Monday, 20 June 2011

La grossesse étrange de la rencontre étrange

Yesterday I’ve spent a wonderful afternoon at the Art 42 Basel - the world's largest  international art show for Modern and contemporary works, held every summer in lively Basel. The day was unusually cold and windy that I wished for a moment we were at Art Basel Miami Beach, the sister event of Switzerland's Art Basel, a cultural and social highlight for the Americas.  :-)

Art Basel features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in the show's multiple sections.

The journey  started with the second floor, where most of the young artists and contemporary art was presented... Just like the last year, my emotions were dubious: reactions went from “WTF?...” to pure awe. I should have been writing down names of the favourite pieces, but of course I didn’t; so I have to browse the whole Art 42 Basel online catalogue in a hope to recover some of the impressions...
 Joe Bradley. Untitled (Freak)
Max-Walter Svanberg
La grossesse étrange de la rencontre étrange, 1953
Watercolor on paper
I spent quite some time in front of the works of Atul  Dodiya, attracted by the contrast between soft palette, gentleness of lines, graphic details and somewhat unromantic titles... they were my 2nd floor favorites, I think... The works have been presented by Nature Mort Gallery, New Delhi.
It was time for a break, and a glass of champagne with a piece of homemade apricot pie... Ahhhh, the ability to absorb beauty returned, and it was nothing less than beauty awaiting for us on the first floor: I wanted to dissolve in perfectly lit works of Botero, Miro, Picasso, Kandinsky ...

Sensual sculptures of Barbara Hepworth, a student and lifelong friend of Henry Moore were the biggest discovery of the day.

Hepworth , Barbara
Hollow Form with White Interior Opus (328) (1963)
Nigerian guarea wood on original wooden plinth

41 x 31 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches; 104.1 x 80 x 37 cm

I sure did miss a lot of genius stuff, it is simply impossible to see creations of 2,500 artists in a few short hours. But there will be Art 43 Basel next June, perhaps we meet there?..


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your discovery of Atul Dodiya. He was unknown to me until I discovered his work on your blog.

    I find that he grew up in Mumbai and draws much of his inspiration from common Indian life and also sacred books like the Ramayana. He studied in Paris as well and the fusion of his ideas and media result in truly stunning and unique pieces. (I did notice his works average about 45,000 CHF at auction. Living artists CAN live.)

    I wanted to recommend a special book for those who haven't read it. It's titled "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry and it is simply brilliant on so many levels: lyrical writing, a portrayal of basic Indian life through the intertwining lives of a well drawn characters. The closest I can characterize his work is if Charles Dickens was born and wrote in India. An indictment of the caste system and written with great sensitivity to the dreams, aspirations, and remarkable instincts for survival of the "average" lower caste Indian.

    Thank you for sharing this exhibition for those of us who are unable to see it. Remarkable work.