Curatorial dream team Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach explored the ramifications of social media in fourteen interactive rooms featuring performance works by artists ranging from Yoko Ono to Ed Atkins. In one of the rooms, two gallerists competed to sell a work by Tino Seghal; Dominique Gonzales-Foerster’s room was empty save for a patterned carpet and a small blue-framed mirror on the wall; and Jordan Wolfson’s witchy female robot was back in action after her debut at David Zwirner in New York earlier this spring.
Like explorers entering a cave, viewers were greeted in the fair’s large entrance hall by Ziegelbaum’s site-specific installation made of lights, hung from the ceiling like stalactites, which brightened and dimmed in response to the physiological rhythms of the people walking below them.
Triangular Series by Jamie Ziegelbaum
Design At Large
Design at Large is exactly what it sounds like: a platform for design initiatives that are too big for a booth. This year, Dennis Freedman, creative director at Barneys New York, settled upon the theme of mutation and metamorphosis, selecting six cutting edge works from six generations of designers and placing them around the Herzog & de Meuron designed Exhibition Center. Jean Benjamin Maneval’s Bulle 6 Coques (“Six-Shell “Bubble” House) looked like it landed from another planet, with six easily transportable shells joined together to create a flower-shaped house.
Bulle 6 Coques by Jean Benjamin Maneval
Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, Paris and London
An optical illusion fountain by Tim Noble and Sue Webster.
Look closely for the faces.
Rock the Casbah | When Home is Designed by Artists curated by Jerome Sans
“We wanted to do something very whimsical and thought of it in a sense as an indoor garden,” said Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn of her booth at the Design fair. I loved Kueng Caputo’s colorful paint-specked stools, Betty Woodman’s dynamic deconstructed vases, and Eric Serritella’s intricate ceramic jug that resembled a winding birch tree.
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
At the Gavin Brown’s Enterprise booth Sturtevant’s green Serpentine Owl Wallpaper, 2014, decorated the walls and piles of multicolored, paper leaves (actually Rob Pruitt’s New Fall Colors: Rainbow, 2014) dotted the floor. Three of Pruitt’s adorable, rain boot-clad Refrigerator Monsters, 2014—which, by the way, were fully stocked with snacks—stared with large round eyes, their noses made of fruit. **
The first installment in what will be a year-long program dedicated to Modern design, Bally’s Form Scratch made its debut in Basel’s industrial harbor. The project included furniture by the architect Pierre Jeanerret, a Jean Prouvé house, and a new commission from Kolkoz, aka the French artists Samuel Boutruche and Benjamin Moreau, who reconceived the iconic Maison de Sinistrés as a flat pack kit.
Form Scratch by Kolkoz
Liste Art Fair Basel
At Basel there is no calm before the storm. Instead there is Liste, the fair for younger artists and galleries, that opens its doors for a VIP preview the day before Basel. Stereo’s booth shined, literally and figuratively, with silver works by Piotr Lakomy, exploring the flow of energy. Also on our radar: Phillip Timischl at Neue Alt Brücke, Josh Kline at 47 Canal, and Jon Rafman and Eloise Hawser at Balice Hertling.
Not to be missed was Gerhard Richter at Fondation Beyeler, which opened with 1024 Colors, 1973. Further in, the artists almost oppressively gray paintings, Gray, 1973, faced off with his small portrait, Ella, 2007.
The Unlimited section of the fair, curated by Gianni Jetzer, featured the work of some 78 artists of all generations. But do we see a theme here? Haegue Yang’s Accommodation of the Epic Dispersion – On Non-cathartic Volume of Dispersion, 2012, a series of blinds in various colors and densities hanging from the ceiling, created shifting shapes. Nick Mauss’s Untitled, 2014, encircled the viewer in painted curtains. William Leavitt’s Sidereal Time, 2014, featured a curtain rod held up by a birch tree, a pile of large stones, a classical column, and a light rod. Sam Falls’s bright orange Untitled (Pallet 9, Pomona), 2013, swooped across a main foyer. Falls created the work’s natural photographic effects by placing the fabric in the sun in his driveway in Los Angeles. Nearby, High Tide, Alice Channer’s snakeskin patterned drape, shot down from the ceiling to lie flat on the floor.
High Tide by Alice Channer
As the name suggests, Tayouwood documents the artist’s life, with videos and a huge accumulation of objects, gathered from his hometown in Cameroon and from his travels. “All these elements were taken from our daily lives, and the work is growing — it never stops,” he said. “It is like us.”
Tayouwood, Pascale Marthine Tayou, 2014