The Ocula Advisory teamselect their picks from Art Basel Hong Kong, running between 21 and 23 May 2021, with preview days on 19 and 20 May 2021.
Rodel Tapaya at Tang Contemporary Art
Filipino artist Rodel Tapaya has created an explosive new body of large-scale paintings, nine of which were recently presented at Tang Contemporary Art in Hong Kong (Random Numbers, (22 April–15 May 2021).
Writing in Ocula Magazine, Diana d'Arenberg remarked on Tapaya's stylistic departure from his earlier tableaux, this time using collage to create a confusion of imagery to create scenes that 'feel like an awakening from a strange, barely remembered dream.'
Isamu Noguchi at White Cube
White Cube presents a selection of late works by Isamu Noguchi, following the gallery's announcement of the sculptor's representation in collaboration with Garden Museum and The Isamu Noguchi Foundation, where an exhibition of his work opens on 19 May 2021.
Noguchi was influenced by Constantin Brancusi, creating abstract sculptures that were often conceived as 'environments' to draw attention to viewers' perceptions of space, whether 'temporal, physical, spiritual, or cultural.' Combining Japanese crafts with industrial materials, his sculptures were pivotal in the history of modern design and public art.
Harold Ancart at David Zwirner
Belgian-born, New York-based artist Harold Ancart takes natural subjects—including clouds, flowers, trees, and flames—and transfers them into planes of blurred colour. Using oil stick and graphite, he divides these abstractions across a distinct horizon line, offering an interplay between light and dark.
This presentation follows David Zwirner's 2020 exhibition of work by the artist, who has captured the attention of the art world since a series of 24 drawings that he made from the back of his jeep while travelling through the United States were presented at Menil Collection in Houston.
Joan Mitchell at Lévy Gorvy
This stunning, gestural abstract work by Joan Mitchell is monumental in scale, measuring two by almost three metres.
Following the news of her mother's cancer diagnosis, the artist—who had left Paris for the Mediterranean in 1960, seeking respite from a tumultuous period with her partner, the artist Jean-Paul Riopelle—channelled her emotional experience into a series of passionate paintings.
The work was bought by her friend Sam Francis upon its completion and was later acquired by American collector Barney Ebsworth.
Shirazeh Houshiary at Lehmann Maupin
This ethereal work embodies Shirazeh Houshiary's expression of opposing forces, weaving delicate webs of intricate lines to form large-scale, seemingly concrete structures that pulsate with rich bursts of colour.
In Ocula Magazine in 2018, Houshiary spoke of her process of repetition, noting an interest in 'this idea of process and ritual and your experience of it in the work. In a way, I'm trying to understand my own existence in relation to the world around me'.
Graduating from Chelsea School of Art in 1979, the Iranian-born artist has since lived and worked in London.
Miriam Cahn at Sies + Hoke
The influence of feminist themes has driven the direction of Swiss artist Miriam Cahn's practice for over four decades.
While the human body is used by Cahn as a vehicle to explore women's experience, more often than not it is just used as a starting point. Here, eerie bands of colour surrounding the figure complete the feelings of vulnerability her paintings so brilliantly exude.
Having introduced colour into her oeuvre in the 1990s, red has since been used as a means to express themes of fertility and sexual potency within her work.
Huma Bhabha at David Kordansky Gallery
Running alongside a solo exhibition at Salon 94, Bhabha's figures are potent works, reexamining how we interpret time and memory across history and cultures.
In 2018, Bhabha was selected to create an installation for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's roof garden. Her two monumental, androgynous totem-like sculptures were heralded for their engagement with themes of displacement and past histories of ancient cultures.
Main image: Rodel Tapaya, Rainbow Umbrella (2021) (detail). Oil on canvas. 182.88 × 243.84 cm. Courtesy Tang Contemporary.