9 Must-See Booths at Liste 2016

Youthful galleries give the fair some flavor.

Alice Ronchi. Courtesy of Christie Chu.
 Yuji Agematsu. Courtesy of Real Fine Arts.

Yuji Agematsu. Courtesy of Real Fine Arts.

It’s that time of year again when the international jet set descend upon the sleepy city of Basel to experience another round of fairtigue.

But before Art Basel opens, artnet News visited the venerable satellite fair, Liste, to see what young galleries around the world are bringing to the table for its 21st edition. The results were a much-needed glimpse at youthful delights.

Here are the top 9 booths:

1. Real Fine Arts
New York’s Real Fine Arts brought Japanese artist Yuji Agematsu and Sam Pulitzer, along with Liz Craft—who is currently in a group exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York—to their booth this year.

Agematsu’s miniature sculptural worlds are especially strong. One calendar month is represented through a grouping of tiny cellophane bags that are stacked on four rows to mimic a standard calendar. Each bag contains various urban remnants—including gum, lint, or leaves—collected by the artist in a single day. Each piece comes with a notebook that contains details of each day, such as the weather, the time the artist observes something of importance, or a street he found an item on, creating a poetic connection between these disparate urban fragments and the archival habits of the artist.

“He often says that [he’s] the collector and New York is the artist,” director Ben Morgan-Cleveland told artnet News.

Florian Germann and Vittoro Brodmann. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

Florian Germann and Vittoro Brodmann. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

2. Galerie Gregor Staiger
Zurich-based Galerie Gregor Staiger is showing two Swiss artists, Vittorio Brodmann and Florian Germann. Brodmann’s tapestries are a sharp contrast to Florian Germann’s sculptural fiberglass floor pieces.

Brodmann, who is known for his small-scale paintings in which you have to get up close to discover whimsical or garish figures, expands past the canvas with several five-foot-tall brick wall tapestries made from found industrial materials. The pieces hang adjacent to one another, forming a backdrop—a reference to the artists other interest, theatre and performance. Germann’s fiberglass pieces, on the other hand, provide grounding for the booth’s set up. Having trained as a stone sculptor and cabinet maker, the artist creates works that blend technological function with geological storytelling.

Anne Tallentine. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

Anne Tallentire. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

3. Hollybush Gardens
Several minimalistic photographs by 66-year-old artist Anne Tallentire draw you into London-based gallery’s booth. Each image was created from a architect’s description of a specific building in Dublin. Tallentire uses materials that register in the real world as having functionality but when captured in art are fundamentally useless.

Flavio Merlo, Untitled (2016). Image courtesy of Ellis King.

Flavio Merlo, Untitled (2016). Image courtesy of Ellis King.

4. Ellis King
Dublin-based gallery Ellis King dedicated their booth to Swiss artist Flavio Merlo, who is interested in architecture and how we interact with space. Revealing only part of the narrative, Merlo creates venues in which the viewer must guess what has happened or what would happen, playing with the real and the imaginary.

Six photographs in the booth depict empty white-walled gallery spaces, but what may seem like an ordinary exhibition space is actually completely fake—a 3-D rendering, handmade by the artist.

Taocheng Wang. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

Taocheng Wang. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

5. Carlos/Ishikawa
Two humorous artists worth looking into are Steve Bishop and Taocheng Wang at London-based gallery Carlos Ishikawa’s booth. Bishop’s latest cartoon character, Chutchie, is a cute melancholic fellow whose life (contained in small canvases) imitates all the fears of the modern human condition—holding a dead-end job, experiencing boredom, and being friendless. To compliment these ideas, Chinese-born, Amsterdam-based artist Taocheng Wang’s work fuses classical painting and contemporary subject matter. Wang’s figurative works recall her time as a masseuse living in Amsterdam.

Heinz Peter Knes. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

Heinz Peter Knes. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

6. Silberkuppe
Berlin gallery Silberkuppe brings German artist Heinz Peter Knes and Swiss artist Tobias Kaspar. By often incorporating his own family and his partner, artist Danh Vo, into his work, Knes’s photographs simultaneously become intimate and private while being very much public.

The other artist, Tobias Kaspar, has four works at the booth, but particularly magnetic are two sculptural works where he took items from the movie set of Gangs of New York. These quotidian objects such as a water bottle, a jam jar, and a condom, are then cast in bronze and laid out for all to see. Here, Kaspar plays with authorship, authenticity, and functionality.

Mikael Brkic. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

Mikael Brkic. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

7. VI, VII
Norwegian artist Mikael Brkic is showing three plinths at Oslo-based gallery VI, VII’s booth. The Stadelschule graduate is interested in the history of artists borrowing ideas from one another. Combining the classical structure of a plinth, Brkic scrawls contemporary marketing phrases and notes taken down at a “corporate” meeting.

As a day job working as a copywriter for a fashion retail chain, Zalando, Brkic is interested in the intersection and cyclical nature of fashion, art, and commerce. Continuing this narrative is Duo Kulisek/ Lieske (photographer Rob Kulisek and artist David Lieske) who show photographs of people styled in hot fashion label Vetements-inspired get-ups. For any of the fashion-followers, we spotted a notorious DHL t-shirt, sock boots, and repurposed Levi’s.

Alice Ronchi. Courtesy of Christie Chu.

Alice Ronchi. Courtesy of Francesca Minini.

8. Francesca Minini
Italian artist Alice Ronchi’s sculptures at Francesca Minini’s booth are a delight. Light, colorful, and playful, Ronchi turns herself into a self-described “fashion designer” for dinosaurs.

Her installation, “A Dinosaur Can be Vain,” brings the viewer back to childhood, when imagination, possibility, and fascination seems boundless. Creating seasonal collections, the artist imagines a mythical (but once living) creature having the ability to change outfits, according to the mood of the day.

Jesse Darling. Courtesy of Arcadia Missa.

Jesse Darling. Courtesy of Arcadia Missa.

9. Arcadia Missa
Jesse Darling, an artist who uses the pronoun “they,” explores gender at the London-based gallery’s booth. Four sculptures here combine salvaged material with metal work to create elegant and anthropomorphic structures.

As an added bonus, literal titles such as Colonel Shanks, Domestic Terror 1, Chaise, and Service, in which a service cloth is slung on metal framework, give Darling’s work a sense of humor.


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