Inkjet print 171 x 252 cm - Chantal Crousel, Paris
|Idris Khan alongside Nicholas Nixon's sequence of the Brown Sisters|
Neo Rauch: Der Lehrling, 2015 - Oil on canvas, 300 x 250 cm - courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin
Feiko Beckers - from: Things I once believed in, that I then stopped believing in and that I now believe in again, 2015
|Manabu Hasegawa: M60 - paper, pencil, coloured pencil, 145 x 55 x 55 cm|
Manabu Hasegawa at Tezuayama Gallery, Osaka
Here I liked plenty, such as Carina Linge's photo tableaux, Susanne Kühn's architectural presentation of paintings, Rose Eken's kooky yet real ceramics and Andrea Canepa's timeline of scenes of the future from sci-fi films. There was also Jeannette Ehlers applying a charcoal-dipped bullwhip against white canvas for the performance Whip It Good! - the sound of which echoed louder than I'd expected through the Fair. Manabu Hasegawa makes innovative Trompe l'oeil use of frottage by creating 3D models, here including gold coins (for which he rubs the sides as well as front surface with a coloured pencil), a massive vault to hold them, and a wide range of knives and guns. Violence, greed and fragility: no surprise that the Tokyo artist cites Buddhist sources, and specifically how what may seem permanent is 'as dust before the wind' (in the words of the 14th century epic 'Tale of the Heike').
|Jeannette Ehlers in performance|
Christoph Brünggel: For V, 2015 at Galerie Bob Gysin, Zurich
The Solo Project is always a pleasant viewing experience, having a generous layout, an excellent catalogue (as does Liste), good representation of a small number of artists, and no crowds. One impressively economical piece was Swiss artist Christoph Brünggel’s eleven part text work, which said ‘I still haven’t figured out how to deal with it inside’. The words were hard to make out, as the typing had overlapped them, suggesting that the inside not dealt with was literally the space inside the words. But once you knew that the quote was from a veteran of the Afghanistan War, the formal conceit read more darkly as a mind impacted.
|Go figure: one page detail close-up|
This new venture was small and somewhat scruffy, but included a wall of surreally tinged images by the Mexican Flor Garduño, who trained with Manuel Alvarez Bravo. The mythic Eden is in line with her own description of her nudes as ‘a search for the people who inhabit my dreams’. I like the echoes of Maillol's sculpture, and how black and white replaces the expected male and female as the contrasted couple in paradise - or is it just that there would be no men there? I also liked Ishiuchi Miyako's highly atmospheric and grainy images of US bases in Japan after they'd been abandoned (at Tokyo's amanasalto).
|Ishiuchi Miyako from Club & Courts (1988-1990)|
At 10 metres, the most imposing work in the Art Parcors route of art placed in the environs of the cathedral was Ugo Rondinone’s stone sculpture which used modern quarrying and carving techniques to mimic a prehistoric monument. The figure rose to the level of surrounding four storey buildings. Yet I suspect the project for which plans could be seen in Sadie Coles’ booth might trump even that (despite the best pink and blue preview efforts of the local schoolchildren in my photo above). The New York based Swiss artist intends to build a mountain of sorts from hyper-intensely coloured piles of boulders. The gallery presented three of these in front of comparably hued work by Jonathan Horowitz to provide the chroma-spectacle of the fair.
|Rondinone's will-be-mountains with Horowitz's Beyoncés at Sadie Coles' stand|
The Public Museums
|Martin Boyce: A River in the Trees, 2009|
|Haroon Mirza: The System, 2014|
The Foundation Beyeler can be relied on for heavy-hitting exhibitions, and this year there were two: Paul Gaugin and Marlene Dumas. Less familiar, especially if you’d seen the Dumas at Tate Modern, was Tobias Rehberger’s takeover of the large basement space. It was so spectacular it would have fitted right in to the Schaulager’s typically impressive retrospective of installations from Barney, Fischli and Weiss, Kabakov et al. The German neugerriemschneider had a less subtle version in which sex toys replaced the plants...
Tobias Rehberger: Oki Nami Ura, Katsushika Hokusai,1832 and Manga Girl, 2015
Commercial galleries in Basel
|Superflex: installation view of Investment Bank Flowerpots, 2015 (photo Andreas Zimmermann)|
Superflex at Von Bartha's Garage
|View in Helsinki of Modern Times Forever, 2011|
Outside the City
|Bernard Frize: Quarante et un point quatre, 1999|