The show that tricks our imagination… every time. Art Basel

 

Van de Weghe Fine Art

Our never ending affair with Art. And here we meet again… for a dose of inspiration, excitment, questions and guesses. This year, 290 leading international galleries presented their work ranging from the Modern period of the early 20th century to the most contemporary. Featuring 24 projects this year, the sector presented ambitiously curated exhibitions by both historical and contemporary artists, with 11 galleries completely new to the show.

With fascinating highlights from the sector that included: a two-person show by US artists Allyson Strafellaand Helen Mirra at Galleria Raffaella Cortese. And Croy Nielsen’s presentation of work by Austrian artist Elke Silvia Krystufek, who during the 1990s became known for her often provocative performances, videos, photographs and paintings, many of which address the identity of the female artist in a patriarchal society.

Exceptional artworks by Wallace Bermanand and historical archival documents from the late 1940s to the 1970s was an unmissable element of the show. And an impressive solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Carl Cheng at Philip Martin Gallery was one of the highlights of the week.

Antony Gormley

UNLIMITED

Some latest news has been released during the show, that Giovanni Carmine will curate Unlimited for the first time in 2020, taking over from Gianni Jetzer, who has curated the Art Basel Unlimited sector in Basel for eight years, since 2012. Curator and art critic, Giovanni Carmine has been Director of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland since 2007, where he has curated exhibitions by artists including Ryan Gander, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sylvia Sleigh, Hassan Khan, Amalia Pica, and more. Carmine has previously curated a number of international projects, including the Swiss Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 with a presentation by Valentin Carron.

Giovanni Carmine commented: ‘Unlimited is one of the most unique platforms in the artworld. I’m very pleased and grateful to have the possibility to work with some of the mostinteresting and innovative artists of our time on this project. It’s a great curatorialchallenge where I can put all of my knowledge and passion for art into.’

As part of the show and the reason to celebrate – Lu Yang was announced as the next BMW Art Journey winner at the BMW Cocktail Reception during Art Basel in Basel. His BMW Art Journey ‘Human Machine Reverse Motion Capture Project’ is concerned with how the human body can be trained to overcome its physical limitations. Her research explored the deployment of the human body in historical and present-day cultures, looking at traditional and contemporary dances practiced in Indonesia, India, and Japan.

Steeped in the latest digital technologies, Lu Yang employed sophisticated motion capture devices to record the dancers’ gestures, including facial, finger and eye capture techniques that can collect and analyze the subtlest body movements, and will mimic these using robotic technologies.

In Legong, a traditional Balinese dance, for example, movement is controlled to such a degree that dancers are able to manipulate their finger joints individually. The facial and eye movements of India’s Kathakali dancers resemble the workings of sensors and motors in advanced humanoid robots. A similar robotic precision is expressed in Japanese pop dances. Thus, Lu Yang’s BMW Art Journey links traditional and modern cultural forms to radically transformative contemporary technologies. In a larger sense, it will look into how we negotiate our evolving relationship with machines that may ultimately surpass our human limitations.

Travelling 5,888 miles to see Art Basel Hong Kong

Hajime Sorayama

For the name of ART – Berkeley Bespoke has travelled half the World to see highly anticipated the seventh edition of Art Basel. Having brought together collectors from over 70 countries and territories, notably from Hong Kong, Mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States, resulting in strong sales for galleries from all market sectors. During the five show days, private collectors, as well as representatives from over 130 leading international museums and institutions, attended the show, including: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; M+, Hong Kong; National Gallery of Zimbabwe; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Serpentine Galleries, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate, London; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Vancouver Art Gallery.

The Art Basel week once again directed an international spotlight onto Hong Kong’s ever-more vibrant art scene, including Tai Kwun, the new centre for heritage and arts, designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The 2019 edition featured 242 premier galleries from 35 countries and territories, with 21 galleries participating in the show for the first time – among them nine galleries in the main sector that have been highly influential in defining the art scenes in Europe and the United States, including: Galerie Greta Meert from Belgium; Galerie Bärbel Grässlin and Galerie Max Hetzler from Germany; Luhring Augustine, Matthew Marks Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, Regen Projects, and Andrew Kreps Gallery from the United States; and Richard Nagy Ltd. from the United Kingdom.

Lee Bul, “Willing to be Vulnerable”

Eight galleries from Asia joined the fair for the first time, including Watanuki Ltd. / Toki-no- Wasuremono from Tokyo; Beyond Gallery from Taipei; Empty Gallery from Hong Kong; Hunsand Space, Pifo Gallery, and Tabula Rasa Gallery from Beijing; Richard Koh Fine Art with spaces in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Singapore; and Nova Contemporary from Bangkok.

The graduation of five galleries from the Asia-Pacific region into the main sector reinforced the fair’s commitment to the strengthening of the region’s art scene. These galleries included Beijing Art Now Gallery from Beijing, Galerie du Monde from Hong Kong, Gow Langsford Gallery from Auckland, ROH Projects from Jakarta, and Tang Contemporary Art with spaces in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Many observers commented on the outstanding quality of art on display and the ambitious presentations by galleries from the East and the West alike.

Gagosian Gallery

‘Art Basel Hong Kong continues to be a key fair for galleries from all over the world. What was striking this year was the strong presence of museum directors, curators, and collectors from places like Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and Korea. The fair, whilst operating in Hong Kong, is also providing an opportunity for visitors to make valuable visits to other cities in the region prior to or after the fair. It feels like the connecting of a region rather than a single fair in a single city. At the same time, the city of Hong Kong seems to be ever- expanding in its own cultural presence. The growth of museums and foundations presenting excellent exhibitions alongside the fair is providing a rich experience for visitors coming to Hong Kong, and the expanding local gallery scene in the Aberdeen district is an indication of robust and authentic activity.’

Sadie Coles, Owner, Sadie Coles HQ, London

Dan Colen

The 2019 edition of Encounters presented 12 institutional-scale installations, with eight works premiering at the show in Hong Kong. Under the title ‘Still We Rise’, curator Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of Artspace in Sydney, brought together artists from different backgrounds and generations.

Supported by MGM Resorts Art & Culture, the works were installed along the four meridians that run through the two exhibition halls of the show. Highlights included Lee Bul’s ‘Willing To Be Vulnerable – Metalized Balloon’, a ten-meter- long replica of a Zeppelin based on the footage of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, presented by Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Lehmann Maupin and PKM Gallery; Chiharu Shiota’s ‘Where Are We Going?’ presented by Templon, an ephemeral, site-specific work depicting 63 boats that figuratively sail across the space, touching on notions of migration and movement; Jose Dàvila’s ‘Homage to the Square’, referencing Josef Albers’ theories on color with kinetic mobiles that refract color and light; and Zhao Zhao’s ‘In Extremis’ that addresses wider human rights issues, presented by Tang Contemporary Art.

Su Xiaobai