Center, New York (2016). He is the recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2018); Schell Center for Human Rights Fellowship, Yale University (2015); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, VCCA (2014); and Sol LeWitt and Elizabeth Murray Studio Arts Award, Bard College (2012).
EJ Hill (b. 1985, Los Angeles; lives and works in Los Angeles) received his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 and BFA from Columbia College, Chicago in 2011. Solo exhibitions have been held at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard, MA (2020); Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles (2019, 2017, 2014); Company Gallery, New York (2018); and Human Resources, Los Angeles (2017). Hill has participated in group exhibitions at Dallas Museum of Art, TX (2019); California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2019); Aspen Art Museum (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Venice Biennale (2017); The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (2017); Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2017): PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine (2017); Studio Museum, New York (2016); PIASA, Paris, France (2015); and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles (2014). He is the recipient of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship at Harvard University (2018-19), Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Grants to Artists (2018); Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2018), the Mohn Public Recognition Award at the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. 2018 (2018), the Los Angeles Artadia Award (2018), the Art Matters Foundation Grant (2017), and the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2015). Hill will be a participant in Prospect.5, New Orleans, opening October 2021.
Simon Fujiwara created the six new works for this Online Viewing Room during the lockdown period of 2020. Reflecting on the chaos, economic hardships and seismic social shifts that have marked the year, the artist responds to these unprecedented and ‘surreal’ events by unleashing them into the realms of fairytales and fantasies. Gender politics, racial dynamics and the toppling of power structures are explored through the playful, absurd and sometimes disturbing lens of cartoons and pop cultural figures.
Simon Fujiwara (born 1982, London) is a British Japanese artist living and working in Berlin. His work takes multiple forms including theme park style rides, wax figures, robotic cameras, ‘make-up’ paintings and short films that address the complexity and contradictions of identity in a post-internet, hyper-capitalist world. Fujiwara often investigates themes of popular interest such as tourist attractions, famous icons, historic narratives and mass media imagery and has collaborated with the advertising and entertainment industries to produce his work in a process he describes as ‘hyper-engagement’ with dominant forms of cultural production. His work can be seen as a complex response to the human effects of image fetish, technology and social media on his generation.
Galerie Chantal Crousel
Galerie Chantal Crousel is pleased to participate in Art Basel OVR:2020 with a selection of new works by David Douard, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jean-Luc Moulène, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Haegue Yang.
All works are exhibited at the gallery at 5 rue de Saintonge, Paris and our participation is extended with an Online Viewing Room on our website.
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galerie frank elbaz
Since the late 1950s, Sheila Hicks (born in 1934 in Hastings, USA, lives and works in Paris) has been producing work exceptionally difficult to categorize. Knotting, wrapping, folding, twisting and stacking wool, linen and cotton: these are only some of the techniques and materials that have seen her undermine conventional artistic categories and their hierarchical relationships. A pupil of Josef Albers at Yale, Sheila Hicks is the heir to both a Modernist spirit that holds the distinctions between ne art, decoration and design to be unimportant and a textile practice that has its roots in pre-Columbian America. If Sheila Hicks chose textiles, it is because from clothes to furniture, interior decoration and on to the canvas that undergirds the high art of painting, these are materials that life constantly puts in our way, in a vast variety of contexts. It also allows works to remain alive, taking different forms each time they are shown. Ductile and tactile, Hicks’s work occupies a singular place in the art of our time. It combines forms typical of modernism with non-Western traditions, the play of color, and a concern to maintain the vital openness of the work.
In November 2020 Sheila Hicks will inaugurate THREAD, TREES, RIVER, her first solo exhibition in Austria staged by the MAK, Vienna. The entire MAK Columned Main Hall is taken up by an installation conceived specially for this exhibition, while other recent works will be presented in the MAK Works on Paper Room. Upcoming solo exhibitions include a large survey at The Hepworth Wakefield, originally set for Spring 2020 and opening in Fall 2021.
Since arriving in New York from his native Holland in 1979, Ari Marcopoulos (born in 1957 in Amsterdam) has documented the diverse subcultures of American youth. His photographs and videos depict the brash vitality of underground music and the rebellious athleticism of extreme sports. ln a body of work that demonstrates a rare empathy for his subjects, Marcopoulos neither patronizes tentative expressions of identity nor romanticizes youthful freedom. His straightforward portraits and lush snapshots capture everyday moments of beauty and anxiety, becoming, as he says, “something that just stands for life lived.” For his third solo show at galerie frank elbaz, Into The Now, opening on September 5, 2020, Ari Marcopoulos presents a body of work put together during the Covid-19 pandemic.
