TOP 10 | Art Basel 2018

KLARA KRISTALOVA | PERROTIN

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Klara Kristalova, Relief- Snow-white, 2018, Perrotin

Klara Kristalova’s uncanny sculptures in bronze, ceramic, plaster and wood portray adolescent girls and boys, often marked with exaggerated features or transforming into flora or animals, that call to mind old folk tales, gothic novels, childhood fantasies, dreams, and nightmares.

Although rooted in the decorative and craft tradition of 18th-century Meissen porcelain figurines, Kristalova twists this age-old technique by manipulating the glazes so that they often run and bleed into each other, the figures’ iridescent surfaces becoming more painterly than sculpted. Displayed in old wooden cabinets, or seated on child-sized beds and high chairs, Kristalova’s works evoke 18th and 19th-century Wunderkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities, creating a surreal micro-world in which viewers are invited to dwell.

Perrotin


JOSE DAVILA | KÖNIG GALERIE

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Jose Dávila, Untitled (Woman in Bath), , 2016, KÖNIG GALERIE

Born in Guadalajara, 1974. Lives and works in Guadalajara, MX. Jose Dávila’s artistic practice is located in the boundaries of the homage, imitation and critique. In a sort of mirage, the artist uses different reproduction strategies to dismantle the relation between form and content, as well as manifest the virtues and deficiencies of his references.

Introducing a particular interest in Western culture, the imagery comprised within the artist’s work is based on a deep approach to Architecture and Art History. This allows him to create tautological games regarding the legacy of the 20th Century Avant-gardes. His work addresses the question about the limits of instrumental values through the use of common materials to create sculptures, objects and installation.

Frequently, the nature of these materials approaches both, architecture construction as well as formal artistic production, which subscribe his work to principles coined by Minimalism and Arte Povera. Dávila has also manifested a special interest in the use and occupation of space, issues that have been present throughout his career.

KÖNIG GALERIE


BETTINA POUSTTCHI | BUCHMANN GALERIE

BUCHMAN

Bettina Pousttchi, Käthe, 2018, Buchmann Galerie

Bettina Pousttchi (born 1971 in Mainz, Germany) is a German-Iranian artist. She lives and works in Berlin. The artist works with photography, sculpture, video and site-specific installations to explore systems of time and space in a transnational perspective. Since 2009, Bettina Pousttchi has been realizing photographic interventions on public buildings, which are related to the urban and historic context of each particular place. Her monumental photo installation Echo on Schlossplatz in Berlin covered the entire exterior façade of the Temporäre Kunsthalle for half a year.

Everyday objects of urban space like crowd barriers and street bollards occur frequently in the artist’s sculptures and, in the tradition of object art, she transforms them. The sculpture series Double Monuments for Flavin and Tatlin consist of deformed crowd barriers and neon tubes, which function as a double hommage to Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International as well as Dan Flavin’s “monuments” for V.Tatlin. It debuted in her extensive solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Basel 2011, curated by Adam Szymczyk. The Phillips Collection in Washington DC presented 2016 five of these sculptures in dialogue with their collection. At the 2009 Venice Biennale, Pousttchi’s sculpture Cleared, consisting of two crowd barriers made of security glass, was part of the Glasstress exhibition. The use of these objects address questions of limits, the forces at work therein, and the transformative energy released by passing them, underlining the artist´s transnational approach to her work.

The artist’s video works initially consisted of single channel works and subsequently evolved into spatially encompassing video installations. In these installations it is often the projected space which continues on into the exhibition hall and the various levels of reality blend into one another.

Buchmann Galerie 


LOIS WEINBERGER | GALERIE KRINZINGER

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Lois Weinberger, Holding the earth, 2010, Galerie Krinzinger

Lois Weinberger works on a poetic-political network that draws our attention to marginal zones and questions hierarchies of various types. Weinberger, who sees himself as a field worker, embarked in the 1970s on ethno-poetic works that form the basis for his ongoing artistic investigations of natural and man-made spaces.

Ruderal plants Weeds involved in all areas of life, are initial and orientation point for notes, drawings, photographs, objects, texts, films as well as big projects in public space.
In 1991-92 he designed the WILD CUBE, a rib steel enclosure for spontaneous vegetation to grow without human intervention, a RUDERAL SOCIETY that creates a gap in the urban environment. At the same time, Weinberger began a series of subversive plant transfers to urban and rural plots appropriated for this purpose.

In BURNING and WALKING he opened up the asphalt on the forecourt of Szene Salzburg during the 1993 festival summer and left this enclosed 8 x 8 m area to itself. This work was reinstalled in 1997 on the Kulturbahnhof car park at documenta X and again in 1998 in the City of Tokyo.
At documenta X Weinberger also planted neophytes from southern and south-eastern Europe on a 100 m strech of railroad track, which became an internationally acclaimed metaphor for modern day migration processes and with its poetic and political references furthermore. 2015 the work is getting to be restored and to remain as an artwork in Kassel.

