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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ART BASEL 'OVR:20C' by Varia Serova

Featuring no more than 100 galleries each round, and running over the course of four days, the new format gives Art Basel galleries the opportunity to present tightly curated exhibitions drawn from their programs, showing six works simultaneously. While the art market continues to face difficult times, it is vital to continue ongoing platform software development aimed at exploring different ways of supporting galleries and artists in engaging with their audiences and a global network of patrons, buyers and collectors.

Live from from October 28 to October 31, 2020, Art Basel "OVR:20c" focused exclusively on works created in the 20th century. Showcased below are our curated "pay-special-attention-to" selections from most prominent gallerists.


1. MANOLO MILLARES (1926-1972)


'CUADRO 4', 1963


Mixed media on burlap,


100.5 x 81.5 (cm)

39.6 x 32.1 (inch)


Work by one of the most important artists of the Spanish Post-War generation vividly depicts expressive, even redemptive power within monochromatic palette and resonates with the experience of living and working in Spain during Franco’s dictatorship, celebrating the concepts of resistance, defiance and memory.


As seen at Mayoral at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.



2. GEORG BASELITZ


'WEIBLICHER AKT AUF KÜCHENSTUHL', 1977-1979


Prints & Multiples


As seen at Lelong Editions at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.



3. PIERRE ALECHINSKY


'DERNIER COUCHER', 1975


Acrylic on paper mounted on canvas


150 x 120 cm

59 1/16 x 47 1/4 inches


In 1954, Pierre Alechinsky had his first exhibition in Paris, and started to grow interest in Chinese and Japanese calligraphy. In the early 1950s he was the Paris correspondent for the Japanese journal Bokubi ('The Beauty of Ink'). In 1955, Alechinsky left for Japan, and had later exhibited his work internationally in London, Bern, New York  City, Pittsburgh, Amsterdam and Silkeborg and at the Venice Biennial.

As early as the mid-1960’s, he started to work exclusively on paper (predominantly Chinese paper) mounted on canvas, using acrylic and India ink.


As seen at Galerie Lelong at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.



4. RICHMOND BARTHÉ


'BLACK MADONNA', 1961


Bronze Sculpture


13" x 9 3/4" x 8 3/4" / 33.0 x 24.8 x 22.2 cm

21 1/2" x 9 3/4" x 8 3/4" / 54.6 x 24.8 x 22.2 cm including base, signed


Richmond Barthé (1901-1989) was an African-American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. "He is known for his portrayals of religious subjects, figures from black history, notable stage and dance performers, and public works. His figures are distinguished by their elegantly elongated forms, spiritual emotion and sense of movement. Barthé often worked from memory or used himself as a model."

The focus of his work portraying diversity and spirituality: "All my life I have been interested in trying to capture the spiritual quality I see and feel in people, and I feel that the human figure as God made it, is the best means of expressing this spirit in man."


As seen at Michael Rosenfeld at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Image and Artwork Courtesy of the gallery.



5. ETEL ADNAN


'UNTITLED', 1970


Pastel on paper


24 x 30 cm

9 7/16 x 11 13/16 inches

33.7 x 39.4 x 4.1 cm (incl frame)

13 1/4 x 15 1/2 x 1 5/8 inches (incl frame)


Etel Adnan, a Syrian-American poet, essayist, and visual artist with a perennial interest in the "immediate beauty of colour". In the 1960s, she began integrating Arabic calligraphy into her artworks and her books, such as Livres d’Artistes [Artist's Books]. Moved by Japanese leporellos, Adnan painted landscapes on foldable screens that can be "extended in space like free-standing drawings".


As seen at Galerie Lelong & Co at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.



6, 7. TWO WORKS ON PAPER BY RICHARD DIEBENKORN


(6) 'UNTITLED', 1955-1966


Ink on paper,


35.3 x 43.2 (cm)

13.9 x 17.0 (inch)


AND


(7) 'UNTITLED', 1955-1967


Charcoal and ink on paper,


55.5 x 44.5 (cm)

22.3 x 17.5 (inch)


Born in 1922 in the environs of Portland, Oregon, and raised in Northern California, Diebenkorn remains one of the most remarkable American Post-war artists. His work balances potently between abstraction and figuration, and is impacted perpetually by the sense of place. The drawings from the figurative period focus on the figure and rely on direct observation. In 1964, Diebenkorn travelled to the Soviet Union on the US State Department's Cultural Exchange. There, he got introduced to the remarkable collections of Matisse's work from the collections of modern art assembled by the Morozov brothers and Sergei Shchukin, at the State Hermitage Museum and the Pushkin Museum of Arts, that inspired the artist to create his Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad (1965).


As seen at Van Doren Waxter at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.


(6)


(7)


8. LOUISE FISHMAN


'TRUE FACTS', 1985


Louise Fishman - an active participant in the feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s, evocatively transmits through her work her sensuality, identity and active interest in poetry and music. Vielmetter Los Angeles presented a selection of work made between 1974-1985 from the artist’s personal archive, and never previously exhibited.

"Over the last five decades, Louise Fishman has developed an articulate and athletic approach to painterly abstraction that reflects her ongoing interest in the grid as a support for her sense of composition." - a notion eloquently illustrated through her work on view.


As seen at Vielmetter Los Angeles at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.



9. PER KIRKEBY


'STILLLEBEN' ('STILL LIFE'), 1984


Prints & Multiples


Per Kirkeby (1 September 1938 – 9 May 2018) is a Danish artist whose original interest in natural environments and geology had a significant impact on his painterly vision and style. Entrenched in the conceptual perception of form, Kirkeby worked within specific parameters to contain the importance of mark making. “A structure-less painting is, to me, a painting that does not matter. Structure mirrors your degree of responsibility toward the work,” he said. “You can't just let it float around in pretty colors. It needs a kind of core.” So there is, ever-present.


As seen at Sabine Knust at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.



10. MARTIN BARRÉ (1924-1993)


'60-T-17', 1960


Oil on canvas,


80.0 x 76.0 (cm)

31.5 x 29.9 (inch)


Martin Barré trained at the École des beaux-arts, Nantes, first in architecture and then in painting, before moving to Paris in 1948. In 1955 he exhibited his first abstract paintings, but it was not until around 1958 or 1959, after he had traveled to the Netherlands, where he saw the work of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, that his art attained the expressive rigor that became its hallmark.

Barré assigned space in his paintings by the distinct relationship between figure and ground, using spare and reduced forms and leaving much of the surface of the canvas open. In an effort to avoid expressionistic gestures, he applied paint with a palette knife instead of a brush. In 1960, Barré exchanged the knife for the paint tube, mixing its contents himself and then squeezing the paint directly onto the canvas.


As seen at Galerie Nathalie Obadia at the Art Basel 'OVR:20C'

Courtesy of the gallery.



Curated and reviewed by Varia Serova for Zephyr and Maize

November 4, 2020.