Some things we saw at the Basel art fair (and beyond)
This is not a Duchamp
Undated Man Ray drawing and 1965 Richard Pettibone at the stand of Dada expert and Duchamp biographer Francis Naumann. There were a few Duchamps there too.
This is not a Duchamp either
At Jack Shainman, Carrie Mae Weems riffs on Duchamp’s creepy last sculpture, plaster model of a naked woman in front of a waterfall, visible through a peephole in her permanent resting place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?
We saw a lot of Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse, so it was good to spot a little Elvis. At Polígrafa.
Laurel Nakadate used her lips, hands, and basically her whole body to create this drawing. The elevator pitch for this drawing at Leslie Tonkonow is Yves Klein meets Janine Antoni.
The ultimate bubble
Jon Kessler’s kinetic contraptions at Salon 94 Freemans, including this bubble-making machine, offer at a bit of childlike fun….
Perhaps at the expense of child labor?
On Being Blue
Last year Jennifer Rubell’s lifesize version of Prince Williamwas the photo op of the fair. Possibilities this year included Katharina Fritsch’s deep-blue St. Michael, which stood guard at Matthew Marks.
I Love You Green
An unexpected Milton Avery at Hirschl & Adler Modern.
Do Not Delete
Mary-Anne Martin had a beautiful array of Kahlo works on paper, including Una Carta, a 1943 watercolor/letter that was gift from the artist to the Venezuelan art critic Juan Rohl. One of the beautiful things about this artwork, which clearly includes a fetus amidst more coded personal details, is the way the strikeouts become a form of writing in itself.
Just the ticket
Two Art Cops roamed the fairs giving tickets for infractions like “self indulgent,” “too reliant on personal history,” “theory bound,” “too much emphasis on process,” and more. They made sure to give their write-ups to the dealers rather than the artists. Most seemed to take it with good humor.
The Cops turned out to be a performance piece, of course. The perpetrators were by Generic Art Solutions, an official project of the Pulse fair via Jonathan Ferrara gallery.
As we wandered around Wynwood looking for the new GIF festival we came upon an installation of the work of self-taught artist Purvis Youngon 23rd Street. Some of his later works were for sale but his studio was maintained just as he left it.
What we look like now
Hans-Peter Feldmann’s installation in a witty show of six artists’ take on the Renaissance at the Bassincluded a painting that summed up how everyone felt after a long day of looking at art.