Art Basel Miami Beach will introduce a new Sector to its 2014 edition. Under the banner Survey, from December 4th to 7th, the international contemporary art fair will present thirteen art-historical projects divided into nine solo exhibitions and four thematic presentations.
Survey is poised to become one of the fair’s greatest attractions featuring and recovering the work of influential and little-known artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Among them: Rosemarie Castoro, Ralston Crawford, Henry Darger, Lenora De Barros, Niki de Saint Phalle, Valie Export, Paul Feeley, Poul Gernes, Tetsuya Ishida, Alison Knowles, Andrei Monastyrski, Lydia Okumura, Gina Pane, Lotty Rosenfeld, Alfons Schilling, Marcel Storr, Michelle Stuart, Taller Torres-García and Alfredo Volpi.
With a global reach, the participating galleries were selected from as far as Tokyo, Vienna, Paris, Valencia, Copenhagen, Sao Paulo and Montevideo and as close as New York City.
Starting with the New York galleries, we will see a presentation of four women artists working with geometric abstraction from Broadway 1602 Gallery. This exhibit will feature French conceptual artist Gina Pane’s homage to Malevich; large-scale minimal paintings and sculptures by New York painter Rosemarie Castoro; site-specific geometric abstractions by Japanese-Brazilian artist Lydia Okumura and Ping Poema (1999) by Brazilian artist Lenora De Barros. On the other hand, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects brings pieces by Michelle Stuart, created between 1969 and 1979. These intimate and monumental works include drawings and post-minimalist sculpture.
Ralston Crawford, Nets with Red. Menconi + Schoelkopf.
Menconi + Schoelkopf, also from New York, allows us to view a series of 1950’s photographs, watercolors and gouaches by Ralston Crawford, a luminary of the uniquely American Modernist movement known as Precisionism. Garth Greenan Gallery, which specializes in mid-20th-century American art, with a particular emphasis on artists who emerged during the 1960s, will present the exhibition Paul Feeley: An Artist’s Game with Jacks.
To round up the New York art spaces that will participate in Art Basel’s Survey Sector, James Fuentes Gallery brings Fluxus artist Alison Knowles’ Big Book (1966). The installation is an eight-foot-tall walk-in construction, anchored by a large metal spine with pages equipped with casters for visitors to walk through them. And Andrew Edlin Gallery will reflect on outsider art with double-sided watercolors by American artist Henry Darger and a series of paintings by French self-taught artist Marcel Storr.
The work of South American artists will be highlighted by São Paulo’s Galeria Bergamin, representing Alfredo Volpi’s work, one of Brazil’s most influential painters from the mid 20th century, who bridges the Modernist styles of the 1940s with the Concrete Brazilian artists of the 1950s. Furthermore, one of the most significant workshops in Latin America from the same period (1940s and 50s), Uruguay’s Taller Torres García will present Cecilia de Torres’ exhibit. The showing will provide a comprehensive view of this still little-known artistic workshop that gave a first push to artists of international stature.
Andrei Monastyrski, Selfportrait. Charim Galerie.
The European institutions showcased in Survey include Charim Galerie from Vienna, with a group show featuring Andrei Monastyrski, Alfons Schilling, and feminist experimental filmmaker Valie Export. And from Valencia, Spain, espaivisor will bring the project A Mile of Crosses on the Pavement, comprised of works created between 1979 and 1989 by Chilean artist Lotty Rosenfeld. Also on view at Survey will be Danish artist Poul Gernes’ Masonite series and corroded cubic sculptures, courtesy of Copenhagen’s Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, while Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois from Paris will bring us two rare Tir-Assemblages by Niki de Saint Phalle, a unique figure among the Nouveaux Réalistes.
The only Asian gallery that will be part of Art Basel’s Survey Sector, Y++ Wada Fine Arts from Japan, will regale us with a selection of works by Tetsuya Ishida. Until his untimely death in 2004, Ishida sought to capture Japan’s sometimes tenuous economic environment with poetic images of urban loneliness in the 1990s.
As Survey makes its Art Basel debut in 2014, it is necessary to recognize the importance of art-historical projects for the development of a healthy art environment. Looking at this selection, one can revisit little-known moments of our artistic development, learn from then and carry home a compendium of ideas that are still relevant today. ■