Wolfgang Tillmans: Sheep Shadow 2012 at Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
Wolfgang Tillmans is a master of the seemingly casual as curiously interesting, but this operates rather differently as a near-illusion, Why has this sheep got two shadows, I wondered? It took me a while to be sure that this wasn’t a digital tweak, but that there are actually two sheep, perfectly in sync. Talking of which…
Allan McCollum: The Shapes Project: Collection of Twenty-Four Perfect Couples, 2016 at Galerie Mitterrand, Paris
An offshoot from McCollum’s long-running system which ‘allows him to make enough unique shapes for every person on the planet to have one of their own’ are anthropomorphised as paired individuals. They don’t fit together like puzzle pieces, nor do they match in size or colour, so it’s either an ironic view of the impossibility of perfection or a strong line on how ‘opposites attract’ – as they can in any healthy community.
Richard Jackson: Beer Lamp, 2003 at Xippas, Paris / Geneva / Montevideo
It’s just as tempting, of course, to read the title as ‘Bear Lamp’, even though there is a ceramic bottle of beer at the bottom, which is the mouth, At the top, which is the bottom and where Jackson’s love of liquidly performative paint might led you to anticipate liquid sucked in or spurted out, there is actually a functioning light, turned on by erecting the bear’s wee appendage.
Joana Vasconcelos: Gestalt, 2017, at Gowen Contemporary, Geneva
The central feature of Gowen's inspired stand was one of the Portuguese artist's series 'Crochet Paintings', crossing the boundaries of domestic craft, painting and sculpture with exuberant impunity. The title claims that this baroque whole is to be seen as more than the sum of its parts: a feminine usurpation of male traditions comes to mind... maybe the forms have a more darkly parasitical way of being than their jolly colours suggest.
Isabelle Cornaro: Untitled (P#6), 2018 at Galerie Mezzanin, Geneva
This is an ideal Art Fair piece. Has someone accidentally trodden on what looks as if it might have been a rather beautiful dragonfly? The description: ‘painted wooden pedestal, miscellaneous heaps of glass and crystal jewellery and pendants’ suggests that the fragments were never conjoined: it's just a sprinkle of jewellery, but elevated in its formlessness by the modernist plinth…
What’s this, a painter showing off his realist technique? It’s more of a tease. The Anglo-Cypriot takes photographs then outsources the painting from them, undermining that aspect and foregrounding what the fruit might stand for. The unattainability of authentic consumer satisfaction? The potential parallels of intoxication between art and wine? A critique of politicians failing to be realistic? Yet the grapes remain seductively tempting, however they’re meant.
Johan Creten: Vulva Small Purple Heart, 2017
Ceramics are very much of the moment in contemporary art, and Art Geneva has a special section for them - though this alluring mixture of sea anemone, bodily and floral was in the main fair. Perrotin had the blingier gold versions, as is the gallery's wont: Almine Rech had this less ostentatious but ruder glazed stoneware from the Flemish sculptor, with just a little gold lustre . On which salacious theme...