Looking for More Standouts at Art Basel Hong Kong? Here Are Five Booths Not to Miss
From a series of scorched canvases to a cameo by Jeff Koons, explore a handful of highlights from artnet member galleries.
This week, some 70,000 people are descending on the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for the sixth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong—an event that has in recent years emerged as an essential stop on the annual art fair circuit. With Asia’s art market continuing to expand at a rapid clip, this year’s edition purports to be the most robust yet, featuring 248 galleries from 32 different countries and territories.
The fair, which opened to VIPs on Tuesday, has already made headlines with major sales and a plethora of eye-opening works. But even if you’ve followed the early coverage, there’s still plenty more to see. As ABHK opens to the public today, here are five standout booths from artnet member galleries that shouldn’t be missed.
de Sarthe has brought a selection of new and older pieces by both Western and Asian artists to the fair this year, which is just a short drive from the international gallery’s Hong Kong’s branch. The stars of the booth, however, are Andrew Luk and Wang Xin, each of whom is presenting new bodies of work.
Luk, a young artist who was born in the US but lives in Hong Kong, is debuting a piece from his “Horizon Scan” series, in which he chars canvases with homemade napalm, then collages the remnants, covers them in resin, and illuminates them from underneath like a lightbox. The resulting objects look like landscapes ravaged by war or natural disaster.
Xin, on the other hand, is presenting a revamped version of her traveling interactive artwork, Unknown Artists Agency (recently shown at the Armory Show in New York). Rather than a room-sized installation, this iteration of the artist’s conceptual DIY gallery space takes the form of a dress adorned with interactive live cameras.
In conjunction with its ABHK presentation, de Sarthe is also opening a dual exhibition of abstract paintings by European postwar heavyweights Manolo Millares and Antoni Tàpies at its Hong Kong gallery.
If you weren’t already convinced that Art Basel Hong Kong has become one of the top international art fairs, look no further than David Zwirner’s booth. Zwirner hasn’t just brought over a series of works by Jeff Koons—arguably the most recognizable artist in the world—they’ve also brought Koons himself. He is the latest—and most notable—artist on Zwirner’s roster to join the gallery in person at the fair, following in the footsteps of Luc Tuymans (2017), Michaël Borremans (2016), and Neo Rauch (2015).
Zwirner, who has participated in ABHK every year since its inception, is showing five recent works by Koons—three from his “Gazing Ball” series, as well as two mirror-polished stainless steel bird sculptures, Bluebird Planter (2010–16) and Swan (Inflatable) (2011–15). But Koons isn’t going it alone. The gallery, which opened a Hong Kong outpost earlier this year, is also presenting a range of works by Francis Alÿs, Michaël Borremans, Oscar Murillo, Alice Neel, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch, Josh Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Franz West, Jordan Wolfson, and Lisa Yuskavage.
International powerhouse Galerie Perrotin is presenting a smattering of works by more than two dozen high-profile artists on its roster, including American sculptor Daniel Arsham, French artist Sophie Calle, Hong Kong native Chen Fei, and Japanese superstar Takashi Murakami.
Outside the fair, Perrotin has opened an expansive solo exhibition devoted to the American artist KAWS across both its Toyko and Hong Kong locations. The street artist-turned painter, designer, and international businessman lived in Hong Kong during the early 2000s—his formative creative years—and was the first to show at the gallery’s space in the city after it opened in 2012.
Orozco is undeniably one of Mexico’s most famous artists, which is ironic in a way, considering how much of his practice consists of traveling to different locales and adopting the materials, methods, and themes native to the art of those disparate places. Fittingly, Orozco created the works on view at the fair over the last four years, during which he lived primarily in Asia, splitting his time between Tokyo and Bali.
His new body of work encompasses sculpture, relief carving, ink drawings, and tempera-based painting—all techniques tied to the history of artistic production in those two Asian cities. A series of limestone pieces, titled Dés after the French word for dice, are particularly compelling. The square sculptures were hand-carved using a technique the artist learned from a local artisan in Bali, and play with perspectives of depth and negative space.
Meanwhile, Orozco’s presence will be felt in Hong Kong long after the fair closes. The city’s forthcoming M+ museum announced this week that it had acquired a large part of his Untitled (OROXXO) (2017), a project that features re-designed, empty packages of food purchased from OXXO, a major convenience store chain in Mexico.
Several of Sprüth Magers‘s artists are prominently featured at the gallery’s Hong Kong stand, including Andreas Gursky, Gary Hume, and Barbara Kruger. But it’s Jenny Holzer who truly dominates the presentation. The gallery has brought a selection of both older and newer works by Holzer, from her LED sign sculptures from the late ‘80s and ‘90s to her inscribed marble platforms from the mid-aughts. The most recent objects are two 2017 graphite and watercolor vellum works in which she has redacted government documents.
Meanwhile, Sprüth Magers has expanded well beyond the confines of an art-fair stand with a presentation of works by George Condo at the city’s Maritime Museum. “Expanded Portrait Compositions,” co-presented with Skarstedt Gallery, features an entirely new body of work that Condo created specifically for the occasion. It is on view through April 6.
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