In 2009 he gets invited to the Austrian Pavillon at the Venice Biennial and in 2017 to the documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel. With his work he contributed significantly to the recent discussion on art and nature since the early 1990’s.

Galerie Krinzinger


ERNESTO NETO | FORTES D’ALOIA & GABRIEL

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Ernesto Neto, Um chapéu que nos acolhe, 2016, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel

Born in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Ernesto Neto is a sculptor and multimedia and installation artist. He studied at Rio’s Escola de artes visuais do Parque Lage in 1994 and again in 1997, as well as at the Museu de arte moderna de São Paulo from 1994 to 1996. He has become well known for his large, immersive environments, which take the form of organic worlds that solicit viewer interaction.

Inspired by the Brazilian Conceptualists Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, as well as Minimalism and Arte Povera, Neto brings a delicate and meditative sensuality to his sculptural landscapes, claiming the human body as an artistic site by encouraging participatory engagement. In 1997, Neto made his first nave (Portuguese, “ship”), filling a cavernous space with hanging sheets of translucent fabric, the interior of which visitors were encouraged to walk through and touch. The use of nylon as a sculptural medium has remained a constant in his work, with subsequent installations growing large enough to accommodate tunnels, discrete rooms, and beds made of Styrofoam pellets. In 2006, Neto created the site-specific installation Léviathan Thot at the Panthéon in Paris. He stretched vast nylon sacks filled with Styrofoam from the monument’s 200-foot-high dome to the floor, introducing a bodily dimension to its neoclassical architecture with his organic forms. The installation earned Neto the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in acknowledgment of his contribution to French culture.

Speaking of his work in a 2000 interview, Neto said, “I am wrapping air, making atmospheres physical.” Subsequently, he made some of his largest installations, including Anthropodino (2009), for which Neto filled the 55,000 square-foot drill hall of New York’s Park Avenue Armory with tunnels of fabric stretched over wooden replicas of dinosaur bones, giving visitors the irrepressible feeling of traveling inside a body. This experiential environment became even more intensely multisensory with the inclusion of nylon sacks filled with aromatic spices and suspended from the ceiling. With tunnels and grottoes built from bone casts and translucent material, Neto staged intimate encounters that powerfully engaged the visitor’s own physical presence, while the juxtaposition of hard and soft materials reawakened the visitor to the simultaneous strength and fragility of the world.

Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel


RIDLEY HOWARD | ANDREHN-SCHIPTJENKO

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Ridley Howard, One Piece and the Ocean, 2018, Andréhn-Schiptjenko

Ridley Howard was born in 1973 in Atlanta, and currently lives and works in Athens, GA and Brooklyn, NY.

He received his BA and BFA from the University of Georgia and his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is currently represented by Marinaro Gallery, NY; Andréhn-Schiptjenko Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; and Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami. He is also co-founder of gallery 106 Green in Brooklyn, NY.

His work has been written about in Art Forum, Art in America, New York Times, New Yorker, Brooklyn Rail, among others.  He has received awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. His work has been shown at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Savannah College of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art, and the High Museum. Atlanta.

Andréhn-Schiptjenko


RINEKE DJKSTRA | MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY

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Rineke Dijkstra, Odessa, Ukraine, August 7, 1993 C, 1993, Marian Goodman Gallery

Rineke Dijkstra is a leading contemporary Dutch photographer. Known for her stark, engaging portraits, she often focuses on particular communities of people with an emphasis on capturing the awkwardness and self-consciousness of adolescence. “With young people everything is much more on the surface all the emotions,” the artist observed. “When you get older you know how to hide things.”

Born on June 2, 1959 in Sittard, Netherlands, she studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Dijkstra’s seminal series, Beach Portraits (1992–1994), is composed of life-sized color photographs of young teenagers in bathing suits taken on both American and European beaches. The project was shown in 1997 at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, bringing the artist widespread attention and critical acclaim. Dijkstra has gone on to work in video, as seen in her filmed portraits of dancing teenagers, The Buzzclub, Liverpool, UK/Mysteryworld, Zaandam, NL (1996–1997).

She has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including “Rinkeke Dijkstra: A Retrospective,” which was shown at both the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2012. The artist currently lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Today, her works are held in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Goetz Collection in Munich, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others.

