INSTALLATIONS AND COLOSSAL PAINTINGS AT ART BASEL 2022 UNLIMITED
Art Basel 2022 concluded on June 19, following a week of reports of buoyant sales across all sectors of the market. With an overall attendance of 70,000, the event showcased exceptional art within its Galleries, Feature, Statements, and Edition sectors. But it was Unlimited, Art Basel’s distinctive platform for large-scale projects, the one that first caught our eye.
Curated by Giovanni Carmine, Director of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Unlimited featured 70 large-scale installations that ranged from monumental sculptures and vast wall paintings to extensive photographic series and video projections. From a large-than-life sculpture by Thomas J Price, to Folkert de Jong’s outsize figure with a mad grin on his face, we unveil the top works at Art Basel 2022 Unlimited.
images courtesy of art basel, unless main image © designboom
The Shooting… 1st of July 2006 by Folkert de Jong
The Shooting…1st of July 2006 is a sculptural installation by Dutch artist Folkert de Jong that aims to show the various power structures of war and reflects on the contemporary notions of power and control. It consists of a crouching, outsize figure with a mad grin on his face surrounded by soldiers. The title references Goya’s anti-war masterpiece, The Third of May (1814), which de Jong has reinterpreted. Looking at the figures in detail, it becomes hard to tell which ones are good or evil: They all embrace a certain insanity, unhinged.
By means other than the known senses by Kennedy Yanko
American artist Kennedy Yanko created a new large-scale suspended sculpture titled By Means Other Than The Known Senses. The work is composed of salvaged metal sheets, together with paint skins the artist creates. The metal is sand-blasted, distressed, and painted. CNC scans were used to join the metal pieces and the much malleable paint skins. The sculpture is a perfect example of the artist’s research and her visual language.
Dimension by Liu Wei
Lui Wei’s Dimension is a form-finding investigation driven by the state of the contemporary world. The artist expresses influence from Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben and explores the notion of the collective body as a possibility for human beings in today’s challenging world. Formed from sheet aluminum and punctuated by two spherical objects painted in bright yellow car paint, the work combines undulating interlocking elements in a configuration that recalls the Baroque style.
Number 341 by Leonardo Drew
Created specifically for Unlimited, Number 341 by Leonardo Drew is an immersive installation that speaks to the cyclical nature of life. The work consists of thousands of wood pieces, painted and weathered by Drew, that explode against the wall in a variety of colors and textures. The artist states he aims to make chaos legible.
Untitled (Vivasse) by Anita Molinero
Untitled (Visasse) by French artist Anita Miller is the second site-specific artwork on our list. For the piece, Molinero played with the architecture of the hall, wrapping deformed alien-like trashcans around a column. The artist is not interested in moral admonition; instead, she delights in a monstrous language of forms that, in terms of volume, presence, and source material, establish a relationship between human being and machine.
Moments Contained by Thomas J Price
In his work, Thomas J Price explores societal expectations and assumptions, while considering the space between the viewer and the artpiece. In Moments Contained, the artist reconfigures a character he has used before in a new scale and pose. The gesture highlights the artist’s subtle shifts in presentation and perception, while focusing the viewer’s attention on the systemic marginalization inherent to public monuments.
Hardware Store Painting by Theaster Gates
Back in 2014, Theaster Gates bought a family-owned True Value hardware store in Chicago, and since its debut in 2016, the artist has continued to activate the archive. With Hardware Store Painting, Gates recognizes the value of such stores and asks viewers to go question artistic creation and labor.
‘This [work] examines my instigation and insistence that the world is not separated between high objects and low objects, but rather, that the artist has the capacity to determine the designation of each,’ said Theaster Gates. ‘Can a hardware store be considered a work of significance as a hardware store or only after transformation, reformation, dislocation or intervention? Are all works of art not merely a series of joined objects made from things that you find at a corner store?’
American Kitchen and Chinese Cockroaches by Huang Yong Ping
With American Kitchens and Chinese CockroachesChinese avant-garde artist Huang Yong Ping comments on the incursion of the West into Chinese daily life, as well as the new balance of power dictated by the recent Sino-American economic war. The installation materializes a conversation between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev in 1959, where Nixon said, ‘I believe we would do well to exchange ideas. You are good at making rockets, and we are perhaps better at making TVs and washing machines.’ And Khrushchev replied, ‘we don’t kill flies with our nostrils (i.e., we are not simpletons)!’
A-Z Personal Uniforms, 2nd Decade: Fall/Winter 2003–Spring/Summer 2013 by Andrea Zittel
Visitors are welcomed to Unlimited with this installation by American artist Andrea Zittel. A-Z Personal Uniforms, 2nd Decade: Fall/Winter 2003–Spring/Summer 2013 are Zittel’s 76 personal uniforms designed, made and worn by the artist herself during a decade. According to the artist, ‘while both beautiful and functional, the uniforms also question our associations of freedom or personal liberation with the market demand for constant variety. The uniform project proposes that liberation may, in fact, also be possible through the creation of a set of personal restrictions or limitations.’
Head to head by Louisa Gagliardi
Created specifically for Unlimited, Tête-à-tête by Louisa Gagliardi is a colossal digital-based painting that the artist intervenes by hand with gel medium and nail polish. Portraying a dreamlike world with genderless avatars, the artist continues to explore topics such as voyeurism, narcissism, and alternative realities. The painting can be read as a landscape, where different stories are revealed.
location: Art Basel 2022
juliana neira I designboom
jun 25, 2022