Meghan Watson-Donald 2017-11-30 21:17:22
With a newly designed show and 268 galleries from 32 countries presenting modern and contemporary art, this edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach is more ambitious than ever. AMONG INTERNATIONAL ART FAIRS, Art Basel leads the field for one simple reason: its Selection Committee’s dedication to discovering the highest-quality art from across the globe. The 2017 Miami Beach edition is no exception, providing multiple platforms for innovative projects that are sure to give collectors the thrill of discovery as they explore each sector. In the main sector, Galleries, attendees will find dealers from all corners of the world, including a growing list from Africa and Asia. The work on view this year is thematically rich, tackling a myriad of issues that are culturally relevant at this moment. Also on hand are 20 galleries exhibiting at Art Basel in Miami Beach for the first time, bringing their fresh vision to the show. Visitors hoping to spot the next generation of rising stars should head for the Nova and Positions sectors, which feature recent work by a selection of international artists. Positions provides the creative space for a single emerging artist to present a cohesive project, allowing for the uninhibited expression of ambitious themes and ideas, while in Nova, galleries showcase new work by up to three artists, debuting never-before-seen pieces and creating intellectually challenging juxtapositions. Unique curatorial concepts presented by established gallerists can be found in the Kabinett sector, located in specially delineated areas of 25 gallery booths. This year, more than half of the presentations in Kabinett are by female artists, reflecting growing interest in historically underappreciated areas of the market. The Survey sector delivers yet another perspective on contemporary art, featuring art-historical projects that predate our millennium and casting a spotlight on artists and movements across a range of cultures and generations, while in the Edition sector, publishers of editioned works present their collaborations with renowned artists. Every December, one of the highlights of the week is Art Basel’s Conversations series, offering some of the fair’s most stimulating learning opportunities, as prominent artists, academics and cultural leaders discuss an array of current issues transforming the global contemporary art scene. Beyond the Miami Beach Convention Center, the fair’s Film sector, curated by David Gryn, focuses this year on dance, choreography, and human movement, with films projected onto the 7,000-square-foot exterior wall of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Symphony building. In addition, Marian Masone will present the documentary Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Colony Theatre. And in nearby Collins Park, Art Basel will unveil the Public sector’s large sculptures and installations, curated for the first time by esteemed curator and critic Philipp Kaiser. Herewith is a brief preview of some of the highlights of the various sectors this week—but of course, the only way to truly experience the full range of creative programming and all its attendant thrills of discovery is in person, at the 16th edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach. Grete Stern, Sirena de Mar (Sea Mermaid), 1950, from the series Los Sueños (The Dreams) Galería Jorge Mara - La Ruche (Kabinett sector) KABINETT Cheng Ran, DD-MMYYYY (No. 6 Body), 2017 Galerie Urs Meile (Lucerne, Beijing) In the Kabinett sector, Galerie Urs Meile displays new work by Cheng Ran, described by New York’s New Museum as “one of the most promising Chinese artists of his generation.” Mining source material from literature, film and Western pop culture, Cheng creates video installations that weave myths together with historical events to comment on the nature of meaning and authenticity. Following his inclusion in numerous biennials and group shows in Europe and Asia, Cheng’s work was featured in a solo exhibition at the New Museum in 2016. EDITION John Baldessari, Hands & Feet: Hands, Gloves & Person, 2017 Gemini G.E.L. LLC (Los Angeles) The Edition sector presents collaborations between celebrated artists and the world’s top art publishers, including Gemini G.E.L., which will showcase new editions by Richard Serra, John Baldessari, and Ann Hamilton alongside 1970s lithographs by Frank Stella. Baldessari’s latest series of screen prints, titled Hands & Feet, features scavenged newspaper and film images with their recognizable features cropped out or obscured by the artist’s distinctive white dots or fields of color. What remains are the expressive gestures of the subjects’ hands and feet and the inherent moments of tension in the scenes. PUBLIC Daniel Knorr, Some guy with a piercing, 2017, a sketch for Navel of the World, 2017 Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (Vienna) Meyer Riegger (Berlin, Karlsruhe) “Territorial” is the title of curator Philipp Kaiser’s ambitious inaugural exhibition for Art Basel in Miami Beach, focusing on works that claim space or territory through size, scale, intensity or sound. A centerpiece of the exhibition—taking place in Collins Park, not far from the Miami Beach Convention Center—is Romanian-born artist Daniel Knorr’s monumental sculpture titled Navel of the World. Piercing the ground in front of The Bass, the work nods to Piero Manzoni’s seminal sculpture Socle du Monde. Also on view is Abraham Cruzvillegas’s sculpture of three huts, referencing his upbringing in Mexico City. SURVEY Willys de Castro, Cartaz-poema, 1959 Henrique Faria Fine Art (Buenos Aires, New York) The Survey sector welcomes 16 exhibitors, seven of which are entirely new to the Miami Beach fair. Henrique Faria Fine Art presents the work of the late Brazilian artists Willys de Castro and Hércules Barsotti. De Castro and Barsotti were members of the Neo- Concrete Movement, which approached geometric abstraction as a phenomenological experience for the viewer, challenging their objective reality. De Castro’s concrete poems are essentially poemobjects, which provoke a physical and sensory interaction with the viewer by playing with the relationship between form and perception while showcasing the artist’s meticulous design aesthetic. FILM Sara Driver, Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, 2017 Curator David Gryn’s selections for the Film sector, focusing this year on dance and movement, are screened nightly, December 7-9, in SoundScape Park. In addition, curator Marian Masone has selected Sara Driver’s 2017 documentary Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat for a special screening at the Colony Theatre on Friday, December 8. The film focuses on Basquiat’s formative years as a homeless East Village graffiti artist in the late 1970s, as told by his circle of friends and acquaintances, including filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and rapper Fab 5 Freddy. An elegy to a bygone era, the film contextualizes Basquiat in a New York City that predates gentrification and the AIDS crisis, a city whose grit and indomitable creative spirit ultimately produced a genius. NOVA Manuel Ocampo, Ethnic Types pt.2, 2017 (detail) Tyler Rollins Fine Art (New York) The gallery Tyler Rollins Fine Art presents an exhibition by Filipino artist Manuel Ocampo, whose work was featured in the Philippine Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Deliberately recalling the aesthetic of the 1992 “Helter Skelter” show at MOCA LA, the exhibition presents dense paintings on the walls surrounding a sculptural centerpiece on a large painted plinth. Ocampo’s paintings take on racial caricatures depicted in The Forbidden Book: The Philippine-American War in Political Cartoons to speak to the refugee crisis, the rise of populism and the history of colonialism. “Ocampo looks at the role of the artist as a social provocateur,” says gallerist Tyler Rollins. At the same time, the cartoons express the comedy of life. “By bringing in low humor,” he says, “there’s a nonprecious way of presenting the work that gives a greater sense of immediacy.” POSITIONS Israel Martínez, Reticence, 2017 Arredondo \ Arozarena (Mexico City) The Positions sector features several up-andcoming galleries from North and South America, Europe and Asia with projects responding to the current political landscape. Arredondo \ Arozarena presents Reticence by sound artist Israel Martínez, who applies philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s noted aphorism “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent” as a critique of contemporary society. Martínez has created an installation of lifesize photographs depicting people whispering to one another until one remains silent, while a turntable plays a vinyl recording of Wittgenstein’s quotation whispered. A live performance piece accompanies the installation. “We’re living in a time where we’re overwhelmed by the amount of information, and [it’s] creating a stridency,” says gallery director Georgina Arozarena. Martínez “proposes for us to remain quiet… to look for clarity and to decide whether or not to act on the information we are receiving.”
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