Advisory Highlights at Art Basel Hong Kong
Advisory Perspective

Advisory Highlights
at Art Basel Hong Kong

By Rory Mitchell| Hong Kong, 17 May 2021

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

Rodel Tapaya, Rainbow Umbrella (2021). Oil on canvas. 182.88 × 243.84 cm. Courtesy 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

Isamu Noguchi, Transformation Stone (1982); Mountains Forming, 1982–1983 (2020), two Akari 16A 'Environment', White Cube Art Basel Hong Kong (21–23 May 2021). © INFGM/ARS. Photo: © White Cube (Dan Bradica).

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

Harold Ancart, Untitled (2020). Oil stick and graphite on canvas in artist's frame. 176.5 x 217.2 cm. © Harold Ancart / SABAM, Brussels. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner. Photo: JSP Art Photography.

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, 12 Hawks at 3 O'Clock (c. 1960). 295.6 x 200 cm. © Estate of Joan Mitchell. Courtesy Lévy Gorvy.

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

Shirazeh Houshiary, Psyche (2019). Pigment, pencil, and black aquacryl on canvas and aluminium. 190 x 190 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

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

Miriam Cahn, undarstellbar/gezeichnet (2020). Oil on wood. 110 x 100 cm. Courtesy 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, Fury (2021). Cork, Styrofoam, acrylic, oil stick, and wood. 163.8 x 61 x 61 cm. Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Adam Reich.

Huma Bhabha at David Kordansky Gallery

Huma Bhabha's cork and styrofoam sculptures emulating stone relics and monuments of the ancient world are the subject of David Kordansky Gallery's solo presentation for Art Basel Hong Kong.

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.


Untitled by Joan Mitchell contemporary artwork
Joan MitchellUntitled, 1976Oil on canvas
75.2 x 150.8 cm
Lévy Gorvy
Psyche by Shirazeh Houshiary contemporary artwork
Shirazeh HoushiaryPsyche, 2019Pigment, pencil, and black aquacryl on canvas and aluminium
190 x 190 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Contact Gallery
Four Nights of a Dreamer by Huma Bhabha contemporary artwork
Huma BhabhaFour Nights of a Dreamer, 2018Cork, Styrofoam, acrylic, oil stick, with lacquered wood pedestal
189.2 x 91.4 x 91.4 cm
David Kordansky Gallery
Contact Gallery
Untitled (Swimming pool) by Harold Ancart contemporary artwork
Harold AncartUntitled (Swimming pool), 2013Burned photograph, oil, mounted on multiplex, bronze frame
42 x 52.2 x 2.5 cm
Xavier Hufkens
heiterich by Miriam Cahn contemporary artwork
Miriam Cahnheiterich, 15.04.2010Oil on wood
34 x 33 cm
Winsing Art Place
Left behind by Rodel Tapaya contemporary artwork
Rodel TapayaLeft behind, 2021Acrylic on canvas
135 x 135 cm
Tang Contemporary Art
Contact Gallery