SPECIAL EDITION: Art Basel #1
Sharon Lockhart, Five Dances and Nine Wall Carpets by Noa Eshkol, Production still, 2011, 5-channel installation: 35mm color/sound film transferred to HD, continuous loop. Courtesy of neugierriemschneider. Art Basel Hall 2.1, Booth H7.
by Gabriella Picone & the ArtSlant Team
It's the “mother of all fairs.” It's the "premier international art show.” It's the "Olympics of the art world.” Can't guess? Art Basel!
Now in its 43rd edition, Art Basel has been red-carpeting the collectors and giving the rest of us art lovers something to gawk at since 1970. And if that's not enough, now we've got Miami (since 2002) and Hong Kong (coming 2013).
On to the basics. First of all, what's with the CH for Switzerland? That's really confusing. I suppose it's the CHeese, the CHocolate, and the CHa-CHing of the banks. That's where your Basel basics should begin because these three staples will get you through the Basel gauntlet (the real story on the CH). And don't forget to brush up on your parlez, your sprechen and your grazie mille because you never know what language to use...just give up on the Baseldytsch because that's a whole other lifetime. Finally, beware that trams wait for no one, and that includes naive pedestrians crossing in front of them. So duck and run and watch those Helvetica's...
Ann Craven, Roses (Early Morning Glory, Mirrored), 2010, Oil on canvas, 60x48 in. Courtesy of Art Basel and Maccarone, NY. Art Basel Hall 2.1, Booth K2.
There are nearly 300 participating galleries at Art Basel this year, most of which returned from last year; however some of the first time participants to look out for are Miguel Abreu Gallery from New York, Maccarone from New York, ProjecteSD from Barcelona, and Thomas Dane Gallery from London. Other not-to-miss newness: the “Art Statements” sector presenting 27 solo shows by younger artists. This less-commercial sector is a platform for emerging artists, along with an opportunity to compete for the 30,000 CHF Baloise Art Prize. This year our fingers are pointing towards Czech artist Dominik Lang (who also exhibited at the 54th Venice Biennale), Berlin-based artist Oliver Laric and Parisian artist Elodie Seguin...
For more Basel Basics, including picks, performances, and projects, click here...
See you in Basel!
--the ArtSlant Team
FAIR WATCH - Alex Israel
Alex Israel, Minerva, 2011, Rented cinema prop, 50 x 25 x 30 cm; Image courtesy of Peres Projects. Art Statements, Hall 1.0, Booth S25.
Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel is being featured in the Art Statements solo shows at Art Basel 2012 with Peres Projects. Using rented movie house props, Israel arranges temporary sculptural readymades before the props are returned to the industry's cycle of use and re-use. Devon Caranicas interviewed Alex Israel on the occasion of his 2011 solo show in Berlin:
DC: You were saying before that choosing your sculptures from the prop rental store is like casting.
AI: Yes, I go to the prop house and see thousands of objects. I take snapshots and dimensions of the ones that strike me, and then I begin a long process of trying to form an exhibition from this data...
FAIR WATCH - Matthew Metzger
Matthew Metzger, Insert, 2012, Clear Plexi-Glass and Black Acrylic Paint, 30,16 x 30,16 cm; Image courtesy of Arratia Beer. Art Statements, Hall 1.0, Booth S06.
Matthew Metzger, also featured in Art Statements, with Arratia Beer of Berlin, draws his material from the languages of art history and music, all while questioning the medium of painting. For more on Matthew Metzger's work, read Abraham Ritchie's review of his exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago:
...In that spirit it is clear that Metzger is both challenging and attempting to move past the artists he clearly admires, and it is refreshing to see an artist so clearly engaged with recent art history to move forward, especially within painting...
FAIR WATCH - Kathrin Affentranger
Kathrin Affentranger (24), graduate of the Hochschule der Künste Bern, is the winner of the Nationale Suisse art prize 2012. The jury of experts was impressed by the strong physical presence of her fragile wood sculptures and with her playful take on the formalist tradition. On view at Liste 17.
TALK OF THE TOWN -
Obstacle Course with Occasional Clowns: Kathryn Andrews at Art Parcours
by Andrew Berardini
Kathryn Andrews, Rainbow Successor, 2011, stainless steel, rented costume, 73 x 51 3/4 x 48 inches (185.4 x 131.4 x 121.9 cm); Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Art Basel Hall 2.1, Booth L6. Photography: Brian Forrest.
For the 3rd time, Art Basel has something this year called Art Parcours Night. It's not de rigeur to admit aloud that you don't know something, but I had to look up the definition of "parcours." I asked my good friend/slave-driving nemesis -- the Internet -- and according to Wikipedia, a "parcours" is "a physical discipline and non-competitive sport which focuses on efficient movement around obstacles."
In other words, a working definition of an art fair. Some conjecture/complain/lament, that the modern art fair experience is one that requires physical discipline, although I'm not entirely sure if art fair-going wholly qualifies as a non-competitive sport, but I suppose that depends on the individual. Perhaps the Art Parcours Night is the part of the fair that's just for practice, not for sale as it were. Will this year's Art Parcours require efficient movement around obstacles? I believe, in a weird way, it will.
Read more about Art Parcours and Kathryn Andrews here...
Art Parcours OPENING NIGHT
Features a special evening extravaganza conceived by L.A. based artist Kathryn Andrews including creepy clowns, elastic acrobats, thundering musicians, clumsy jugglers, mysterious magicians and extended opening hours for all Art Parcours sites.
Wednesday, June 13, 8pm – 12 midnight
St. Johann Rheinweg, Basel and Art Parcours locations
Open to public, free of charge, bars and food vendors on-site