Victoria Miro participates in Art Basel (Booth R7) with works by Idris Khan, Yayoi Kusama, Howardena Pindell, Do Ho Suh, Sarah Sze and Stephen Willats. A major installation by Do Ho Suh will be presented as part of Unlimited, Art Basel's platform for large-scale projects.
Drawing inspiration from sources including the history of art and music as well as key philosophical and theological texts, Idris Khan investigates memory, creativity and the layering of experience. Khan's works - in media including sculpture, painting and photography-often employ techniques of layering and repetition to realise fragmentary experience or disparate ideas as a single image or solid form. New works on view at Art Basel, Infinites - Between (2019), and Lost (2019), take musical notation, including a score by the Russian Romantic composer Sergei Rachmaninov, as a starting point. Overlaying his source material Khan opens up a new rhythmic language, bordering on abstraction. The works are unified by the use of the colour blue, which the artist describes as having 'an immediate effect on emotion'. A new public sculpture for London by Idris Khan, commissioned by St George's Plc with London Borough of Southwark as part of the development of One Blackfriars, will be on view from October 2019.
The presentation features a number of iconic Infinity Nets canvases by Yayoi Kusama. Forging a path between Abstract Expressionism, then the dominant style, and the nascent Minimalist movement, Kusama first showed her Infinity Nets in New York in the late 1950s, to great critical acclaim; the work was championed by the first wave of Minimalist artists such as Donald Judd and Frank Stella. In these works, Kusama responded to the bravado of Abstract Expressionist painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, redefining the heroic gesture as a smaller, incremental, highly sophisticated loop-obsessional, meticulous and labour-intensive. Conversely, especially when seen en masse, these works were often described in oceanic or even celestial terms-the distillation of an endless idea, covering the world. There is a link, in turn, to the character of the hallucinations first experienced by Kusama during childhood, in which her surroundings were overtaken by a proliferating pattern that engulfed her field of vision. Kusama continues to develop the chromatic and emotional possibilities of her Infinity Nets in works that seem to fluctuate and dissolve as the viewer moves in front of them. Current major projects by Yayoi Kusama include Shine of Life, a site-specific work for Kistefos-Museet, Norway (from 26 May 2019).
Howardena Pindell is recognised as a leading contributor to contemporary dialogues around the social and political urgency of process-driven art. On view is a new work, Songlines: Event Horizon (2019), and a large-scale spray painting, Untitled (1970), completed when Pindell was first living in New York after having completed her studies at Yale. A focus on Pindell's pursuit of abstraction gives rise to thematic symmetries between the works, which, despite having been completed decades apart, reveal the extent of her ongoing formal analysis and material innovation. Pindell's spray paintings from the early 1970s were made by the artist using as templates discarded cardstock, manila folders and heavy watercolour paper, from which holes were then punched. Spraying paint directly through these perforations, and repeating the process across her large-scale canvases, Pindell arrived at a series of sublime abstract works. Collage, evident in her most recent work, has also played a key role in Pindell's art since the 1970s, her engagement with the paper chads that result from the hole punch process emerging organically from the process of creating her spray paintings. For Pindell, the creative act comprises both deconstruction and reconstruction. Often, she cuts her canvases in complex patterns, sewing them back together, then building up their surfaces in elaborate stages. The forms of these layered, detailed works tend towards the amorphous, creating dynamic tension between aggregate and whole. The gallery's first exhibition since announcing representation of the US artist, and Pindell's first solo exhibition in the UK, takes place at Victoria Miro Mayfair (5 June-27 July 2019). Work by Pindell is also featured in the major touring exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983, currently on view at The Broad, Los Angeles (until 1 September 2019).
Do Ho Suh has long ruminated on the idea of home as both a physical structure and a lived experience. Works on view include Main Entrance, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA (2016), a large thread drawing based on the entrance of the artist's former home and studio in New York City. This work was created using a recent process for the artist in which his signature architectural pieces are compressed into large-scale two-dimensional 'drawings'. Using gelatin tissue, the works are sewn in the same way as Suh's architectural fabric pieces. Once immersed in water, however, the gelatin dissolves, fusing with the paper to leave an image in which the threads appear like a skeletal framework against the coloured form of the object. Residual yet highly visceral, these works draw parallels between architectural space, clothing and the body, making explicit Suh's fascination with the interconnected spaces we inhabit while continuing his career-long investigation into the porous boundaries of identity. Suh's permanent departure from his New York residence after twenty years inspired a number of works. Constructed from white fabric, the Exit Series-household fixtures and fittings such as lightbulbs, doorknobs and entry buzzers-appear ghostly, like the sloughed skin of a reptile. The major installation Hub, 260-7 Sungbook-Dong, SungbookKu, Seoul, Korea (2017), is on view as part of Unlimited. Suh's Hub works-transitory, connecting spaces between rooms, such as vestibules and corridors-speak metaphorically about movement between cultures and the blurring of public and private, as well as reflecting on the passage of the artist's own life. A substantial exhibition of work by Do Ho Suh is on view at Museum Voorlinden, The Netherlands (18 May-29 September 2019).
Sarah Sze's First Sight (2018), is a large-scale, wall-based work by the US artist that continues her decades-long exploration of the ways in which the proliferation of images-printed in magazines and newspapers, gleaned from the Web and television, intercepted from outer space, and ultimately imprinted on our conscious and unconscious selves-fundamentally changes our relationship to physical objects, memories and time. In two-dimensional works such as First Sight, the picture-plane becomes a place of experimentation where ideas in their conception are mapped out to create images. Traces of multiple image-making mediums are layered in the work, such as the ghost images of etching, the skidding surface of silkscreen printing, the layering cuts of collage, the dripping and brushing of paint, the exposure by light of photographs, the digital disturbance of computer processing, and the flickering movement of film. Forthcoming projects by Sarah Sze include a commission for Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York, due to open in 2020.
Stephen Willats, whose major survey, Languages of Dissent, takes place at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (25 May-18 August 2019), is represented by a number of works completed between the 1960s and the 2010s. Drawing has been key throughout Willats' practice, often as a signifier of larger ideas. Since the start of his career in the early 1960s, the artist has rejected aesthetic expression in favour of positioning his drawings as active 'data', which offer a means to communicate a way of looking at and thinking about our environment. The act of drawing for Willats exists on multiple levels, each related but with specific outcomes, as he explains: 'What as a thought is internal, transient and unfocused, through the process of drawing becomes clear and possible; to be understood by someone else, from one person to another - a vehicle for social exchange. So the drawing can be both descriptive, in that it gives a view on something that already exists, or prescriptive, in that it seeks to represent something that does not yet exist, is only imagined as a possibility. Something only becomes a possibility once it exists as a thought'.
Also on view is Peter Doig's House of Pictures (2002-2003), one of a number of works from the period that were generated by two separate sources: the windows of an art gallery in Vienna that Doig discovered years earlier; and a male figure clad in black leather who Doig once saw standing outside a restaurant in the town of Squamish, British Columbia, and who Doig transformed with a mane of flaming red hair.
Messeplatz 10 4058
Private Days (by invitation only)
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 11am to 8pm
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 11am to 8pm
Vernissage (by invitation only)
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 4pm to 8pm
Thursday, June 13, 2019, 11am to 7pm
Friday, June 14, 2019, 11am to 7pm
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 11am to 7pm
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 11am to 7pm