5 highlights from Asia, Africa and the Middle East at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017

Art Basel Miami Beach is open from 7 to 10 December 2017.

Art Radar highlights a range of artists and sections on display at the global fair’s 2017 edition.

Moshekwa Langa, ‘The Love Letter II’, 2016, Mixed media on paper, 150 x 198cm. Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

Moshekwa Langa, ‘The Love Letter II’, 2016, mixed media on paper, 150 x 198 cm. Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

With Art Basel‘s American show in Miami Beach opening this week from 7 to 10 December 2017, Art Radar considers the gallery and artist highlights of this year’s edition. This year’s fair boasts a broad roster of artists and galleries from around the world. Kabinett includes 25 curated exhibitions, allowing participating galleries to present a curated exhibition in a separately delineated space within their booths. The fair also features the main galleries sector, a public art section and a dedicated film programme, alongside conversations and talks.

Cheng Ran, 'DD-MM-YYYY, 2017 (No. 6 Body)', single channel HD video, TV-set, TV rack, paint, ready-made object installation: dimension variable, TV: 80 × 137 × 7 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne

Cheng Ran, ‘DD-MM-YYYY (No. 6 Body)’, 2017, single channel HD video, TV-set, TV rack, paint, ready-made object installation, dimensions variable, TV: 80 × 137 × 7 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.

1. Cheng Ran — Galerie Urs Meile

A key highlight this year is the presentation from Galerie Urs Meile, who focuses on a selection of new works by emerging and established contemporary artists including Mirko Baselgia, Cao Yu, Ju Ting, Wang Xingwei, Zhang Xuerui and Zhou Siwei. They will also be showing the work of Chinese artist Cheng Ran as part of Art Basel’s Kabinett sector, which offers 24 concisely curated installations within the booths of the Galleries’ and Editions’ sectors, ranging from thematic group exhibitions to art historical showcases and solo presentations. In Kabinett, Cheng Rang presents the multimedia video installation DD-MM-YYYY (2017), which forms the latest chapter of the artist’s ongoing project Diary of a Madman (2016-present). The series depicts Cheng’s construction of his own narrative about the history of New York, Hong Kong and Jerusalem, using news extracts, moving image video collages, and a combination of urban and natural landscapes, asking questions on the human relationship with environments and destruction.

Etel Adnam, ‘Duo Ensoleillé, 2016_Handwooven tapestry, 230 x 209 cm. Photo: © Volker Renner. Image Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg

Etel Adnam, ‘Duo Ensoleillé, 2016, handwooven tapestry, 230 x 209 cm. Photo: © Volker Renner. Image courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg.

2. Etal Adnam — Sfeir-Semler Gallery

Also showing in Kabinett is the Lebanese/American artist Etel Adnan, born 1925 in Lebanon and now living and working in Paris, and is widely recognised as one of the foremost authors, poets and playwrights of her generation, with works in private collections and public institutions. Sfeir-Semler Gallery presents a focused exhibition on the sometimes vibrant, sometimes monochrome expressive paintings, tapestries and drawings of Adnan. The work on display demonstrates the artist’s rich political and geographic background, focusing on the development of her oeuvre.

Etel Adnam, ‘Untited’, Watercolour, 36.9 x 46cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg.

Etel Adnam, ‘Untited’, watercolour, 36.9 x 46 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg.

Zanele Muholi, ‘Phaphama, at Cassilhaus, North Carolina’, 2016, Silver gelatin print, 100 x 70cm. Edition of 8 + 2AP . Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

Zanele Muholi, ‘Phaphama, at Cassilhaus, North Carolina’, 2016, silver gelatin print, 100 x 70 cm. Edition of 8 + 2AP . Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

3. Women artists from Africa — Stevenson Gallery

This year, Stevenson presents new and recent works by a wide range of artists from the gallery’s stable, focusing on four women artists. Nandipha Mntambo, originally from Swaziland and recently the subject of a survey show at the newly opened Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, exhibits new abstract sculptures created from Nguni cow hides.

Nandipha Mntambo, ‘Veiled Desires 2’, 2017, Cowhide, resin, polyester mesh, waxed cord and steel frame, 194 x 132 x 27cm. Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

Nandipha Mntambo, ‘Veiled Desires 2’, 2017, cowhide, resin, polyester mesh, waxed cord and steel frame, 194 x 132 x 27 cm. Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

Zimbabwean artist Portia Zvavahera shows paintings completed during a recent residency at the Gasworks in London, whilst South African artist Zanele Muholi presents new photographs and wallpapers from her renowned Somnyama Ngonyama self-portrait. Finally, Claudette Schreuders displays her unique wooden sculptures for the first time in the United States.

Portia Zvavahera, ‘Tiri Mumwe (We Are One)’, 2017,Oil-based printing ink and oil bar on canvas, 126.5 x 99cm. Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

Portia Zvavahera, ‘Tiri Mumwe (We Are One)’, 2017, oil-based printing ink and oil bar on canvas, 126.5 x 99 cm. Image courtesy Stevenson Gallery.

4. Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Tin Ojeda — Film

Taking place throughout the fair, Art Basel presents a programme of film and video works that focus on the universal language of dance and movement. Highlights include the “The Short Film” programme on 7 December 2017, which features recent works by Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Jen DeNike, who both work across various media. Huffman’s works bring together spoken and written language, photography, vintage television and computer animation to pay homage to African-American popular culture. Other highlights include Free Jazz Vein (2017) by Tin Ojeda, showing on Friday 8 December. The film, shot in the United States, Central America, Australia and Indonesia, focuses on experimental surf culture, whilst offering a glimpse into the poverty that exists in the towns around those beautiful beaches. The film builds on the artist’s ongoing fascination with the 1970s era, inspired by jazz album covers and movie posters from the period.

Directed by Sara Driver. USA, 2017, 79m A Magnolia Pictures release. Image courtesy Art Basel.

Jean-Michel Basquait, ‘Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years’ (still), USA, 2017, 79m:00s. Directed by Sara Driver, a Magnolia Pictures release. Image courtesy Art Basel.

In addition, New York-based film curator Marian Masone has selected Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2017) to be screened. The documentary looks at the life of the artist from 1978 to 1981, when he was a homeless teenager in New York City. Featuring interviews with rappers, musicians and artists who knew Basquiat personally, Boom for Real considers how downtown New York City inspired the artist’s practice.

Koichi Enomoto, 'PSI junior high school', 2015. Photo: Yasushi Ichikawa. Image courtesy of TARO NASU.

Koichi Enomoto, ‘PSI junior high school’, 2015. Photo: Yasushi Ichikawa. Image courtesy of TARO NASU.

5. Koichi Enomoto — Taro Nasu

For Art Basel Miami Beach, Tokyo-based gallery Taro Nasu spotlights a solo exhibition of Japanese painter Koichi Enomoto, whose work questions the rising conflict and relation between humanity and technology, particularly in light of the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence). For the gallery’s debut at the fair in Miami, Nasu wanted to present a Japanese artist who could speak to an international audience. As the gallery explains,

Enomoto’s paintings are said to be the private myth in this contemporary society. The artist gathers various information, such as cultural differences, accelerated technologies, menace of nature, the stress dynamism of big cities, and chooses motifs including good and evil, truth and falsehood, ancient and modern from numerous context surrounding us to create the picture of world images.

Anna Jamieson

1974

Related topics: South African artistsJapanese artistsChinese artists, market watch, fairsevents in Miami

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