By Nancy Nesvet
In Hall 1 at Art Basel 2016, prominent worldwide galleries showed work of artists they represented and work offered by potential sellers of work in their collections. In Hall 2, Unlimited, work by contemporary practicing artists on the second floor, and large installations on the first floor, shared concerns. Parcours, in town on and around Munsterplatz, next to the Cathedral, Interventions in churches, former schools and outdoor spaces, furthered trends seen in the main exhibition spaces.
The use of reflective materials in Olafur Eliasson’s “Wave,” showing a series of reflective balls painted with ocean waves, Anish Kapoor’s large reflective disk, Alberto Binsi’s huge red disk bisected by a long black vertical seeming to provide an opening into the disk, Zhan Wang’s “Artificial Rock,” of highly reflective stainless steel, all beg the viewer to see him or herself in the mirror and to become aware of what his image is to other viewers.
The sign of the ocean wave emerges in several works across the shows, perhaps influenced by and providing an awareness of the diverse weather patterns and violent storms incited by global warming. This sign seen in “Ocean Atlas Polyptych,” by Thiago Rocha Pitta, and Lynn Davis’ “Iceberg #23” gelatin silver print, alludes to an awareness of the forces of nature upon the waters of the earth. Performance art such as Alberto Jaar’s further illustrates the danger of the seas upon the earth’s people.
Keep reading, we’ll keep looking. More coming from Artscope on ArtBasel 2016 in our July/August 2016 issue.