2020 was also an important year for Bernard Piffaretti, who presented a new solo show, Acteur, at the gallery. Since 1986 French artist Bernard Piffaretti has committed his practice to the “duplication method” or “Piffaretti system”, abstract paintings that appear to be two identical halves, split through the vertical axis. One of the two parts is an attempt to duplicate the other, made beforehand. Once both panels are finished, the distinction between the copy and the original tends to fade. As the artist admits himself, “the repetition, act by act, on the second half of the canvas, can only produce an imperfect image”. Closer inspection does indeed reveal moments of differentiation: the inclination of the brushstrokes, the number of drips, the weight of the hue. “The duplication clouds the origin of the time of the work. All supremacy is abolished, and that is the subject of my painting”. While the duplication method is a statement of conceptual rigor, it also draws attention to the gestural qualities of the paintings; the matching sides encourage us to examine the subtle nuances between the two halves. The paintings often have a vertical spine, hiding in plain sight down the center of the canvas. Piffaretti calls attention to this spine by shifting its tone or hue in a direction that skews the palette established in rest of the painting. He not only uses the technique as a compositional tool but also as an instrument to trigger action; the colors, shapes and lines subsequently move, repeat and rotate on the canvas. Furthermore, the system allows him to exhibit the simple yet essential principles of painting. In some works, the second part is even left irremediably blank, showing us this impossible reproduction of the artistic gesture.
Another highlight of galerie frank elbaz’s 2020 programming is the addition of Bojan Sarcevic’s (born in 1974 in Belgrade, lives and works in Basel and Paris) to the galleries roaster and the artists first solo show with the gallery opening in October. The plurality of Bojan Sarcevic’s practice finds its roots in an essential relationship to sculpture, materiality and space, questioning their political, social and poetic implications. The artist explores the ideological resonances and cultural displacements carried by forms, materials and structures. As a recent review aptly suggested, “Sarcevic deploys a kaleidoscopic vision moving incessantly between figuration and abstraction, the infinitely small and the monumental, the common and the singular, across forms as simple as they are ingenious.”
Vertèbre was created by the artist during his lockdown in Basel. It evokes a phenomenology of interlacing, or the interweaving of several strings, with the metal framework and the glass tube, oscillating between the Borromean knot and the Gordian knot (having no apparent beginning or end). These ties remain essential in some unusual or emergency situations.
Californian artist Mungo Thomson (born in 1969 in Davis, lives and works in Los Angeles) seizes the everyday disposable consumer objects of our time and produces anthropological relics for the future. He explores popular culture and everyday objects, using elements such as the covers of the notorious TIME magazine. Through his eclectic body of work which includes film, sculpture, photography, music and books, Thomson leads us to question what we most take for granted, or fail to notice.
August 5, 2019 (Notre Dame) is a work from Mungo Thomson’s most iconic series. TIME mirrors are person-sized, silkscreened mirrors bearing the iconic logo and red border of the international weekly news magazine TIME. The mirrors are based on individual covers of the magazine that reference cultural or cosmological notions of time, history, perception and encounter.
Mungo Thomson’s new body of work, Snowman, first introduced to the public in February, recasts the seemingly ubiquitous cardboard delivery box into a bronze monument for our age. Recasting is also an appropriate term for the transformation of these disposable (but environmentally damaging) cardboard boxes into the durable, mineralogical bronze.
In this edition oft the Art Basel Online Viewing Room Galerie Krinzinger will be showing works from Abstraction to Surreal Hyperrealism.
By opposing seemingly total contrasts in the artistic approach we are suggesting to think their connection beyond the obvious.
As for instance Hans Op de Beeck’s multiple levels of narration in his sculptures such as Celeste (smoking) and Secundino Hernandez’s processual approach in painting, or Monica Bonvicini’s Pas de Deux – two leather-belt-sex toys hanging from the ceiling in comparison to Martha Jungwirth’s lavish, powerful and sensual paintings – both artworks suggesting the physical when contemplated. So is Brigitte Kowanz’s and Jonathan Meese’s work seemingly apposing one interconnecting the visual in form of light with language and signs in a mesmerizing manner, the other using language and imagery in an ever surprising way that is leaping over all barriers.
Rock, paper, scissors is a hand game usually played between two people, in which each player simultaneously forms one of three shapes with an outstretched hand.
Each day we will reveal works that have associations in terms of form, material and technique that reflect the shapes and elements of the hand gestures of the game. We encourage audiance participation to connect with the works and their sequence of revelation through the playful rules set out by Rock, Paper, Scissors.
While the 3 artists work in outwardly different media: Anna in sculpture, Jaromír with canvas and Jiří with photography, both Jaromír and Jiří approach their respective mediums, it could be said, in a sculptural way. Jaromír cuts, sews and inserts boards and attaches paper to the organza canvas – building up the painting as a sculptor. Jiří actually uses sculptures as his subject matter whether those of Czech cubist sculptor Otto Gutfreund or Josef Mařatka, photographs these, cuts, draws, adds objects, collages, and then re-photographs, combining a digital and manual aesthetic. While Jaromír and Jiří’s working processes are not concealed, they still surprise, we don’t expect them and it is only when we come close and take the time to consider do they reveal themselves. The works we have chosen to present here by Anna Hulačová do the ‘opposite’ in a sense – concrete sculptures open up to reveal 2 dimensional works. In all 3 artists’ work, the tension between the 2 and 3 dimensions serve to bring us in further, offering up new entries of perception.
