Whilst international travel to China remains restricted, Shanghai continues to maintain its influence as a global art hub. West Bund Art & Design and Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair follow on from a celebration of photography at PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai 2021, bringing an array of artworks from international and local galleries. Ocula's Advisory team select their favourite works from the two fairs.
Bruise Painting "Until Until" (2021) is part of Rashid Johnson's new series 'Bruise Paintings', five of which were exhibited at his hotly anticipated David Kordansky solo show that wrapped up at the end of October. Rendered in shades of blue, the painting shows Johnson's famous grid of skull-like faces that has previously been realised in ceramic tiles and soap mixtures.
Meanwhile, Johnson is among the artists, including Jenny Holzer, Mary Ellen Carroll, and Steuart Padwick, to take part in charity auctions, discussion panels, and art commissions in light of COP26 at Glasgow this month. As Ocula News reported, his Bruise Painting Or Down You Fall (2021) will be offered at Christie's New York on 9 November with proceeds going to the non-profit environmental charity ClientEarth.
George Condo's portraits of twisted faces are characteristic of his practice, which is situated at the forefront of American contemporary art.
Over the past years, interest in Condo's work has risen significantly within the Asian market. In 2020, his work Young Girl with Blue Dress (2007) was sold to a private Asian collector for just over USD 15 million at Phillips' Evening Sale in Hong Kong, setting a new auction record for Condo in Asia.
The largest ever presentation of Condo's work in Asia is currently on view at Shanghai's Long Museum until 28 November. Meanwhile, Hauser & Wirth is presenting Condo's solo exhibition The Ideals of the Unfound Truth across both of its London spaces.
Mandy El-Sayegh at Thaddaeus Ropac, West Bund
Mandy El-Sayegh's instantly recognisable practice comprises multiple elements, such as silkscreen, acrylic and newspaper articles, layered on top of one another to form mosaic-like structures. The interplay of these texts and images reimagines their original subjectivity, mutating them into alternative narratives.
Speaking with Claire Shea, deputy director of Para Site in a conversation on Ocula Magazine, El-Sayegh explained, 'All these things that have meaning become very aesthetic components or material components—they lose their meaning. I'm interested in the erasure of meaning, or the accumulation of meaning through a layering system'.
Following West Bund Art & Design, Thaddaeus Ropac will open El-Sayegh's first solo exhibition with the gallery at its Paris Marais space on 24 November. Entitled Figure One, it will feature new work from her 'Net Grid' and 'White Grounds' series.
Katharina Grosse at Gagosian, Art021
Like her site-specific installations consisting of large swathes of painted fabric, Katharina Grosse's canvases follow the same boundary-defying approach In Untitled (2021), her characteristic bold palette fills the canvas corner to corner, seeping through the hyper-realist pockets of air bubbles painted above.
Speaking with Ocula Magazine in 2019, Grosse explained, 'With my painting, I seek to cause vehement agitation. I want the viewer to be so disturbed—positively or negatively—that they develop the wish to change something. I want to stimulate radical empathy.'
Grosse is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at Helsinki Art Museum running until 23 January 2022. In her first solo exhibition in Finland, entitled Katharina Grosse: Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets between Us, Grosse transforms the upper floor of the museum with two new monumental works.
Balthus at Gagosian, West Bund
Painted in 1944, this is an example of Balthus' earlier, arguably more subdued work. The self-taught artist's use of figuration and dimly lit landscapes is gleaned from classical art production, but his subject matter imbues a renewed 20th-century sensibility.
Camille Henrot at kamel mennour, Art021
Paris-born, Berlin-based Camille Henrot's compelling oeuvre traverses sculpture, drawing, video and installation as a means to delve into the changing modes of interpersonal connections and conversations in today's evolving society.
Rendered in bronze and metal, this large-scale sculpture takes reference from the large encyclopedic reference book found in spaces of social interaction and education, such as a professional's office or a church pulpit, while the title Amoeba evokes the ultra liberal, free-living being that pursues self-interested adaptation.
Henrot's work is currently on view at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne, in her solo show Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow. Her first major survey exhibition in Australia, the presentation runs until 30 January 2022.
Mamma Andersson at Stephen Friedman Gallery, West Bund
Clown (2021) is one of two oil and acrylic Mamma Andersson paintings in Stephen Freidman's booth at West Bund. Depicting two comedy and tragedy masks set against a dark, ominous backdrop, the work wonderfully embodies Andersson's ability to build cinematic suspense through textured brushstrokes and stark linework.
Born in 1962 in Sweden, Andersson graduated from the Kungl Konsthögskolan Stockholm in 1993. Since then, she has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, most recently at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk.
Luiz Zerbini at Stephen Friedman Gallery, West Bund
A panoramic work by Luiz Zerbini, one of Brazil's most prolific contemporary artists, is on view at Stephen Friedman Gallery's booth at West Bund. The work was first shown with the gallery in Fire, Zerbini's solo exhibition earlier this year.
Inspired by the organic forms and varied textures of Brazilian landscapes, Zerbini's kaleidoscopic paintings incorporate aspects of the Amazon rainforest and the urban landscape of Rio de Janeiro into wildly expressive forms.