Art Basel (Sculptures)

To continue my journey at Art Basel, I will extend this small series and divide the main fair in two parts: sculptures and paintings. In my experience, the main fair was comparable to the kid in a candy store idiom, except it was an art fair, but I was still a kid amidst some of the biggest in the art world. Fortunately, I ran into Michael Dupouy and William Leung (better known as WillNYC) — who I noticed by his Hello Kitty shoes —, both great and hilarious people. Aside from that, I saw some of the most wonderful works from the leading artists.
The first work, which still fills me with awe every time I look at it, is by Jordan Wolfson. The American artist started out working with video and film installations and computer animation. In Wolfson's more recent work, he transmits the often provocative messages through sculptures and virtual reality, with help of invented characters (e.g., Female Figure, 2014). The work shown features a fashionable female surrounded by Christian crosses, Suppedaneum crosses, spiritual and religious texts and phrases of affirmation. Not only a magnificent sight; however, the work also carries powerful messages, applicable to everyone.
Without a doubt, the most impressive work at the fair was from Louise Bourgeois. The gigantic bronze spider took over the booth of Hauser & Wirth and was the biggest sale of the fair at $40 million. Spiders became a central component of Bourgeois’ art in the late 1990s. The spider alludes to Bourgeois mother, as her mother, like a spider, was helpful and protective. Much of Bourgeois’ art further explores themes of childhood trauma and hidden emotions. As Bourgeois’ mother became ill, Louise’s father had affairs and did not attempt to conceal them from the family. At that point, she experienced the double standards of gender and sexuality first-hand. Via her work, Bourgeois seeks the peace and order which was absent throughout her youth.
In an ever-changing art climate, fairs are making a place for digital art more and more. A prominent artist in this league is Refik Anadol. Prior to the making of the AI data painting, 1-year of data gathering from high-frequency radar data went by. Anadol transformed the data into a poetical simulation. With the undoubted emergence of digital art, Refik Anadol is one to keep your eyes on as his algorithms render abstract, extraordinary sceneries. (Check my IG for a short fragment of the work: )
The works of Kenny Scharf have had a strong presence in contemporary art ever since the 1980s, thus it was great to finally witness works by him. As one of the major figures behind the Lowbrow movement, Scharf’s work is filled with mischievous and humorous compositions. The same is the case for the row of sculptures which display emotions integral to the characters of his paintings. Particularly the little guy displayed solely caught my attention. Afterwards the fair, it became more clearly why: I wanted to experience days like that more.
Jean-Marie Appriou’s installation with Perrotin was one of the most head-turning booths, but his sculpture at Eva Presenhuber should not be overlooked. The bronze sculpture topped with a hand-blown glass hat is titled ‘The Sea Alchemist’. Taking on the role of Alchemist himself by transmuting the materials into precious sculptures, Appriou takes inspiration from both the mythological and futuristic worlds.
Jean-Michel Othoniel’s work always seems to elevate the beauty of each surrounding it stands within. The French visual artist uses glass as his hallmark material to come up with beaded creations. This time, too, Othoniel managed to heighten the allure of the booth. It is no wonder, then, Othoniel is the first contemporary artist to acquire a permanent work for the Palais of Versailles.

Collective Post - Art Basel (Sculptures)
Collective Post - Art Basel (Sculptures)
Collective Post - Art Basel (Sculptures)


Collective Profile - @sol


Great read as always! Thanks Asim 🙏🏼
6 months ago·
Collective Profile - @skredatle


Thank you Sol! My pleasure 😄
6 months ago·