Anna Hulačová‘s work highlights her concern for our fragile condition, society and the environment. She often creates diptychs and dialogues in sculpture, here we are presenting 2 ‘dyptich busts’ – Flower and Love and Nature Spirit. Each part of the sculpture seemingly a half of one single being, rather than 2 separate ones, or one being literally cut in half as if to say that the dialogue must be with ourselves first and foremost but also questioning the very idea of the other. She has always broken down hierarchies in her work, using the subjects and materials traditionally associated with fine art in combination with that of applied and folk art across cultures and these in combination with contemporary media and aesthetics. Her choice of materials span from the hardy industrial concrete to the ephemeral dishwashing soap bubbles. Her representations are of the hybrid everyman/everywoman, transformed by nature, by technology, continually negotiating our way and adapting by necessity. Current exhibitions include Global(e) Resistance at Centre Pompidou with Ascencion Mark I , an installation recently acquired by the Pompidou. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo at Pedro Cera in Lisbon and a group exhibition at MO.CO. Montpellier Contemporain, Possessed, the Occult in Contemporary Art.
Jaromír Novotný deconstructs painting, its historic form and content – he analyzes the basic categories of material and technique, undermining the conventions of meaning and consistently ‘abstracting’ the process that allows the painting to come into being. Here we are presenting two works, both acrylic on polyester organza with paper. One is in white which is the color or non color Jaromír uses often and the other in a yellow/blue (entitled Yellow over Blue). But the choice of color for Jaromír is never significant but rather simply intuitive, further underlining the fact of non-representation to focus on practice and process. Jaromír currently has a solo show Just a Narrow Range of Possible Things at Axel Vervoordt, Hong Kong.
Jiří Thýn works in, and with, the medium of photography, although characteristically his work crosses the borderlines of the medium, pushing beyond into installation and interventions. Thýn brings to the fore a new visuality, positioning reality on the background of the modernist canon, and addressing questions of our ‘pictorial consciousness’ (or unconsciousness). The 2 works presented here are being shown at the exhibition Lovelies from the Files: Sudek and Sculpture at the Prague House of Photography. They take as their starting point sculpture by Czech sculpture Josef Mařatka which Jiri then photographs, animating it with layers of object and drawing. Upcoming exhibitions include Light Underground at the Prague City Gallery’s House of the Stone Bell where Jiří will be showing some work and sculptural installations in light.
The action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.
Kamel Mennour is delighted to present a selection of sculptures and paintings produced during the most uncertain times and most certainly, the most contemplative of times.
Alicja Kwade astonishing sculpture, MatterMotion, reflects on time, perception and scientific inquiry. With equal parts of poetry and critical acumen, she calls into question the systems designed to banish doubt from the world and make sense of an otherwise fathomable universe. Kwade highlights both the mystery and the absurdity of the human condition in order to enhance our powers of self-reflection.
Merlin James’ intensively worked and generally small-scale canvases encompass a wide variety of subject matter including empty interiors, rural landscapes, architecture and, more recently, scenes of sexual intimacy. Often distressed, pierced, cropped or heavily overpainted and sometimes transparent, these works refine and renew many of painting’s most time- honoured concerns – genre and narrative, pictorial space, expressive gesture and the emotive resonance of colour and texture. In these latest, highly personal works, James continues the complex pursuit of Western painting, with a fully contemporary consciousness of the modern and postmodern disjunctures of history and culture.
Inspired by the title of US Rapper Nas’ thirteenth studio album which was released in August 2020, KOW’s presentation is called „King’s Disease”. 2020 is a year of reckoning where the ghosts of our flawed lifestyle came out to hunt us and made the important social issues of our times more evident than ever. The King’s disease is a call for normality based on high privileges.
KÖNIG GALERIE is pleased to present new works by Alicja Kwade at the Art Basel Online Viewing Room in September 2020. All pieces were created this year accumulating in an extraordinary selection of sculptural works. Through them, the artist continues her in-depths reflections about the measurement of time and processes of transition. This becomes evident in works like Die Menge des Moments in which Kwade chooses sandstone as a material that impressively shows the passing of time as the result of a process lasting thousands of years. Works like Emergenz and Duodecuple Be-Hide show Kwade’s investigation of perception and transformation processes. She arranges objects made of materials such as granite, marble, and bronze, separated from each other by mirrors, in a circular or linear arrangement. Depending on one’s perspective, the objects thus enter into symbioses, disappear behind one another or become hybrids. Some of the works available in the Online Viewing Room are currently being shown in Alicja Kwade’s solo exhibition at the Langen Foundation in Neuss/Germany.
Between Form and Freedom includes three artistic positions: Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way (formed by Sheelagh Boyce & Annabelle Harty); Anne Neukamp and Christoph Schellberg. Coming from different generations and working in different media, the precise investigation of a set of concrete forms by each artist leads to a shift of perception of the used visual imagery – and allows a freedom to see and experience the forms and objects from everyday life in a new, almost abstract way.