Marian Goodman Gallery


WERNER BUTTNER | MARLBOROUGH LONDON

 

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Werner Büttner, Wurzelwillige (Beings Seeking to Root) , 2017, Marlborough London

Werner Büttner was born in Jena in 1954, from where he moved to Western Germany with his parents in 1960. In Berlin Büttner began to study law in 1974 and at the same time founded the Liga zur Bekämpfung des widersprüchlichen Verhaltens (League against contradictory behaviour) together with Albert Oehlen. In his shared studio the autodidact Büttner produced large, fierce and quick paintings with pastose colors. The brown colors stood in contrast with the colorfulness of the Junge Wilden, with whom the paintings were also seen and exhibited.

He broke off his studies and went to Hamburg in 1977, where he published his first essays and drawings in the Dum-Dum-Liga-Jounal, which he had co-founded. Together with Oehlen, Büttner made murals and produced a record. Together, the artists founded further spectacular associations such as the Samenbank für DDR-Flüchtlinge together with Georg Herold in 1980. From 1982 they often participated in group projects, for example together with Martin Kippenberger. Büttner also published many of his own texts, which merged with his paintings to form a new level of meaning. A subversive-ironic undertone was typical for Büttner and his artist friends. Their realism was politically motivated and commented on everyday events. Society’s values were questioned and put into perspective.

Büttner used all genres of painting, produced still lives, genre pictures, self-portraits, animal pictures, history paintings and emblematic paintings. Colors were mixed on the canvas and keep their form due to staight contours and black lines. The painter dripped long threads of paint on these pastose paintings, which became his trademark. Since the 1990s the artist has increasingly focused on drawing and print and has worked with large format collages. Werner Büttner has been a professor at the Hamburg Hochschule für Bildende Künste since 1989.

Marlborough London


SAADANE AFIF | GALERIE MEHDI CHOUAKRI

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Saâdane Afif, Everyday, 2004-2018, Galerie Mehdi Chouakri

Saâdane Afif’s works pulsate with a network of multiple meanings. In his installations, performances, objects and text based works, he translates, combines or transforms materials from many different sources. His references range from art historical positions to pop music and contemporary culture. For instance, he can collect all the mentions of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (Fountain Archives, 2008- ongoing), ask fellow artists to write songs responding to his works (Lyrics 2004-ongoing), or commission an actor to declaim these lyrics in the Speaker’s Corner tradition (The Laguna’s Tribute, 2015). La Leçon de géométrie (2014-2015) is emblematic of both the multiplicity of forms an artwork can take in Afif’s vision and his collaborative approach.

The starting point was a performance given during the Marrakech Biennial, where drawings were made by a geometry teacher, which later became photographs and were used as templates for the fabrication of traditional Berber rugs. Das Ende der Welt (2015) started as a musical piece commissioned to Augustin Maurs, and performed on the last day of Afif’s exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Berlin. The footage of the performance will become a film, broadening the spectrum of the original concept. By giving several shapes to the same artwork, which can be seen as a performance, a drawing, a photograph or a sculpture, Afif creates a web of allusions between art and its possible media. It expands our perception of an artwork and beyond, playing on a permanent potential of variation, which can be seen as symptomatic for his entire artistic practice.

Galerie Mehdi Chouakri


LISA YUSKAVAGE | DAVID ZWIRNER

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Lisa Yuskavage, Golden Couple, 2018, David Zwirner

Yuskavage was born in 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she studied the Tyler School of Art at Temple University spending one year in Rome through the school’s program. After that, she received her MFA from the Yale School of Art in 1986[1]. Developing the style since the early 1990’s, her work is characterized by often nude, angelic but provocative young women represented in the partly fictional blurred surrounding. Re-entering the figurative into the contemporary painting, her complex, loaded with tension narratives reveals themselves slowly in front of the viewer.

Encompassing various genres, from still life and landscape to portrait and nude, the artist applies techniques ingrained in Renaissance, but also in modern approaches as the Color Field Painting, finding diverse inspiration from artists like Giovanni Bellini, Johannes Vermeer, or Edgar Degas. Having the mixed reactions, the critics respond to her paintings with diverse interpretations, from explanations that include terms like alienation and affection, vulgarity or self-loathing to associations with psychologically encouraged theories of viewing, particularly the one of a gaze. Still, they are right about one thing: her complex narratives and perplexed content enveloped in an air of mysticism surely deny singular interpretation.

Re-introducing the figurative into the contemporary painting starting from the tawdriness of today’s life determined and deeply imbued with mass media and the psycho-social realm of the individual, Lisa Yuskavage has developed a distinctive approach and her own genre of female nude. Her lavish, erotic, and cartoonish characters, placed in fantastical landscapes or scenic interior narcissistically contemplate themselves and their bodies, tempting the viewer’s imagination. Using the traditional oil painting and historical themes as the background base for the wild inventions and liberal imagination,Yuskavage is recognized as a feminist painter who explores social identities and conventions through depictions of women’s bodies, strong in their frank sensuality.

David Zwirner