Basel Obsession 5: Marc Quinn

Amidst the holiday parties of last week, I never had the chance to finish my list of Basel favorites. To cap it all off, I wanted to highlight Marc Quinn, whose vibrant floral photographs were featured at the AW Massey Fine Art booth at Overture Art Fair. The colors in the photos below don’t do these images justice – they are so vivid and alive in person it is as if you could reach out and touch the flowers.

Quinn’s sculpture, paintings and drawings often deal with the distanced relationship we have with our bodies, highlighting how the conflict between the ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’ has a grip on the contemporary psyche. Quinn became well known for his series of marble sculptures of amputees, which he created as a way of re-reading the aspirations of Greek and Roman statuary and their depictions of an idealised whole. His Garden series, however, which he began in 2000, focuses instead on incredible botanicals that never decay. These photographs clearly draw upon this series. Quinn has exhibited in many important group and solo exhibitions internationally, and is represented by Mary Boone here in New York.

Marc Quinn photos @ Overture Art Fair

Marc Quinn photos @ AW Massey Fine Art Booth – Overture Art Fair

Under the Volcano. Bus-Obu Mongolia, 2011; Painting

Under the Volcano. Bus-Obu Mongolia, 2011; Painting

Myth (Sphinx), 2007;Sculpture - Painted bronze

Myth (Sphinx), 2007; Painted bronze

To be titled (Eye Tondo with Map), 2011; Oil on canvas

To be titled (Eye Tondo with Map), 2011; Oil on canvas

 

 

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Basel Obsession 4: Sarah Morris

So, it may seem like a complete contradiction that I am able to love neutral, black and white art just as much as I love bright, boldly-colored art. But I do, and artist Sarah Morris falls into the second category. The painter and filmmaker is known for her complex abstractions, which play with architecture and the psychology of urban environments. Morris executes her city-based paintings in household gloss on square canvases, employing rigorous, all-over grids in vivid colours that reference architectural motifs, signs or urban vistas. Morris associates these colors and geometries with a city’s unique vocabulary and palette, and, most importantly, its dynamic.

It was hard to miss her works featured by numerous galleries – including Petzel Gallery and White Cube – at Miami Art Basel, as the eye-catching pieces were often displayed on the exterior booth walls. And it’s no wonder – the artist has participated in many important exhibitions including 4th Site Santa Fe Biennial (2001), 25th São Paolo Biennial (2002) and ‘Days Like These’, Tate Triennial (2003), and has head numerous solo and group shows around the world. They may cost tens of thousands of dollars… but she has an amazing print selling right now on Artspace.com for just $750 with proceeds benefiting Lincoln Center. Get shopping!

@art basel miami beach

Spotted @ Art Basel Miami beach

@ Art Basel Miami Beach

Spotted @ Art Basel Miami Beach (and clearly photographed by me)

Total Lunar Eclipse, 2012; 19.69" x 19.69"; edition of 108; available @ Artspace.com

Total Lunar Eclipse, 2012; 19.69″ x 19.69″; edition of 108; available @ Artspace.com

Potomac Parkway [Capital], 2001; gloss household paint on canvas; 84.25 x 84.25 in

Potomac Parkway [Capital], 2001; gloss household paint on canvas; 84.25 x 84.25 in

Doublesheet Bend [Knots] , 2009; Household gloss paint on canvas;84.25 x 84.25 in

Doublesheet Bend [Knots] , 2009; Household gloss paint on canvas;
84.25 x 84.25 in. @ Petzel Gallery

Basel Obsession 3: Sam Francis

Sam Francis popped up everywhere at Art Basel Miami Beach. The often-defined Abstract Expressionist’s work was peppered in with Contemporary artworks in numerous fairs, but my favorite was the 4-canvas piece at Hollis Taggart Galleries at Art Miami. Considered one of the premier colorists of the twentieth century, Sam Francis is best known for dramatic, lushly painted works comprised of vivid pools of color, thinly applied. Drips, gestures, and splatters of paint in his work have led many critics to identify him as a second-generation Abstract Expressionist, but Francis has also been compared to Color Field artists on the basis of large, fluid sections of paint that seem to extend beyond the confines of the pictorial surface. He often uses bright, contrasting jewel tones, and the piece at the fair was a prime example of my favorite genre of his works.

Road of Ladders, 1984, Acrylic on canvas, 6 x 12 feet

Road of Ladders, 1984, Acrylic on canvas, 6 x 12 feet @ Hollis Taggart Galleries at Art Miami

Untitled, SFP90-2pr , 1990, 152 x 122 cm, Acrylic on canvas

Untitled, SFP90-2pr, 1990; 152 x 122 cm; Acrylic on canvas

Untitled 1974; 42.5 X 55.5 cm; Acrylic on ricepaper

Untitled, 1974; 42.5 X 55.5 cm; Acrylic on ricepaper

Untitled, 1988; 33 x 24 cm; Acrylic on canvas

Untitled, 1988; 33 x 24 cm; Acrylic on canvas

 

Basel Obsession 2: Vik Muniz

I have always loved Vik Muniz’s photographs. His unbounding creativity in the way he experiments with non-traditional materials, such as chocolate and sugar, junk and toys, to create the images he captures through his camera lens is inspiring. After visiting a private collection earlier this year filled with large scale photographs by the artist, I began to track and admire his work more and more. Muniz currently has a retrospective at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga – his largest European exhibition to date – and has had numerous solo shows including one at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

At Art Basel Miami Beach this year, Vik Muniz showed a new work entitled Flowers, after Warhol that was recently part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years. You can barely tell from far away that these are photographs, composed of small objects in order to form images distinctively similar to Warhols flower silkscreens. Also on view at the Sikkema Jenkins booth was a photograph Muniz composed in a similar manner to reference Jasper Johns’ famous flag work. I know Muniz will continue to make a name for himself as one of the foremost contemporary art photographers.