Referencing the US tradition of Minimal Painting in the 1960s and 1970s, the main focus of Schellberg’s (*1973, Germany) paintings centers around the investigation of simple forms, feelings, moods and the pure effects initiated by color. Held by countless, thin layers of colorful frames, the surface of Schellberg’s paintings become bodies of images and sublimely adapt to the sentiment of the composition. Schellberg slowly and subtly questions not only the eye’s reception, but, the process of image formation. The basic forms of squares, circles and lines usually found in our everyday life blend hazily with their shadows and added color traces, thereby freeing the space for a subtle investigation of the painterly process of abstraction. What remains, is its effect: a pleasantly warm impression of colorful traces, which extends the visual field of perception and expands the visual space by a colorful composition. Once used to denote a clear figurative entity, the concrete motifs become independent and present themselves gently as abstracted symbols between form and freedom.
Lévy Gorvy is pleased to announce its participation in Art Basel’s OVR:2020 with Till the Dawn, a presentation that features a selection of works created this year by artists from the gallery’s international program. Their perseverance and perennial creativity in the face of challenging times offer inspiration and renewal in anticipation of the coming dawn.
A celebration of creativity and the restorative powers of art, Till the Dawn features works by contemporary masters who continue to surprise and excite us. Günther Uecker’s Lichtbogen (Arc of Light) is from his expansive new series, which will inaugurate Lévy Gorvy’s new location in Paris this fall. The blues of the Lichtbogen paintings vibrate with the energy of their creation and allude to the life-giving properties of water. These paintings represent a new direction for the Düsseldorf-based master, one imbued with his personal response to the profound challenges and hopeful potentials of these unprecedented times. Celebrating his 100th birthday this past year, Pierre Soulages continues to extend his practice through his Outrenoir series, here represented by Peinture 102 x 165 cm, 15 janvier 2020, the artist’s first use of a blue hue together with black pigment in over a decade. Soulages’s centennial was recently celebrated by a solo exhibition at the Musée du Louvre, Paris—only the third time in the museum’s history that the Salon Carré has been devoted entirely to a survey of work by a single living artist, an honor shared only by Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.
Represented by Untitled X, 2020 (Taipei), Pat Steir is an artist who continues to refine her practice through her masterful exploration of color and gesture. Pat Steir: Waterfall Paintings on Paper is currently on display at Lévy Gorvy’s gallery in New York, following two monumental projects that opened last year at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, and at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, which has been extended through 2021. 9-2-20, The Brides is the newest painting created by Francesco Clemente, whose watercolors are currently on exhibit in Lévy Gorvy’s gallery in New York. Charged with brilliant color and expressively imagined form, Clemente’s painting confronts the suggestiveness of reality. Mickalene Thomas’s Jet Blue #14 celebrates the boundless identities of Black womanhood, recasting moments from art history and popular culture with flamboyance and wit.
Jutta Koether’s Need You Everyday (Bluesed Grid Series, Flower Theme) extends the work featured in 4 the Team, her inaugural exhibition at Lévy Gorvy this past spring. This multipaneled work articulates possibilities of painted form, cultivating the essential strangeness of the medium and wonder of the creative process. With Stream-Fallen Leaves-Deep Valley, Tu Hongtao occupies an expressive realm between landscape and abstraction, synthesizing Chinese aesthetic traditions with postwar abstraction to create painterly effects that are vividly realized and profoundly original. Tu Hongtao: Twisting and Turning is on view at Lévy Gorvy London this fall, its title derived a phrase from Chinese calligraphy that also describes unpredictable, abruptly changing states of affairs and implies that good things never come easy.
For the OVR:2020 edition, Magazzino is pleased to present a special project entitled Painting as sculpture as painting. The viewing room presents a series of works that are literally in between these two fundamental languages of arts.
The selection includes works that are both painting-related yet with strong material and plastic connotations, and sculptures that have tangible pictorial qualities. Inside this realm, we selected works by Massimo Bartolini, Cabrita, Francesca Leone, Alessandro Piangiamore and Namsal Siedlecki.
Marian Goodman Gallery
For Art Basel’s OVR:2020, Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to share recent works by Gabriel Orozco, Tavares Strachan and Adrián Villar Rojas.
Gabriel Orozco’s new series of tempera paintings all began as spontaneous, quick, and fluid line drawings he made in his notebooks. Orozco selects from these little scribbles and blows them up to scale on the canvas. The color placement is a more methodical process and becomes an almost sculptural operation: carving the originating simple lines into shapes that have weight and form, and which sometimes resemble flowers, leaves, tree branches, or other elements of nature—a motif that runs through much of Orozco’s work. We also present a new watercolor collage, part of a group of works which expand upon Orozco’s Suisai series, begun in 2016. The Suisai collages are made using Japanese watercolors, painted onto shikishi (specially prepared paper fixed onto a hard backing). In this new body of Suisai, Orozco adds in various elements of mixed media and collage: tape, paper, gouache, graphite, stamps. Some of them are layered with many colorful elements, with shapes that begin to take on forms found in nature – flowers, vines, leaves – while others are more contemplative and quiet with minimal colors and brush strokes.
