Further inaugural works from the Fair.
I opened the Art Basel 2013 report with a picture of Thomas Houseago’s overwhelming 2D works. At the end of the second day, though, I saw this large box at the Hauser & Wirth booth that might indicate that his work may be replaced… which turned out to be the case. On the third day the work was replaced by ‘The Whale’ by Bharti Kher. Things move fast in the art world.
Mark Manders, Unfired Clay Figure, 2012-2013, painted epoxy, wood, iron, 74 (high) x 105 x 40 cm. Zeno X Gallery
Koen van den Broek, Flock #1, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 250 cm. Galerie Greta Meert.
Rashid Johnson, Paid in Full, 2013, branded red oak flooring, black soap, wax, VHS, vinyl, shea butter, 164.2 x 246.4 x 25.4 cm. David Kordansky Gallery
This work came directly from Tehran to Basel.
Farhad Moshiri, Colossus, 2013, Embroidery on canvas, 204 x 166 cm. Galerie Perrotin.
Mark Bradford, Dusty Knees, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 259.1 x 365.8 cm. White Cube
My favourite booths were David Zwirner, Maureen Paley and Miro. The first two as their booths ‘breath’. They were not overcrowded with ‘flashy’ works screaming for your attention. There is space between the artworks with a well-thought out alteration between large and small works. As a result, the visitor, unconsciously, gives each work more attention. To be able to install a booth in this way, of course, depends on the work of the artists a gallerist represents, but it is also about the portfolio and vision that the gallerist has carefully built up throughout the years.
The Miro booth stood out for me as the works complimented each other – they seemed to be part of the same family as they were intuitive, intimate and emotionally gripping. The Miro gallerists carefully installed, curated if you like, their booth as it was a museum show making it a real pleasure to visit the space that they created.
Although, not a new work, it was a true delight to encounter this work at the Miro booth: Alice Neel, Ned McCabe, 1964, oil on canvas, 107 x 68.9 cm.
Upcoming: the last report from Art Basel that will focus on ‘Unlimited’ – a section that features 79 works that aim to have no limits at all.
Written by Thierry Somers