THE ART WORLD IS HOT, HOT, HOT
by Suzanne Volmer
South Beach Miami, Florida – Upon entering Art Basel Miami Beach, one was met with Rosemarie Trockel’s large, abstract, reptilian-looking wall installation, a monochromatic work with scales sprung slightly from the wall in low relief. The trends of relief and monochrome echoed as one progressed through the hallways and booths ahead. Although the color vibrancy for which Miami is known was retained, the current of its profusion was less. Trockel’s swift amplification of textural influences and physical movement was installed adjacent to a large photographic print by Andreas Gursky. Placed at the fore on the outer booth wall of Sprüth Magers Gallery, both works started a dialogue of substrates reflecting trends later evident amid this year’s overall fair content. The artworks explored the idea of process and texture informing content.
König Galerie in the Galleries section of the art fair showed an interesting polished aluminum sphere the size of a bowling ball by Jeppe Hein. The sphere was balanced precariously at the edge of a standard rectangular pedestal. Subtly and quite unexpectedly, it smoothly moved from its stationary position to another corner of the pedestal’s top. The effect was eerie, intermittent and fun as an engage- ment of kinetics. König Galerie also participated in the fair’s Public sector at nearby Collins Park with a large colorful sculpture by Katharina Grosse.
KEEP IT MOVING
In the Survey section, works by Italian artist Gianni Colombo were presented as a solo offering by first- time fair participant Robilant+Voena, with galleries in London, Milan and St. Moritz. Intended to spark re-exami- nation of the artist’s oeuvre, these selected works spanned Colombo’s career from 1967 through the late 1970s. Included artworks encom- passed his role as a founding member of Gruppo T (one of the first groups to develop kinetic art) through to video documentation of the artist’s “Topoesthesia, 8 Entrexit Situations.”
Robilant+Voena had on view works from the “Spazio elastico” cycle, which Colombo created in the late 1960s and 1970s, considered a seminal body of work. In the light of re-consideration, these artifacts aligned as defining precursors to current interactive and performative vocabularies. Colom- bo’s original hand-made, low-tech works seemed poignant and visually refreshing. They had vital layered applicability to ideas being explored today in terms of kinetics, interactive, and immersive environments. Many works of today at Art Basel Miami Beach had relationship to Colombo’s conceptual genesis.
Through sheer geographic placement, Miami Beach is ideally situated to reflect global influences and is recognized as having limitless poten- tial as an art nexus. This year, Art Basel Miami Beach included content keyed to the tastes of Latin American buyers; however, added to that equation was a more fully descriptive
sense of worldwide global conversation. Vocabularies from Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia engaged in Art Basel Miami Beach’s various sectors. This created a diverse, and very well nuanced, array of modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st century.
The UBS-sponsored fair is the main event of Miami Art Fair Week with the mystique of being an informative pantheon of engaging statements that define art today. It showed works that raised the aesthetic bar for others who will follow and perhaps eventually surpass. The vastness is sometimes daunting, but the content energizes its audience.
Art Basel Miami Beach presented an inclusive balance of global perspective this year. Audiences came to see both familiar artists’ works and a few surprises. Before the fair opened to the general public on Saturday, galleries tweaked their booth content after the VIP preview and Vernissage by replacing artworks they had sold with different works by