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F... Dancing - Let's Art (Basel)!

'Fuck dancing - let's art!' said Johnny Rotten (singer of the Sex Pistols) and invented punk rock in the 1970s

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.     Glamour is definitely over at Art Basel 2010. Now it's time to finally get rid of the art party's hangover and think about art again.     The board of Art Basel chose more than 300 International galleries from 1,100 applicants to create again the most important fair for contemporary art in the world. After the high gloss boom-time art, now, there is again a focus on:    
  • Minimal and postminimal art
  • Classic arte povera
     
Arte povera artist Mario Merz: 'Pytagoras' Haus' of 1994; installation of mixed media; (c) by the artist courtesy of Konrad Fischer Galerie; Photo by Premier Art Scene

 

 

In the years of the recent art boom, the museum curators had a hard time to keep pace with the art dealers. Now, the museums regain their role as pacemakers of the art world.

 

The museum curators looked back into art history: What happened after the art market bubble burst in the late 1980s?

 

 

Dan Flavin: 'three sets of tangendted arcs in daylight and cool white (to Jenny and Ira Licht)' of 1969 installation made of neon lights (c) by the artist courtesy of David Zwirner, NY; photo by Premier Art Scene

 

 

In the 1990s, there was a focus on post-minimal art. In contrast to the colorful 1980s neo-expressionist painting, these artists did highly conceptual works. They often made them of 'poor' or inexpensive materials. In this year many important museums devoted mid-career-retrospectives to them.

 

 

Many art dealers show at Art Basel their works by Gabriel Orozco (4 galleries) or Rodney Graham (6 galleries) following these museum shows.

 

 

 

Marina Abramovic and Ulay: 'Rest Energy'. Performed in August 1980 for four minutes at ROSC’80, National Gallery of Ireland Production image (black and white) for 16mm film transferred to video (color, sound). 47 min.; black and whtie photograph 160 x 125 cm (c) the artists courtesy of Lisson Gallery, London.

 

 

Marina Abramovic's gorgeous MoMA retrospective this spring also led to a renewed interest in her performance art. London based Lisson Gallery offered a large photo of her classic performance 'Rest Energy' of 1980.

 

 

In contrary to the recent Armory show in New York, the Whitney Biennial 2010 did not have a big impact on this edition of Art Basel.

 

My favourite part of this Art Basel was the curated area 'Art Basel Unlimited'.

 

 

 

Post-minimal art or classic Arte Povera is certainly not the answer to the question 'Which art now?'

 

 

However, it might provide some inspiration to a younger generation of artists. This generation has not yet arrived here at Art Basel.

 

 

Jonathan Monk: 'Leaves' of 1998; pencil on 12 sheets of paper; 12 x 9” / 30.5 x 22.9cm each ;Framed: 43.6 x 45” / 109.2 x 114.3cm; unique; offered for US $ 30,000 by Casey Kaplan Gallery; NY (c) by the artist courtesy by gallery(Names indicated on the sheets are names of trained artists, who were not successful and gave up art and became construction workers.)

 

 

Well, there were 10 galleries representing Jonathan Monk or Liam Gillick. There are also a number of booths with great conceptual artists from Eastern Europe, like Roman Ondák. But all three have been around for quite some time now. That is why I doubt  these will be the really new art trend or even art movement - we will see.

 

  

At this Art Basel, I don't see many galleries contributing something uniquely new to the art world.

 

Maybe, we will have to wait for the next Documenta to see such an impulse?

 

 

Until then, don't worry about the party - also this year, there is a chance to dance at the Campari Bar in Basel...

 

by U.G.

 

 

 

 

Art Basel in Switzerland, through 20 June 2010

 

 

 

Light object by Tom Sachs; courtesy gabrielle Ammann Gallery, Cologne (c) by the artist; photo by Premier Art Scene
Installation view of Marina Abramovic’s performance The Artist Is Present at The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Photo by Scott Rudd. © 2010 Marina Abramovic. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Read about Marina Abramovic's retrospective at the MoMA

Rodney Graham: 'Lenz Reading Machine for Lenz' 1993, Collectió MACBA. Fundació Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Dipósit particular, (c) Rodney Graham 2009
(c) George Condo: 'Integrated Forms (Birnam Wood)' 2009 Oil and pastel on linen 80 x 60 inches 203.2 x 152.4 cm

Comments

Garcia, 02-07-10 08:59
I think Art Basel is always a great art fair to see.

The current move towards more intellectual art is good for the art world!
Krystallynn, 06-08-11 17:21
AFAIC that's the best aneswr so far!
wfurwwizn, 02-10-12 09:40

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