Flowers, after Warhol; at Art Basel Miami Beach

Flowers, after Warhol; @ Art Basel Miami Beach

A more professional shot of the piece

A more professional shot of the piece

Marilyn Monroe (from Pictures of Diamonds), 2004Cibachrome

Marilyn Monroe (from Pictures of Diamonds), 2004
Cibachrome (*which I also saw at a private collection on the UES earlier this year)

Boy Blowing Bubbles, after Edouard Manet, 2012

Boy Blowing Bubbles, after Edouard Manet, 2012; from his “Pictures of Magazines 2” series

 

Basel Obsession 1: Glenn Ligon

I am a huge fan of New York-based artist Glenn Ligon’s large black and white canvases incorporating coal dust. There was the most stunning new example of one of these pieces at the Regen Projects booth at Art Basel Miami Beach, and there were also three massive works by the artist on view right when you entered the de la Cruz Collection space.

Ligon’s most recent solo exhibition was a mid-career retrospective entitled Glenn Ligon: AMERICA at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2011, which travelled thereafter to LACMA and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. He is best known for his landmark series of text-based paintings, made since the late 1980s, which draw on the writings and speech of diverse figures, and often addresses the topic of race. He currently has a solo exhibition at Luhring Augustine in New York, which features a large selection of his neon text pieces he has created since 2005, pushing his practice into new, unexpected territories while remaining in dialogue with his text paintings.

But the coal dust works are my favorite. I love how you can see the sparkle from the coal dust the closer you get to the painting, and how beautifully abstract they look from further away. Pictures just don’t do them justice.

Masquerade II, #10, 2012; Silkscreen and coal dust on canvas; 78 x 52 inchesOn view at Regen Projects @ Art Basel Miami Beach

Masquerade II, #10, 2012; Silkscreen and coal dust on canvas;      78 x 52; On view at Regen Projects @ Art Basel Miami Beach

Figure 63, 2010; acrylic, silkscreen and coal dust on canvas; 60x48; via Luhring Augustine

Figure 63, 2010; Acrylic, silkscreen and coal dust on canvas;    60 x 48; via Luhring Augustine

Untitled (Contact), 2002, coal dust, printing ink, oil stick, glue, acrylic paint and gesso on canvas; 74 x 118; via Regen Projects

Untitled (Contact), 2002; Coal dust, printing ink, oil stick, glue, acrylic paint and gesso on canvas; 74 x 118; via Regen Projects

My horrible picture from the de la Cruz Collection in Miami

My horrible picture of the 3 Ligon works on view at the de la Cruz Collection in Miami

 

Back From Basel

I just returned from Art Basel Miami Beach, and while I am completely exhausted, I had such a great time. Though I was only there for a few days, I managed to cover a lot of territory – I saw a TON of amazing art, met some great people, and ate some delicious food! In two days I was able to hit the three big private collections (Rubell, Margulies, de la Cruz), Art Basel Miami Beach (the main fair), Design Miami, Overture, Scope, UNTITLED., Art Miami, CONTEXT at Art Miami, and The Bass Museum. Not familiar with the 20+ art fairs Miami has to offer during Art Basel? HuffPo has an incredibly helpful article explaining the differences through high school stereotypes here.

I also had the opportunity to attend parties at the homes of private collectors, and seeing how people display art in their personal spaces is always a great experience. While I cannot possibly recount everything I saw, I will be dedicating posts this week to some of my favorite pieces.

Check back soon!

me splatter

Photo: Me in my Lisa Perry Splatter tank (available here) standing inside Randy Polumbo’s Love Stream #2, 2012 at Art Public in collaboration with The Bass Museum

Richard Prince Launches Soft Drink

Well this collaboration marks one of the oddest artistic commercial ventures I have ever seen. Appropriation artist Richard Prince (who has also lent his creative designs to Louis Vuitton handbags) has teamed up with AriZona beverages to launch his own brand of lemon-flavored soda aptly called “Richard Prince Lemon Fizz.” Apparently, Prince is a huge soft drink fan (or, for those of you also from Atlanta, a huge “coke” fan, as all carbonated beverages are referred to down South), and was the one to approach AriZona about a collaboration. The cans were designed by the artist and feature a black and white image of Prince himself as well as references to his nurse paintings and joke paintings. The 23 oz drinks will launch this December at Art Basel Miami Beach. What goes better with contemporary art than high-fructose corn syrup and carbonation??

The AriZona-Prince Lemon Fizz can designs (image via ArtInfo)