The theme of invisibility pervades Tavares Strachan‘s work, and here, “Invisibles” refers not just to the individuals, communities, achievements—the histories—that have been elided from the encyclopedia, a conceptual project that directly indexes an Imperial past, but also to the individuals who write the entries in the encyclopedia, or the editors who decide what makes it into this compendium that carries with it an authoritative air and draws the boundaries of knowledge. The individual pages in Strachan’s array of individual encyclopedia entries have been overwritten with collage elements. This act of rewriting continues in the works presented here, in which Strachan draws from the encyclopedia and foregrounds various pieces of information.
Adrián Villar Rojas has built a practice working across media to create immersive environments and experiences that seem to be in a state of perpetual space-time travel. Evolving over years towards the development of topography-based, mutant, organic-inorganic systems, Villar Rojas invites viewers to become explorers of an unpredictable microcosmos of his design, where the future, the past, and alternate versions of our own present interact as a constantly changing totality. By way of this world building, Villar Rojas posits the question: what if we could see and think of ourselves – humanity – from an alien perspective; detached, unprejudiced, even amoral? What if we could see and think of ourselves from the border of our own completed path?
Massimo De Carlo
Including new works by John Armleder, McArthur Binion, Tony Lewis, Rob Pruitt, Piotr Uklanski, and Wang Yuyang The Rainbow Show is a collective presentation of works produced during the unprecedented scenario of the pandemic. From the cute and yet discomforting painted face by Rob Pruitt to the abstract joyful chaos by John Armleder, from the oriental fascinfeminineation in Uklanski’s painting to the magnificent moon painting of Wang Yuyang, from the linguistical abstract rhythm by Tony Lewis to the juxtaposition of personal memories and abstract forms by McArthur Binion, The Rainbow Show is a complex repertoire of questions that focuses on color as a mean of expression and a charged media.
Perrotin is pleased to partake in Art Basel’s Online Viewing Room with a series of recent works by Daniel Arsham, Laurent Grasso, JR, Izumi Kato, Jean-Michel Othoniel, and Pieter Vermeersch.
Daniel Arsham will present a sculpture based on iconic works from Antiquity, in anticipation of his Carte Blanche at the Guimet Museum in Paris this October.
Perrotin will also display new paintings by Pieter Vermeersch, Laurent Grasso, and Jean-Michel Othoniel, alongside recent works by Izumi Kato and JR, who have concurrent solo exhibitions on view at Perrotin Paris.
For the ‘OVR:2020,’ PKM Gallery will showcase the works of Koo Jeong A, an internationally acknowledged artist who is known for her distinctive perception of the world and her wide spectrum of artistic practice.
Since the late 1990s, with a belief that ‘nothing is merely ordinary,’ Koo has been incorporating fragile and ephemeral everyday objects in her works to whimsically interfere in familiar spaces to highlight the poetic aspect of the mundaneness. Composed of disparate mediums—ranging from still and moving images, sound, to smell—Koo’s artworks allow the co-existence of contrasting conditions such as visibility and invisibility, the imaginary and actuality, and the existence and nonexistence and thus provides possibilities beyond their boundaries. At the Art Basel’s ‘OVR:2020,’ PKM Gallery will present Koo’s latest series of works entitled Seven Stars. Consisted of phosphorescence paintings which glows at night as the pigments capture the daylight, the series fully capture Koo’s artistic universe. Through the paintings, PKM gallery aims to provide the marvels of discovering another space beyond our world.
Koo Jeong A, who lives and works across the globe, has gained the attention of the international art world through her solo exhibitions at Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Dia Art Foundation, Dia: Beacon (Beacon, USA), Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf, Germany), Moderna Museet (Stockholkm, Sweden), and at Art Sonje (Seoul, Korea). She also participated in diverse group shows including the Venice Biennale, São Paulo Biennial, Gwangju Biennale, Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Tate Modern (London, UK), Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris, France), Gropius Bau (Berlin, Germany), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan), Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Gwacheon, Korea), and Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea). Additionally, she is listed as a participating artist for the Busan Biennale that will take place this autumn. Koo was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2002, has won the Hermes Korean Prize for contemporary art in 2005, and was named as ‘2016 artist of the Year’ by the Korean Cultural Centre UK.
In a prolonged moment defined by physical distance, the work of New York-based artist Ryan McGinley is particularly poignant. While the ongoing pandemic and its many cascading effects have influenced every person alive, the work of a contemporary photographer whose two-decade career has focused, almost entirely, on human subjects is uniquely positioned to offer both perspective and sanctuary amidst the many profound societal changes happening today.
Ryan McGinley typically photographs his subjects in extremely intimate and vulnerable poses and contexts; nearly always nude, McGinley’s models are often precariously positioned, either alone or interacting with others, in untouched or reclaimed environments. Even in McGinley’s many single-subject photographs, the physical proximity between artist and model is implicit.
