Advisory Highlights at Art Basel OVR: Pioneers
Advisory Perspective

Advisory Highlights
at Art Basel OVR: Pioneers

By Rory Mitchell| Online, 23 March 2021

Ocula Advisory select their favourite works on view among the 100 gallery presentations at Art Basel OVR: Pioneers, running from 24 to 27 March 2021.

Gordon Matta-Clark at Galerie Thomas Schulte

Galerie Thomas Schulte present a small selection of historic 'Cut Drawings' and five brilliant photographs by Gordon Matta-Clark.

Showcasing his ability to manipulate space while creating sculpturally mind-bending scenes, Matta-Clark's photographs reconstruct art and architecture as we know it, in a practice known as 'anarchitecture'.

Rirkrit Tiravanija's exploration of relational aesthetics, the architectural sculptures of Rachel Whiteread, and the manipulated drawings of Roni Horn, all in some way or another owe their spirit to that of Matta-Clark's legacy.

Raymond Pettibon, No Title (Women sports reporters) (1983). Pen and ink on paper. 41.6 x 30.1 x 2.5 cm (framed). © Raymond Pettibon. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Robert Glowacki.

Raymond Pettibon at Sadie Coles HQ

Raymond Pettibon's striking, funny, and pointedly political illustrations are among our favourites.

Pettibon started developing his idiosyncratic style in the late 1970s, when he designed flyers and album covers for the Californian punk rock band, Black Flag.

Engaging with the visual idioms of modern-day America, Pettibon's illustrations are a product of 1980s punk aesthetics coupled with the work of 18th and 19th-century social satirists, resulting in these brilliantly cool cultural commentaries.

William Eggleston at Cheim & Read

William Eggleston, UNTITLED (RECORD ALBUM IN REAR WINDOW) MEMPHIS, TN [FROM DUST BELLS 2] (Circa 1971–1974). Dye-transfer print. 50.8 x 40.6 cm. Edition 6/15. Courtesy Cheim & Read.

A selection of William Eggleston photographs from the 1970s and 80s are showing with Cheim & Read.

At a point when photography remained a black and white medium, Eggleston's presentation of highly saturated colour photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1976 caused a shock.

Since then, Eggleston has propelled the medium into the realm of fine art, capturing vernacular imagery with attention to depth, warmth, and colour contrast, as seen in this dye-transfer print of a record album, perfectly framed in the rear window of a car.

Claes Oldenburg at Paula Cooper Gallery

Claes Oldenburg, Alphabet/Good Humor, Original Maquette (1974). Painted plaster, bronze, wood. Dimensions: 88.9 x 40.6 x 17.8 cm; on base: 2.5 x 53.3 x 30.8 cm. © Claes Oldenburg. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.

Claes Oldenburg, Alphabet/Good Humor, Original Maquette (1974). Painted plaster, bronze, wood. Dimensions: 88.9 x 40.6 x 17.8 cm; on base: 2.5 x 53.3 x 30.8 cm. © Claes Oldenburg. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.

A maquette for the celebrated 'Alphabet/Good Humor' sculptures Claes Oldenburg made in a larger format, incorporating his soft alphabet letters into the image of a dripping ice cream.

One of the larger sculptures was commissioned for author and filmmaker Michael Crichton's Los Angeles home, whilst another currently resides in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Humourous, deliciously tactile, surreal, clever, and startlingly unique, this maquette from 1974 looks as fresh as ever.

Betye Saar at Roberts Projects

This Betye Saar sculptural assemblage combines a caricature mammy figure clutching a machine gun with a corrigated iron shutter inscribed with a sketch of a tall ship—all of this underneath a ticking black clock.

The title, Dark Times leaves no uncertainty as to the Black experience and history being alluded to here.

Saar is at once poet and shaman as she weaves together fragments from her memory and everyday surroundings to construct these magical vignettes.

In October 2021, an exhibition of rarely seen installation works by the artist will open at ICA Miami.

Michael Krebber at Galerie Chantal Crousel

Michael Krebber, Cartouche Painting N°4 (2017). Acrylic on canvas. 105 x 80 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie ChantalCrousel, Paris. Photo: Florian Kleinefenn.

Hugely influential to a generation of young painters through his own practice and his teaching at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, Michael Krebber's recent work displays a lightness of touch that borders on the absurd, whilst continuing his witty examination of the psychological process involved in making a painting.

Although Krebber's approach is conceptual, he still revels in his medium and its endless possibilities.

Krebber is also represented by Maureen Paley in London and Galerie Buchholz in Berlin and Cologne.

Tala Madani at 303 Gallery

This fantastic painting by Tala Madani is a highlight for us. 303 Gallery represent Madani in New York and are showing the work alongside several other new paintings.

Tala Madani, Shifted Window (2020). Oil on linen. 147.3 x 152.4 cm. © Tala Madani. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York.

Madani's atmospheric stage-like scenes only provide the merest suggestion of narrative and often depict babies or naked men in private interior spaces.

A recent fascination with light and reflection led Madani to explain to Jareh Das, in her Ocula Conversation, how she depicts 'light itself as a medium—projected, brilliant, and radiant—and what its sweeping gaze might reveal'.

Tala Madani is also represented by Pilar Corrias in London and David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles.—[O]

Main image: Gordon Matta-Clak, Splitting Book: Number 2 & 3 (1975). Collaged gelatin silver prints. 68.6 x 94 x 3.8 cm (framed). Courtesy of The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, David Zwirner, New York, and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin.