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Revisiting Art Basel

December 9, 2013

Now that the wire transfer smoke and the dust of big buyers have settled, I can easily reflect on what happened last week at Art Basel in Miami.
Going to art fairs and looking at hundreds or even thousands of pieces is exhausting. In this journey you often want new art or art that excites the eyes, mind, and soul. But what you get at these large art fairs like Basel are often a few new pieces of art by one artist spread over several different galleries from several different countries. You also get a lot of pieces by dead artists like Warhol, Basquiat, and Lichtenstein because they are an easy sell. Even galleries that I know show cutting edge artists in their actual galleries, show bland art at Basel because they don’t want to challenge or scare off big buyers. But for someone like me, my mind becomes numb with the repetitive scene as I wander from booth to booth.
The one thing I did notice this year is that what galleries are showing are more textural, surreal, and abstract art. Whether that’s a reflection on galleries just trying to show non-confrontational “happy” art, I dont know.
Here is who I saw and liked.
Gert & Uwe Tobias
Ohne Titel/untitled
Colored woodcut on canvas
Ohne_Titel_untitled_Gert_UWE TobiasAlso by Gert & Uwe Tobias was this
Doug Aitken
Volume (Nighttime Cityscape)
LED lit lightbox
Marilyn Minter
All pieces are enamel on Metal
Jake and Dinos Chapman
In Our Dreams We Have Seen Another World
Fiberglass, plastic and mixed media
Raqib Shaw
Arrival of the Horse King (Paradise Lost Series)
Oil, acrylic, enamel, glitter and rhinestones on birch wood
Haegue Yang
Mirrored Diamond Doors – Trustworthy #230
Various envelope security patterns, framed
Jack Pierson
ICARUS, 2013
Variable letters of size and material
Mark Quinn
Before and After Humans
Oil on Canvas
Robert Watts
The American Supermarket (1964/2002)
Delson Uchoa
Furta-Chao-Furta-Cor 2006/2007
Acrylic on canvas
Meschac Gaba
Citoyen Du Monde
Inkjet on synthetic canvas
Jim Lambie
Alcazar, 2012
Mirror, Enamel paint, photographic print collage
Trenton Doyle Hancock
Without Moving the Apocalypse, 2013
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
Jose Alvarez
To be continued…

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