Whether presented as editorial images, reproductions in monographs, or within gallery and art fair presentations, images from McGinley’s ongoing road trip series evoke exuberance, freedom, and reverie. McGinley’s seemingly impossible landscapes, and the improbable positions of the figures inhabiting them, imbue these images with interpersonal histories, inviting a sense of nostalgia.
The works we have selected for our Online Viewing Room are among the last photographs McGinley was able to produce before a central aspect of his practice—physical proximity to other people—was complicated by uncertainty. Working closely with the artist, we chose images that, taken together, capture human connectedness in the broadest, yet most personal, sense.
Typically exhibited as face-mounted chromogenic prints in an artist’s frame, McGinley’s works are shown here as digital images. This grouping of photographs is unusually well-aligned with the online context through which most art is being experienced at this moment; the same circumstances that have forced a halt to the artist’s production have necessitated new forms of exhibition. In this defining moment, McGinley’s works are all the more wistful and urgent, necessary in their optimism and ability to remind us that human connection endures.
To see the full video montage of the artists’ in CA3A Studio, Bandung, developing IRL, please click here.
Please proceed to “Artwork Details” to see installation views of the work in the artists’ living and working space.
IRL/In Real Life presents a new body of work by Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo (b. 1978, Bandung, Indonesia), and Syagini Ratna Wulan (b. 1979, Bandung, Indonesia) developed specifically for Art Basel OVR 2020. Throughout the years, the artists have been developing their own distinctive practices that draw reference from their own individual disciplines, experiences and outlook. Arin focuses on the idea to expand paintings through experimental approaches in his mediums and processes, he utilizes resin as an agent that binds and preserves various, often unconventional, elements into complex permutations of works. Syagini works around many different mediums and methodologies of presenting her ideas, playing with the limits of perception through the use of iridescent pigments, prismatic and spectral formulations of color, and the various modulations and shapes present in her oeuvre.
This presentation is a continuation from their collaborative exhibition IRIS (2018) which was first shown in Silverlens Galleries, Manila, Philippines. Then, the artists”… hinted at the possibility of a common, albeit precarious ground; an imagined space where their individual practices could intersect. And at this crossing, we bore witness to how two paths can briefly converge, not to espouse familiarity but to reinvigorate and further prolong our shared mysteries” (Gary-Ross Pastrana, curator).
IRL/In Real Life sees these initial ideas thereafter further developed into new terrain wherein their practices are once again reinvestigated in greater detail. The works achieve a new state of concord, as Arin and Syagini thoroughly consider their respective practices in and between each other in the context of sharing both their domestic and artistic environments within the confines of the Global Pandemic.
IRL, an abbreviation of “In Real Life”, is a commonly used terminology utilized in online chat rooms to describe activities that happen in the physical world (as opposed to being on the internet). In this presentation the artists specifically intended for the artworks to subvert the notion of having their works experienced on an online platform, by then contextualizing the presentation within the confines of their immediate surroundings.
Looking inwards, this presentation takes as insight the otherwise private lives of the Syagini and Arin, emphasizing elements of domesticity through their elaborations of daily recurrences. Eggs for breakfast are taken into a whole different magnification and scale in a resin painting, classical china enlarged and painted to form a hybrid wall sculpture, past works reimagined artisanally into a hand-weaved carpet. A new work incorporating beads by Syagini mirrors a previous Arin painting, and a resin work presents pigments more closely associated with Syagini’s own practice. The lines between the respective artists’ practices begin to fold in, within, and through each other.
SCAI The Bathhouse
A defining feature of abstraction is that it can occur in any realm. In the present techno-scientific age, artistic practices of abstraction are increasingly mediated by digital engineering, or contrastingly shaped and complimented by analogue techniques. From Mariko Mori’s Sci-Fi hand drawings processed through three-dimensional computer graphics and lenticular printing, to Kohei Nawa’s new painting series “Particle-Cell” covered with silicon carbide powder, the exhibition explores diverse methods to articulate invisible flows of energy and motion as a key element of abstraction, suggesting how materials and formalistic exploration affects the way we perceive reality. Specially programmed for this first edition of Art Basel’s OVR, the exhibition accompanies video footage of artists at work, as well as the “Meet the Artist” live broadcast lecture by Kohei Nawa, exclusively for the Art Basel audience.
Other featured artists include Tatsuo Miyajima, whose 3.5 meter-high, gold-shining, wall-mounted numeric figure indicates our inability to capture an infinite, and indeterminate reality; Reijiro Wada, with his framed photograph of an Okinawan shore tinted through a color filter of red wine; and He Xiangyu, whose complex color drawings translate his everyday emotions into visual forms and materials.
The “Meet the Artist” lecture by Kohei Nawa will be broadcast live at [further details: time, date, name of platform, and weblink etc.] as part of Art Basel virtual event programs.
Selma Feriani Gallery
Selma Feriani Gallery is pleased to showcase new works by Ziad Antar, M’barek Bouhchichi, Elena Damiani, Maha Malluh and Catalina Swinburn, their work reflects and responds to the current global unrest triggered by racism, inequality and the ongoing pandemic. Selected works emerged during lockdown, where each artist was experiencing individual yet collective interruptions and challenges presented by the global health crises, and subsequent ongoing political unrest.
