Despite the heavy rains, crowds flocked to see the art at the Grandfather of all art fairs in Switzerland. Here are some highlights...
Ugo Rondinone, Seven Magic Mountains, 2016, Seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high dayglow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders
Human-shaped stone figures by Ugo Rondinone dominated the booth of Zurich-based heavyweight Eva Presenhuber. The sculptures were smaller versions of those seen at Rockefeller Center in Spring 2013 in the Human Nature show. If you want to see Ugo's work on this side of the pond, don't miss Seven Magic Mountains, a large-scale site-specific public art installation located near Jean Dry Lake and Interstate 15, approximately ten miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada. Comprised of seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders standing more than 30 feet high, Seven Magic Mountains is a creative expression of human presence in the desert, punctuating the Mojave with a dynamic burst of form and color. That exhibition opened May 11, 2016 and will be on view for two years.
Donald Moffett, Lot 032216 (radiant blue), 2016, Oil on linen, wood panel support with steel tubing
Marianne Boesky's booth was filled with works by Donald Moffett. They resemble seductively cut shag paintings, which look like grass but methodically extrude from a linen surface. One piece at the center of the booth was suspended from an iron beam resting atop two sculptural donkeys.
Donald Moffett, 2016, Installation shot of Boesky booth
The booth of Mexico City's OMR was an ode to Frank Stella's copper paintings by Pia Camil. In a comment on commodification and performance, Camil's "Skins" turned Stella's paintings into wearable works. The one pictured here doubled as a poncho, but others served as shawls or hooks to hang your coat on.
Pia Camil, Ouray Cloak III, 2016, pleaded cotton textile
Galerie Gmurzynska had a presentation of work by Joan Miró and Kurt Schwitters. Echoing the Schwitters retrospective at the Zurich gallery, in an exhibition space designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the Basel booth recreated some of the architecture. Schwitters was born in 1887 in Germany and experimented with Cubist and Expressionist styles. The Nazi regime banned Schwitters's work as "degenerate art" in 1937. That year, the artist fled to Norway, then escaped to Great Britain, where he finally settled. Helped by a stipend from the Museum of Modern Art, he continued working until he died on January 8, 1948.
Kurt Schwitters, Ohne Titel (Das doppelte bild), 1942, Relief, oil and gilded wood on canvas on gilded wood
New work by Tony Oursler with mobile human eyes projected onto an ovoid white shape and a grid of colorful lines was on view at Lisson Gallery. This was just a sample of Oursler's work, a variety of which had mouths that smiled and frowned and emitted almost inaudible sounds, and eyes that blinked and glanced around delightfully populated an area of the Unlimited sector.
Tony Oursler, Installation view, 2016, video, paint and resin on aluminum
Heavy black sycamore sculptures by David Nash made a pleasing counterpoint to the colorful Yosemite ipad series of works on paper by David Hockney that lined the exterior of the booth of Annely Juda Fine Art. David Nash is a British sculptor working primarily with natural materials and live trees. His wooden sculptures are made using heavy equipment including chainsaws and blowtorches, morphing trees into unexpected shapes.
David Nash, Three Knobbers, 2015, charred oak