Archive for June, 2009

Art Basel 2009

Here follows my list of favourites in this year’s edition of ART / Basel:

1. Il Tempo del Postino, a group show curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno, originally comissioned by The Manchester International Festival. Conceived as a time-based and not a space-based exhibition, the show brings a series of installations by different artists to a seated audience, in this case in the Theater Basel.
I specially liked some pieces such as Tino Sehgal‘s “untitled” in which the stage curtains were manipulated to create a compelling coreography. In Anri Salas’ “Flutterbyes” a series of interpreters where positioned in different locations amidst the audience singing Madame Butterflyes’ aria “Un Bel di Vedremo”. This unforeseen closeness with the opera singers resulted in one of the most touching and dramatic moments of the evening.
Also breath taking was Tacita Deans’ film piece “Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS (in three movements) to John Cages’ composition 4’33” with Trevor Carlson, New York City, 28 April 2007″. It is truly “an elegiac portrait of an aging artist and his deceased partner, articulating the melancholia of passing time” (Lauren Hinkson).
Not less powerfull was Doug Aitkens’ “The handle comes up the hammer goes down” performance piece, in which several cattle mid-western auctioners perform live and at amazing speed a bidding on the audience.
Dominique Gonzalez Foersters’ piece “Sol is going home” provided the most beautifull end to this event as the musicians slowly left one by one until the very last one of them was left alone still playing.

2. Anne-Mie Kerckhoven, “Schatten uit het westen”, 1993 and Mark Manders’ figure installation at Zeno X Gallery /BE

Alicja Kwade, Different Condition_State of Aggregation_2, 2009, Galerie  Johann König
3. Alicja Kwade, Different Condition (State of Aggregation) 2,2009 at Johann König Galerie /DE (image above)

4. Stefan Hirsig, collage / mixed media on plywood and John Bocks’ installation at Galerie Stefan Hirsig /DE

5. Mathew Hale, “Die Münze (DM)” installation at Wentrup Gallery /DE

And my list of favourites at VOLTA / Basel:

chris gillis_DagmarDePooterGallery_BE
1. Chris Gillis, “Inside, Into the frame”, Dagmar De Pooter Gallery/BE (image above)

2. Nadin Maria Rüfenachts’ photographic work, Galerie Kleindienst /DE

3. Herbert Weber, “Der Himmel ist immer oben”, 2006 and the “Normale Fakten” serie, 2008, artrepco galerie /CH

4. Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, The Four Horsemen, 2009, Hi-definition video, Ceri Hand Gallery /UK

5. Dean Baldwin, Minibar Project and Sandy Plotnikoff postcards, Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects / CA

My list of favourites at SCOPE /Basel:

1. Krell 2 go, krellwear.com
Fast chic: you could choose a fabric and with the help of Karelle Levy (founder of Krellwear) customize your own piece on site.

And finally my choices at LISTE /Basel:

1. Lisa Oppenheim, Harris Lieberman Gallery /USA

2. Emilie Pitoiset, “Liebe ist kälter als der Tod”, 2009, Galerie Lucile Corty /FR

Jimmy Robert, untitled, 2009
3. Jimmy Robert, Galerie Diana Stigter /NL (image above)

June 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Art Basel 2009

“Surprise success: Art Basel dispels credit crunch blues”. “Art Basel’s 40th edition continued to defy the worldwide financial slump”. These were some of the optimistic head titles and reports on Art Basel which could be read on the Art Newspaper throughout the last week.
New Hollywood-star collectors and galleries reacting to the economical crisis by bringing out their best pieces were some of the reasons given for the successful amount of major transactions done during the first days of the fair.

On the one hand, I have heard from some collectors that they bought more than they were expecting to and where even surprised to find such good quality. On the other hand, I hear galleries saying that despite selling something they definitely sold less than last year, which I guess only proves that the real business is being done very few players and that maybe one shouldn’t believe everything one reads in the newpapers…

June 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm 1 comment

Fernando & Humberto Campana 1989-2009 @ the Vitra Design Museum

“Antibodies” at the Vitra Design Museum (a Frank Gehry building) is an exhibition devoted to the work of Fernando and Humberto Campana, in which several of their most important design objects can be seen.