Ziad Antar’s The Silo, Beirut 5 August 2020 was captured on the day following the Beirut port explosion, which exposed the ongoing political instability and corruption embedded in Lebanon. The airiness of the photograph evokes images of the civil war, which continues to taint one’s visual perception of the country. The title refers to the catastrophic impact of this explosion, by focusing on the demolished wheat reserve, and the nation having to suffer yet another tragedy.
M’barek Bouhchichi has been confronted by the question of blackness, especially in Morocco and the rest of the continent. Racism and the idea of living together is an obsession in his work. This piece, Nous sommes tous faits de terre (We are All Made of Earth) emerged following a research trip to Tunisia and is inspired by the architecture of the southern region of the country, which influenced the shape; the repetition alludes to memorials.
In ideology, humans are made of clay and our bodies return to earth. Adapting the colours and tones of the artwork, which relate to earth, soil and skin, on the same horizontal line, we are ultimately all equal in life as we are in the afterlife.
Working in confinement against restrictions and limitations consequently offered the artist, Elena Damiani, an opportunity to work in an intimate manner comparable to a meditative exercise. The geometrical series of drawings, Tránsitos, reveal gradients of colour that imagine a new cosmology where all elements seem to be choreographed in harmony. Paradoxically her state of confinement is juxtaposed against ideas of mobility presented by the cartographic drawings.
Food is one of those things that brings people together. In this installation, the baking trays, which would have once cradled scrumptious bread, are instead carrying passé cassettes. It is through listening to these audiocassettes that people unite. The Food for Thought tapes’ series by Maha Malluh, considers how social transformation has occurred as a result of the wide-spread distribution of certain cassettes, promoting a whole new paradigm of thought and a different way of life. The work speaks to the wider discourse on how ideas can penetrate into a society and become the norm. It is about the fluidity of discourses that can permeate and transgress local borders, circulating into the global sphere.
Catalina Swinburn’s sensational sculptures are produced by intricately weaving together pages of texts to construct robust structures. Through this labour-intensive approach, the material is transformed from delicate pages of books to garment-like arrangements that the artist often wears as armour to perform in. The artwork is, therefore, activated by the artist’s position as both the fabricator and the performer of the sculpture, occupying a determination as she possesses multiple roles. This can be seen as a metaphor for resistance, where woven narratives are portrayed as a substitute for the silence of women throughout history.
Simone Subal Gallery
Amorphous. Sinuous. Surreal expressions of capitalism’s encroachment into the increasingly fleeting moments of sleep. The noise. The city. 24/7 energy. Jesse Wine’s latest sculptures capture the contemporary moment: one that is uncertain, politically fraught, and ultimately precarious.
Jesse Wine’s six sculptures on view, some of which also are part of his current solo exhibition at SculptureCenter in New York, take on the nefarious manner in which capitalism has seeped into every aspect of existence. In many ways, New York, Wine’s home, is his subject: the din of urban life—idling trucks, ambulance sirens, air conditioning units, and helicopters hovering above—are the permanent soundtrack and texture of the individual’s existence. Much of this is for the simple reason that money never sleeps and subsequently nor do we. The restorative powers of rest, the nocturnal liberation provided by dreams, Wine contends, have been compromised and eroded.
The world is always on, which means we are never fully off, always anticipating the next email, and wondering what will be the next disaster on the horizon. Wine’s ceramic sculptures address these issues with forms haunted by the presence of past Modernist works. They are playful, formally complex, at once familiar and welcoming, while still utterly unique. Hands and feet are elongated and distorted. They emerge from geometric shapes that anthropomorphize abstract structures. A recreation of a United States Postal Service delivery truck is reminiscent of a child’s toy but has also become a sign of political resistance. A rectilinear high-rise balances atop a hollow head. It is a contemporaneous and sly ode to Brancusi, but in Wine’s visual world, also a moving reflection on the imbrication of urban life with the life of the conscious and unconscious mind.
Jesse Wine was born in 1983 in Chester, England. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Upcoming solo exhibitions include: The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (2021); SculptureCenter, New York (2020); and Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2020). Past solo exhibitions include: Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2017); Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands (2016); Mary Mary, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (2016); and Soy Capitán, Berlin (Invited by Melissa Canbaz) (2016). Selected group exhibitions include: Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2019, 2017); GAK, Bremen (2018); Yossi Milo Gallery, New York (2018); Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Rio de Janeiro (2017); Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida (2017); Battersea Power Station and CASS Sculpture Foundation – Powerhouse Commission, London (2017); TATE St Ives, Cornwall (2017); Parrasch Heijnen, Los Angeles (2017); Museum of Cambridge, Cambridge (2017); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2017); Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, (2016); and Fundament Foundation, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2016).
Take Ninagawa is featuring The Dawn of Compact Structure, a solo presentation of Japanese artist Taro Izumi. Working at the forefront of performance, video, and installation practice, Izumi will show works from his new Compact Structure series, currently on view in his solo exhibition ex at Museum Tinguely.
