ART BASEL JUNE 2010 WITH GARY KRIMERSHMOYS

ART BASEL SWIZTERLAND JUNE 2010

The world’s premier international art show for Modern and contemporary works, Art Basel features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in the show’s multiple sections. The exhibition includes the highest-quality paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works.Located on the banks of the Rhine, at the border between Switzerland, France and Germany, 62,500 people attended this year’s Art 41 Basel, the last edition of this favorite rendezvous for the global artworld, including art collectors, art dealers, artists, curators and other art enthusiasts.With its world-class museums, outdoor sculptures, theaters, concert halls, idyllic medieval old town and new buildings by leading architects, Basel ranks as a culture capital, and that cultural richness helps put the Art Basel week on the agenda for art lovers from all over the globe. During Art Basel, a fascinating atmosphere fills this traditional city, as the international art show is reinforced with exhibitions and events all over the region.

Vernissage  Art Basel

XXXX Magazine’s new Contributing Contemporary Art Editor, Gary Krimershmoys, reported to us from Art Basel Switzerland on the latest exhibits at the International Art Fair this past week.

First day at Art Basel, the supposed VIP day, but actually the busiest day of the week.  There was a good sprinkling of well dressed art aficionados at the 3-6 Private View, and then throngs came flooding in at 6pm for the Vernissage.

I did a short run-through of the first floor of the Art Basel.  The major galleries were very conservative, where you see what seems like every one with a John Chamberlain sculpture, a Calder, a Gerhard Richter painting, and a Warhol. Some more interesting work was found in the Art Feature, a portion of the fair devoted of younger galleries that were flanking the outside border of the main floor.

Alexander Gray Associates had works by and African America abstract painter Jack Whitten.  He was a second generation of abstract painters following major artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and or Motherwell.   At a point in the 60s when Whitten started in abstraction, the art world was looking past abstraction as a major movement, with Pop and Minimalism taking the fore, and Conceptualism dominating the 70s.  For Whitten, working in what was considered an old fashioned medium and style, time has finally shone a flattering light on his work, and it looks energetic and relevant.

Jack Whitten, Southern Exposure, Alexander Gray Associates

Jack Whitten, Chinese Doorway, Alexander Gray Associates


There was also an interesting piece Thomas Bayrle that caught my eye, as I tend to gravitate toward work that has a mechanical and automotive undertone.  Bayrle had a working vintage aircraft motor on a plinth, Sternmotor: Hochamt, 2010, that drew crowds as it churned away, presented at Galerie Mezzanin.  As there were red dots on some of the works by 6pm on the opening day, it seems like the galleries should be in good moods.  Will be able to see the overall mood as the week goes on.

later on, I had a chance to spend a bit more time looking around the main Art Basel Fair, and had a few moments of pleasant surprises.

Seeing artists like Kazuo Shiraga at Annely Juda Fine Art made me realise one of the great things about art fairs.  I recently read about the Japanese artist, that was part of the radical Concrete art movement in Japan.  Shiraga was using his body in painting in an Abstract Expressionistic way, but uniquely Japanese take on the once dominant US art movement.  Usualy it would take a long time to see the work live, maybe in a museum or some gallery retrospective.  But at a major art fair like Art Basel, if you take the time to look around, you can probably find 1 example of almost any 20th century artist of note.

Kazuo Shiraga


Kazuo Shiraga


Following on from the Motion Deconstructed show that I curated, currently at Classic Car Club, I found a work that would fit in beautifully to the concept of capturing the motion and aesthetic of the automobile in art.  Sylvie Fleurie’s chromed sculpture of a tire at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, called W6, is a perfect capturing of beauty in a banal object like a tire.

Silvie Fleury


A performance going on during the fair was seen at Invernizzi Gallery, where  Carmine Caputo Di Roccanova was standing in a business suit, looking blankly in front of him, while the sign on his chest stated paradoxically that ‘I’m HAPPY I HAVE a WIFE’.  Made me happy.

Carmine Caputo Di Roccanova


The busy day wrapped up in Foundation Beyeler, where Francesco Clemente, one of my favourite artists, gave a talk about his collaborations with Warhol and Basquiat during the go-go ‘80s.  It was interesting to see they  each started with 4 canvases, and passed them around between them, until the last work was finished.  Nice to hear about the sometime collaborative nature of the art world, even as they were ‘competitors at the time’, in Clemente’s words.   The Foundation is something to see also, a beautiful building to commemorate an uber collector and dealer, and his wonderful dedication to art combined with a keen eye.

Clemente at Foundation Beyeler June 16th

Gary Krimershmoys for XXXX Magazine

ABOUT ART BASEL

The world’s premier international art show for Modern and contemporary works, Art Basel features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in the show’s multiple sections. The exhibition includes the highest-quality paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works.Located on the banks of the Rhine, at the border between Switzerland, France and Germany, 62,500 people attended this year’s Art 41 Basel, the last edition of this favorite rendezvous for the global artworld, including art collectors, art dealers, artists, curators and other art enthusiasts.With its world-class museums, outdoor sculptures, theaters, concert halls, idyllic medieval old town and new buildings by leading architects, Basel ranks as a culture capital, and that cultural richness helps put the Art Basel week on the agenda for art lovers from all over the globe. During Art Basel, a fascinating atmosphere fills this traditional city, as the international art show is reinforced with exhibitions and events all over the region.

for more info check out the website on Art Basel 2011: ART BASEL

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