Art Basel returns with an exciting line-up of international galleries, with 19 newcomers joining this year's edition. Among these are Jahmek Contemporary Art from Luanda, OH Gallery from Dakar, and Proyectos Ultravioleta from Guatemala City.
Within Unlimited, the fair's presentation of monumental projects, some show-stopping works can be found, including Kennedy Yanko's hanging sculpture By means other than the known senses (2022) and Barthélémy Toguo's 45-wood panel installation Bilongue (2020). Another major highlight is one of Louise Bourgeois's 11-foot steel spiders, presented by Hauser & Wirth and included in our selection below. Read on for more of our favourite works.
This recent mixed-media painting by Mark Bradford employs pigmented paper in evocative colours that has been pulled and torn, resulting in a surface that resembles the topology of a city map.
Representing the U.S. at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, Bradford's layered abstraction often incorporates elements from daily life to comment on racial and economic geographies of Los Angeles, where he lives and works.
Since graduating with an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, in 1997, Bradford has exhibited widely, including a major solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum in 2015.
Allison Katz at Luhring Augustine
Allison Katz's Elevator III (Camden Art Centre) is a magnificent photorealist work that was recently exhibited at the Camden Art Centre, marking the artist's first institutional solo exhibition in London.
The product of an unsettling dream about an elevator that the artist experienced, Katz began researching the meaning of elevators in dreams, reflecting on the fears and desires that they conjure. With all the depth and realism of a trompe l'oeil painting, Elevator III (Camden Art Centre) encourages viewers to step into its interior.
Receiving her MFA from Columbia University in New York in 2008, Katz has lived in London since 2013. Her work is currently included in the central exhibition of the 59th Venice Biennale, curated by Cecilia Alemani.
Sprüth Magers are featuring a photograph from Peter Fischli & David Weiss's well-known 'Airport' series, created between 1988 and 1999 and comprising over 800 images. The artists took the photographs while travelling for exhibitions, capturing planes landing and departing from airports around the world.
Captured at a time when photography as an art form was gaining traction (in part due to the influence of the trailblazing Düsseldorf School of Photography), these photographs symbolise the artistic direction of the time. On 11 June, an exhibition dedicated to the series will open at Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich.
In 1991, Jasper Johns began introducing the 'Green Angel' motif in his works—a puzzle-like totem that has appeared across drawings, watercolours, oil paintings, and prints.
The source material for this motif has led to much debate. While some have pointed to Hans Holbein's Portrait of a Young Nobleman Holding a Lemur (1541), others have held Michelangelo's Pietà as a more plausible source of reference.
Untitled (1991) combines this amorphous motif with elements drawn from his 1988 series dedicated to his paternal step-grandmother Montez Singing, whose eyes, nose, and lips have been dispersed across the canvas in a manner reminiscent of Cubism.
On 11 June, an exhibition of prints from between 1967 and 1973 by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg will open at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, highlighting the artists' creative dialogue that would continue to radiate through their work after their relationship ended.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama at the height of the American Civil Rights Movement, Kerry James Marshall's painting practice draws from African American history and culture.
Painted in response to the invisibility of Black subjects in the art historical canon, Marshall's powerful portraits interrogate common understandings of taste, beauty, and power, exquisitely exemplified in La Venus Negra (1984) showing with LGDR.
Marshall's works can be found in museum collections globally, including The Metroplitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among others.
Arguably one of the more spectacular of iterations of Günther Uecker's nail works, Weisses Phantom (1962) epitomises everything the artists's work is celebrated for.
Sitting atop a two-metre-long rectangular board, nails are arranged in a circular pattern, increasingly becoming denser towards the middle. The result is an artful manipulation of light, with the concentration of nails towards the centre creating a void-like shape.
Uecker's approach to repetition and ritual is informed by his interest in the philosophies of religions including Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam.
The presence of one of Louise Bourgeois's iconic spider sculptures at Art Basel is a major highlight.
Measuring a staggering 11 feet in hight, this immense sculpture is one of a number of editions unique steel sculptures that she made throughout her illustrious career. Today, they can be found in some of the world's top museum collections, including London's Tate Modern, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul.
In 2003, Chris Ofili transformed the British Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale with an installation of his series of red, black, and green paintings, borrowing the colours from the Pan-African flag.
Afro, Jezebel, brought by David Zwirner to Art Basel, is one such painting. Taking unity as its core theme, the painting features two outlined cartoon-like figures locked in an intense moment of seduction.
Propped atop two lumps of elephant dung, Ofili's linen canvas glimmers and twinkles on approach—an effect achieved through the thick impasto layer of resin atop the deep hues of red, black, and green oil.
Ofili has not been a regular fixture at fairs over the past couple of years, so there is sure to be much excitement about this masterpiece next week.
Main image: Mark Bradford, Cobra (2022). Mixed media on canvas. 183.5 x 244.8 x 5.4 cm. © Mark Bradford. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Charles White.