Last year, the Parcours sector at Art Basel was so good I did not think it could be topped, and I was right. Perhaps overconfidence, or the fact that the really good projects were done last year emerged, but this year’s Parcours just did not measure up to the quality of the projects from the last two years. The highlights of the sector were video and sculpture, with the best Julian Charriere’s film, An Invitation to Disappear (2018), with techno beats, backgrounding strobe sequences, and a visual grid of a plantation that recalls the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia 200 years ago. The similarities between environmental disaster and party lights and sounds creates an edginess in the piece. With Cate Blanchett featured in thirteen roles, Manifesto, a film by Jullian Rosefeldt (2017) presents the philosophies of artist manifestos including Fluxus, Dada, and surrealism acted in … [Read more...] about Parcours at Art Basel 2018. The good and the bad.
Art Basel Switzerland
The Unlimited sector at Art Basel 2018 had great video and fabulous installations that alternately made me laugh, think and cry. Lots of work could be categorized as social justice, running the gamut. Alfredo Jaar’s The Hong Kong Project, including A Hundred Times Nguyen, runs four different images of a little girl who befriended Jaar in a Vietnamese refugee camp, repeating to total 100 pigment prints. Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s installation, Ponte City, 2008-2014 (Lelong Galerie, New York and Paris). Displayed their six-year documentation of the social community within a fifty-four story Johannesburg apartment building. Their installation exposes problems and relations in attempting to gentrify a run-down apartheid era building. In Ponte City, community comes to the fore as relationships build amongst the former white, privileged inhabitants of the apartments under … [Read more...] about Unlimited at Art Basel: Ritual and Community Building
Basel, Switzerland ⎯ The Galleries sector of Art Basel was lively and bustling on the last day of VIP entrance. Lots of lookers, buyers, and stimulating conversations with gallery directors. Crowds of people lined up to talk about the works. The larger number of VIPS compared to last year's group probably meant there were more people there to buy. And of course the parties were in full swing too, jam-packed with art-admirers. Moving focus back to the show, work was a bit dour in color compared to years past. Browns and greys dominated in painting and photographs with a general feeling of acceptance of things in the state of the world as it now is, since there’s little we can do. But then, while walking along the galleries sector, a booth brought in strong color, exuberance, lifting the mood momentarily. The eye catches Bernd Koberling in his Memories of Water I-III (acrylic on wood, … [Read more...] about Galleries Sector at Art Basel
It’s Tuesday, June 12 and Kaveh Mojtabai, Artscope publisher, accompanied by Nancy Nesvet, writer, have the distinct pleasure of attending a talk at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland. The talk includes Sam Keller, foundation director, along with Chief Curator Raphael Bouvier, and Diana Widmaier Picasso, the granddaughter of Marie Therese Walter and Pablo Picasso. In honor of the exhibition of his work, The Early Picasso: The Blue and Rose Period, beginning later this year, these connoisseurs of his work shed light on Picasso’s early œuvre. Blue, the tone of his mood when his work was not yet selling in his early career, 1901-7; Rose the color of his figures when, in love with Marie Therese, resulted from his lifted mood. His courage showed in Demoiselles d’Avignon, a study for which Picasso’s friend Ernst Beyeler bought for his collection. This study was so cherished that … [Read more...] about It’s a beautiful day at the Beyeler Foundation.
Rain or shine, and it did, Nancy Nesvet, intrepid Artscope writer, spent the first day in Basel before Art Basel opens at two satellite fairs, Volta and Liste. Both showed artists, and galleries reflecting subjects with the environment and social-political issues using codes to define and display nationhood. The socially concerned seemed to predominate at Liste and Volta. Another trend, at both shows, was a use of handcrafts and textiles, naturally obtained, challenging the hard-edged resin obsession of some artists. This emphasis on natural, locally-sourced materials and hand-made objects and sculpture differed from the technological at Art Basel’s installations, (where we’ll have more reports tomorrow on Artscope Online), and, more importantly, emphasized the connection between locally-sourced material and the from which it came. Local sourcing seems like a play to the definition of … [Read more...] about Day 1 Rainy Day in Basel at Volta and Liste