For its participation in Art Basel 2021, Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present a mixed booth of new and existing works by artists from the gallery programme, including Mel Bochner, Sonia Boyce, Angela Bulloch, France-Lise McGurn, Hans Hartung, Georg Karl Pfahler, Jim Shaw, Mika Tajima, Clare Woods, Yun Hyong-keun and Toby Ziegler, alongside modern and contemporary masterworks by Alberto Burri, George Condo, Donald Judd, David Hammons and Christopher Wool. This year, the gallery moves to a new site on the ground floor of the fair, in observance of its expanding programme.
Highlights include the gallery debuts of both Sonia Boyce and Georg Karl Pfahler. Pfahler first rose to prominence in the early 1960s as one of the first hard-edge painters in Europe. With his abstract geometric paintings, the artist investigates the spatial relationship between form and colour in two-dimensional pictorial space. In the four-part black-and-white photographic work Tongues (1997), Boyce closely crops the mouths of four subjects, focusing the camera on the underside of their tongues. Boyce's multimedia practice addresses issues of race and gender in Britain today, favouring a participatory approach that questions artistic authorship and cultural difference. She will represent Britain with a major new exhibition at the La Biennale di Venezia 2022.
In Mel Bochner's If the Color Changes (#3) (1997), the artist reimagines language as a form of pictorial expression. Phrases in English and German jostle across a vibrant, striped background, creating a dizzying, disorienting experience both visually and linguistically for the viewer. Angela Bulloch's Heavy Metal Stack of Six: Bustle Hedgerow (2020) similarly uses colour, in tandem with shape and size, to create a distinct rhythm across its vertically assembled rhomboid shapes. Its stylised geometry alludes to twentieth-century modernist movements and finds a compelling parallel in Donald Judd's cobalt blue stack, executed forty years earlier in 1980.
Painting is well represented across the booth. New works by France-Lise McGurn and Clare Woods sit alongside George Condo's The Comedian (2012), a prototypical example of the artist's personal brand of 'psychological cubism'. Elsewhere, works by Alberto Burri and David Hammonsdeconstruct painting's traditional canvas-to-stretcher format. Rounding out the presentation is a historic painting by Yun Hyong-keun from 1972, which offers a uniquely clear example of the artist's use of ultramarine in his oeuvre.