10 Smart Buys at Art Basel Satellite Fairs
Great deals abound at Liste and Volta.
During Art Basel, most of the attention may be centered on the Messe. But Basel’s satellites should not be passed over. Particularly at Liste, vibrant and accessibly priced art is available in spades. We scoured the selection there and at Volta to pick out 10 artists well worth taking home.
1. Timur Si-Qin: A spin-off of Si-Qin’s Bonner Kunstverein show, Basin of Attraction (2013) at Milan’s Fluxia Gallery (Liste, 1/3/1) has three vitrines displaying 3D-printed analogues of prehistoric human bones placed in front of a red backdrop printed with yin-yangs and the word “PEACE.” It’s redolent of advertising and critical of the institution, but it’s the work’s underlying, near-evil vibe of post-human society that most impresses.
2. David Panos: Panos typically works in collaboration with Anja Kirschner. Yet, London’s Hollybush Gardens has a solo presentation of three of his “lack” sculptures at Liste (3/4/1) that proves a remarkably strong statement by the artist. The works are based on Ikea’s ubiquitous $9.99 side tables and are wonderfully fun yet substantive treatises on the very paucity of substance itself.
3. Hannah Weinberger: One of the most exciting young artists working in sound, Weinberger shows two untitled sculptures from last year at Freedman Fitzpatrick’s first Liste booth (1/4/1). The two stones, sourced from a Swiss quarry, have been hollowed out to form resonating chambers for a soundtrack that flows from jaunty pop to ambient noise from social gatherings in a hypnotic loop.
4. Charbel-joseph H. Boutros: A poetic sensibility infiltrates this solo presentation at Dubai’s Grey Noise (Liste, 0/10/2). Days under their own sun (2013) shows the weathering effects upon each page of a Lebanese day-per-page calendar left in the sun on the particular date the page represents. Night enclosed in marble (2013) is one in a series of works made of two slabs of marble hinged to each other and trapping the air of a moonless night inside a cubic centimeter void that has been carved between the slabs.
5. Oliver Osborne: A newly minted member of Vilma Gold’s enviable stable, Osborne’s latest work hits a new high at Liste (1/1/2). Ever the adept mixer of humor and content, Osborne shows Les Horaires (2014)—a doodled-upon French vocab list—alongside F (Barbara) (2014) a classically rendered portrait of a woman in profile marked in the middle with a big “F,” as if Osborne is declaring his own work a failure.
6. Laura Lamiel: Just now beginning to receive long-overdue recognition, the 66-year-old Lamiel’s Figure II (2001) at Paris-based gallery Marcelle Alix (Liste, 0/9/8) features an accumulation of objects—some directly linked to her studio practice—placed on a grid on the floor, with a pair of connected stretchers leaning against the booth’s wall. Typical of her interdisciplinary practice, the installation juxtaposes painting traditions with photography-oriented questions about the documentary use of sculptural language.
7. David Horvitz: Mood Disorder (2012–ongoing) at CHERT’s Liste booth (1/6/4) is a brilliant takedown of online image culture. For the project, Horvitz took a photo of himself and uploaded it to Wikipedia as the main image for their “Mood Disorder” page under a creative commons license, allowing the media to reuse it. Horvitz later found and printed out those articles, here tacking them directly to the booth’s wall.
8. Michiel Ceulers: A true rising star in the field of abstract painting, Ceulers’ three canvases at Spanish gallery Nogueras Blanchard (Liste, 0/1/2) are some of his best yet. The monumental pieces are heavy worked over in a thick grid of paint, sanded, and thrown around the studio. Some see two canvases stretched onto the same bars such that half the work goes unseen. Some elements of the artist’s practice may still need some maturation, but these works represent important steps down that road.
9. George Henry Longly: Longly’s lately much-hyped work exemplifies current trends of material investigation and a post-recession critique of the superficial. The four marble reliefs on offer at Jonathan Viner’s Liste stand (3/6/2) are no exception. Pulled from his hair-care-centric show this past March, the works find CO2 canisters and varying hold-levels of hairspray embedded into their surface, with other cutouts serving formal or humorous linguistic purposes. “Hair today,” reads one that will likely be gone tomorrow.
10. Thorsten Brinkmann: Brinkmann shows a new series of photographs—for which he is more well-known—and assemblage sculptures at Pablo’s Birthday’s Volta booth (C12). The latest photographs continue the Hamburg-based artist’s propensity to put found objects over his subjects’ heads (this time it’s handbags), but their more muted color palette and integration into the sculptures lends a welcomed heady, rather than jokey read.
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