Reusing unexpected materials in a new way, I was specially attracted to these two chairs on display:

Fernando & Humberto Campana, Jardim, easy chair, 1995

Fernando & Humberto Campana, Banquete, arm chair, 2002

June 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

Swiss Art Awards 2009

Sébastien Mettraux, Sans titre, 2009, Prix Kiefer Hablitzel, Prix Fédéral d'arteSébastien Mettraux, Sans titre, 2009, II, Prix Kiefer Hablitzel, Prix Fédéral d'arte

Sébastien Mettraux (images above) was one of the privileged artists to receive an award. However, after visiting the Swiss Art Awards 2009 exhibition I realized that the works which actually caught my eye hadn’t, in the most cases, been contemplated with any kind of award – which only serves to prove my lack of taste!;-)

It seemed to me that the most interesting works definitely belonged to Ariane Andereggen, Emanuel Geisser, Kathrin Sonntag, Yves Mettler and Monica Jäger. In addition to these, I also enjoyed Clare Goodwins’ neo-constructivism painting, Seline Baumgartners’ monumental trailer wrapped in white fabric, Maya Bringolfs’ coloured PU-foam monumental object with a couch and a table pilled up and Uriel Orlows’ installation “These Great Times”, which included a free hand-out newspaper with printed photos of political historical leaders done with a magic marker.

Ariane Andereggen, Booster, Installation, 2009Ariane Andereggen, Booster, Installation, 2009, III

Visual and performance artist Ariane Andereggen created a multimedia wall installation containing video, collage, drawings and writing, everything assembled in an apparent anarchic manner. Using linguistic and visual-appropriation strategies and actions, Andereggens’ work investigates into different concepts such as body, archive, spectacle and memory in a punk/ absurdish style. Born in 1969, she first studied acting at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern and later graduated in Media Art (2000) at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe.

Emanuel Geisser, Satellite, Now Here_Nowhere, Installation 2009, III

“Satellite, Now Here Nowhere” is an installation comprising a video projection, two mirrors, tripods, a disco ball motor and nylon thread by Berlin-based Emanuel Geisser. The video projection shows an inhospitable landscape, whose footage originates from an expedition to the K2 in the 1950s. The rotating mirror mounted on the engine casts its shadow on the mountains on the screen and then on the surrounding walls of the installation room as it moves around. In the point where it meets the second standing mirror tripod, the word NORTH is reflected onto the opposite wall for a short moment.

Kathrin Sonntag, Mittnacht, 2008, 81 Dias, projektion

1981-born Berlin-based artist Kathrin Sonntag presented a booklet and a series of 81 slides in which arrangements of objects and tools belonging to the studio of the artist could be seen. These works seem to revolve around the question of how we can perceive worldly things around us differently just upon observation. In some moments, this re-staging brings about surreal perspectives, in which hazard and weird dominate.

Yves Mettler, Models with Speakers, 2009, Berlin

Winner of a public art contest in Aarburg in 2006, Swiss-born and Berlin-based artist Yves Mettler seems interested in reflecting about memory and public space through his built architectural models in which an audio memory is included. His submission to the Swiss Art Awards follows this principle once more. It consisted of a group of architectural models done in cardboard with speakers and an audio recording.

June 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

In reference to…

Jack Goldstein IIIJack Goldstein IVJonathan Monk, Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field Painted in the Style of Jack Goldstein circa 1986_version 2, 2006 2006, Galerie Meyer Riegger_DE

The first two images document painting works by 2003 deceased artist Jack Goldstein. The image on the right is the work of Jonathan Monk titled “Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field Painted in the Style of Jack Goldstein circa 1986”, 2006.

June 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm Leave a comment


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