About Taro Izumi:
Born in Nara in 1976, lives and works in Tokyo. Graduated with an MFA from Tama Art University, Tokyo. Major solo exhibitions include Museum Tinguely, Basel (2020); the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2017); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017). His works are held in important international collections including the Dallas Museum of Art; the François Pinault Foundation; the Japan Foundation; the Kadist Art Foundation; M+, Hong Kong; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the National Museum of Art, Osaka; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Our presentation represents an overview of a distinctly international perspective on contemporary art. From Berlin, to Sao Paulo, to New York and Los Angeles, these artists address key issues of our time such as phenomenological experience, climate change, political turmoil, and the loss of human interaction.
Rivane Neuenschwander’s tapestry reflects the current sociopolitical context in Neuenschwander’s native Brazil, but could easily apply to most post-colonial cultures around the world. Investigating how emotions can be weaponized as tools of control and contamination, her current exhibition at the gallery, Tropics: Damned, Orgasmic and Devoted unveils the mechanism used to perpetuate political dominance.
Representing the loss or absence of the physical body, Kelly Akashi’s cast bronze hand reaches towards the negative impression of its counterpart, the glass acting as the barrier between the two.
Through complex constellations of objects and a proliferation of images, Sze expands upon the never-ending stream of visual narratives that we negotiate daily, from magazines and newspapers, television and iPhones, to cyberspace and outer space. This work evoke the generative and recursive process of image-making in a world where consumption and production are more interdependent, where the beginning of one idea is the ending of another—and where sculpture gives rise to images, and images to sculpture. Her practice fundamentally alters our sense of time, place, and memory by transforming our experiences of the physical world around us.
Using elements and processes that have continued throughout her career, Analia Saban’s Pleated Ink (Music Synthesizer: Roland System 100M, 1978) replicates the pattern of a synthesizer from 1978. Her interest lies not only in the materials, but in the history of electronic devices and their trajectory that has led us to our dependence on technology today.
Heightening our awareness and perception, Eliasson’s Contemporary yellow Sunday creates kaleidoscope shadows of shapes and colors on the surrounding environment. Shifting our focus to from the object to the reflections and back again.
Representing a model for how we might live in the clouds, Tomas Saraceno’s floating sculpture mirrors its surroundings, making the viewer aware of fragmented perspectives and giving us hope for a more sustainable future.
BREATHING THE VIRUS. Nicolás Guagnini draws COVID-19.
At the onset of the pandemic and during the hard lockdown in New York Nicolás Guagnini, like everyone else, retreated into his apartment. The only viable production on that space was drawing. It soon became more a mental health survival tool than a professional or allegedly transcendent activity. He’d let his mind float, and his hand move. His natural feel for the ornamental and the arabesque was set free.
What emerged was a set of heads breathing (or even spitting) the virus, out or in. Their forms are regulated by a viral logic. These figures are aligned with the caricaturesque, but they represent a drama. In that classic dialectical opposition, tragedy and comedy, lies their realism. Some characters are happy asymptomatics, others are super spreaders, yet others are quite sick and infected. Their relationship is fraught. The drawings (that later as the movement restrictions eased evolved into paintings) have two constitutive elements: the head/face and the breath. It is in the breath where the most gestural and experimental aspects emerged.
The centrality of breath, perhaps the most symbolically loaded act in the US right now, from fearing the breath of others, people expiring and exhaling their last breaths in hospital isolation, to Garner’s and Floyd’s supplications to the police that they could not breathe. Breath has thus become a form of discourse, from hate speech signaling anti scientificism, opposition to vaccines or simply adherence to social darwinism with disregard for the collective body, to instead signify a cry for activism. What Guagnini initially viewed as automatic doodles or discharges of gestural aggression, now constitutes an incipient vocabulary of that discourse. In that sense, the work has unfold from him, on him, and in front of him like a disease or an antibody reaction, in the same way the apocalyptic spectacle of the world wide, species-engulfing crisis is. It is paradoxical that an attempt to automatism lead to a form of journalism.
‘Drawing is my way of discovering what is possible and I brought these drawings and sculptures together because they inform each other. The sculptures are bodies described in the language of architecture: built spaces that contain bodies. I often use absolute masses that are solid and that confront you with your own bodily spatial displacement, but in these works, intersecting cells are made out of planes that are enclosures but also open enough to invite a speleology of the eye. The drawings use axonometric projection: what an architect uses to give perspectival and objective impressions of a building in space, but in this series, by marking out the meridians and the emergent body, they become part of one another. We don’t know whether the body is held in a matrix or liberated from it. In the sculptures I want to enliven the viewer’s inquisitiveness and confront them with their own passage through space and time. I constantly seek a tension between mass and space, open and closed, stability and the potential to fall. These works go from being transparent to very dense. You need to walk around them to assemble them for yourself. This dance of open and closed is not just a game of construction; it’s also a psychological game. I hope that in both drawings and sculpture you get a sense both of balance and loss of balance.’
Antony Gormley, 2020