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Art Basel 2014

Installation view at Xavier Hufkens Gallery: spray painting by Sterling Ruby © the artist; photo PAS

 

In this year without a Documenta or a Venice Biennial, Art Basel seemed somewhat directionless. The Whitney Biennial in New York, the most important group show this year, did not really have a strong impact on the art featured here in Basel.

 

Xavier Hufkens Gallery offered two great paintings by Whitney Biennial artist Sterling Ruby, who typically blends in his canvases Rothko with street style elements.

 

 

Installation view at Gisela Capitain Gallery: Painting by Wade Guyton and objects by Kelley Walker © the artists, photo by PAS

 

Eye-catching was the strong presence of large black canvases at four gallery booths by Wade Guyton. His great works did not only make a great contribution to last year’s Venice Biennale, there was also intense speculation at this year’s spring auctions in New York. His ‘paintings’ sold for 7 digit numbers there. Obviously, the dealers want their share from this hype. That’s fine with me, at least Wade Guyton is an excellent artist, who will continue to do great work, whatever collectors are willing to pay for it.

 

 

 

William Kentridge ‘Second-hand Reading’ of 2013, 7 min video; flipbook film from drawings on single pages of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary © the artist, courtesy Goodman Gallery, SA.

 

 

My personal favorite of this year’s Art Basel was William Kentridge’s video ‘Second-hand reading’ at the booth of Goodman Gallery, South Africa. Kentrdige drew all sketches directly in an old book, flipped the pages and thus made an animated film about himself walking around thinking. It is really brilliant!

 

 

Installation view of Gagosian Gallery: Hulk sculpture by Jeff Koons and silkscreen print by Andy Warhol © the artists

 

Gagosian does what everyone expects from him: Jeff Koons & Andy Warhol.

 

 

Navid Nuur ‘Tresholder (as pilar II)’, 2007 – 2913, floral foam blocks, hardener, artist’s fingerprints, 209 x 95 x 68 cm © the artist, courtesy Max Hetzler Galerie

 

Already at the first day of the preview sold this wonderful sculpture by Dutch-Iranian artist Navid Nuur at the booth of Galerie Max Hetzler. It is made of floral foam blocks and bears the finger imprints of the artist on it.

 

 

Ai Weiwei ‘Forever (Stainless Steel Bicycles in Silvery)’ 3 Pairs 4 Layers, 2013, Stainless steel bicycles in silvery, 282,8 x 317,3 x 99,0 cm © the artist courtesy Galerie Neugerriemschneider

 

 

Paralleling the great Ai Weiwei show in Berlin, there was also a strong presence of works by him at the show. As usual, the artist himself was not allowed to leave China to attend his shows.

 

 

by UGL.

 

 

Art Basel 2014

 

Through 22 June 2014

 

 

 

 

Installation view of Carsten Höller at Art Basel (c) the artist

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