What you could buy @ the 2012 Edition of ART BASEL-Miami Beach Art Fair

Arts Miami with Anthony Japour

Anthony Japour (AJ) is an art collector, advisor, independent curator, and private art dealer. Japour deals in the international contemporary art movement with a focus on the Chinese Contemporary Art Movement and its relationship to the pillars of Western Contemporary Art. Since 2003, AJ has produced numerous art exhibitions and installations in Miami and South Florida through AJ Japour Gallery and now works on various art projects. AJ has served on the Fine Arts Board and the Cultural Arts Council of the City of Miami Beach.

Danh Vo, Kardinal, 2010

Each year the Art Basel Miami Beach Art Fair affords one the opportunity to see and learn in greater depth the work of contemporary artists.

For this year’s feature, I decided to ask: “What could one buy from the six artists nominated for the Hugo Boss Prize?”

The award is administered by the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and is one of the most important prizes offered to a living artist. The Hugo Boss Prize is awarded every other year to an artist (or group of artists) working in any medium and has no restrictions on nationality or age. A jury of six curators, critics and scholars nominate six or seven artists and then choose a winner. This year the prize was awarded to Danish artist, Danh Vo.

Danh Vo (b. 1975, Ba Ria, Vietnam)

Danh Vo, We The People (detail) Statens Museum for Kunst National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen Photo by Anders Sune Berg

The Vietnamese-Danish artist Danh Vo investigates the invisible boundaries between the public and the private. His family escaped Vietnam when he was a young boy and much of his work is rooted in his exploration of his identity using relics of his own life and that of his family, along with their experiences intersecting with world history and events. In meeting with Printmaker Niels Borch Jensen, I heard about the artist’s use of “relics” in his work and very much admired Kardinal, 2010, a colour Gravure that positions a Catholic cardinal flanked by the artist’s two grandmothers, with whom he was apparently quite close. The work’s blurred outlines is sensitive in its portrayal of that moment in time and suggests the relationship between Catholicism and democracy throughout the world.

At Galerie Chantal Crousel, I saw a beautiful example of Vo’s monumental new work entitled We The People, 2011 where Vo has imagined to reconstruct the Statue of Liberty of FrÉdÉric August Bartholdi in fragments to be exhibited around the world as if this universal symbol was suspended to an abstract concept. Vo is preserving the original technique of the Ateliers Gage, Gauget, & Cie at the end of the 19th century using the technique of copper repoussage- hammering of copper on a finely sculpted sculpture with the intention of espousing its contour. This work is currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Prags Boulevard 49 E II
2300 Copenhagen

Galerie Chantal Crousel
10 rue Charlot
Paris, France

Trisha Donnelly Untitled, 2007-08 Digital Print 78 ¾ x 57 ¾ IN

Trisha Donnelly (B. 1974, San Francisco, California)

While a finalist, Trisha Donnelly did not win the Hugo Boss Prize but did this year win the first International Faber-Castell Drawing Award given by the Neues Museum-State Museum for Art and Design in Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany. Donnelly’s work is not easily described and is apparently the way she likes it according to her Zurich gallery, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, which had no Donnelly works available due to the devastation of Tropical Storm Sandy. The New York Times reported on a story about the storm and its impact on her NYC gallery, Casey Kaplan. On view at Casey Kaplan was a sold work Untitled, 2007-08 and a video work. Donnelly’s work was included in ILLUMinazioin-ILLUMinations, curated by Bice Curiger at the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

Galerie Eva Presenhuber
Diagonal Building, Zahnradstrasse 21
8005 Zurich

Casey Kaplan
525 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011

Rashid Johnson (B. 1977, Chicago, Illinois)

Certainly the most known artist to those of us in Miami because of his recent solo-exhibition at the Miami Art Museum, Rashid Johnson was thought to be the clear favorite to win the Hugo Boss Prize. Many in the art world were surprised he was not selected and interestingly, despite being the artist with the most gallery representation at Art Basel Miami Beach – five galleries according to the Art Basel website – NONE of the galleries had any works available for sale. One gallerist said the artist did not want to be exhibited at the fair – possibly not wanting to be viewed too “commercial” while another felt that he was so well known, he didn’t’ need to be exhibited. Interesting.

Johnson is considered a socio-political photographer (although I prefer his sculptural works) and produces conceptual post-black art. He has been exhibited around the world and resides in many important collections including the de la Cruz collection.

Rashid Johnson, Installation view de la Cruz Collection Soul Mate, 2012, 
Mirrored tile, black soap, wax 
120 x 156 x 3 inches 

Payback, 2012 
Cast bronze, black soap, wax 
49 x 39 inches Cosmic Slop “Hardcore Jollies”, 2012 
Black soap, wax 
96 x 120 x 3 inches (2 works on the floor) Untitled, 2012 
Branded Persian rug, black soap, wax, shea butter 
96 x 120 x 7 inches Untitled, 2012 
Persian rug, zebra skin, black soap, wax, shea butter 
96 x 126 x 8 inches

Qiu Zhijie (B. Zhangzhou, Fijian Province, China)

In my former AJ Japour gallery’s first public exhibition of Chinese contemporary art, I exhibited three works by Qiu Zhijie that were not well understood. You can imagine my happiness in hearing Qiu was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize.

QUI ZHIJIE, Fine Series, Fine-K, 1997 Photograph, 19 3/4 BY 23 3/4 IN

Artist/curator Qui Zhijie is artistic director of Beijing 25000 the Cultural Transmission Centre in Beijing and has exhibited widely internationally. He has worked with most visual art media; a cross-disciplinary approach.

Having worked with most visual media over his career, Zhijie explores his role as artist by combining visual arts with performance and exploring Chinese tradition.

When asked if Chinese contemporary art is gaining acceptance at Art Basel Miami Beach, I would honestly say there is an underrepresentation of Chinese artists given the fact that one fifth of the world’s population resides in China. And, there is a tremendous amount of high quality work coming from Chinese artists. The Gallery most closely associated with the artist is Chambers Fine Art – New York & Beijing, established by Christophe Mao in 2000.

Qui’s works reside in many sophisticated private collections.

Monika Sosnowska (B. 1972, Ryki, Poland)

Monika Sosnowska creates three-dimensional works always designing projects to fit the space. Having started her career in painting, Sosnowoska began to feel to limited by the restriction placed on her by the canvas. She represented Poland in the 52nd Venice Beinnale and has had many other solo exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art.

Monika Sosnowska, Fly Repellent, 2012 Two plastic bags, wire, electric motor, cable, 23 1/2” diam, minimal distance to ceiling 13 3/4” Courtesy Parkett Publishers

Hauser & Wirth
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zurich

Parkett Publishers
145 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013

Tris Vonna-Mitchell (B. 1982, United Kingdom)

Tris Vonna-Mitchell performs narratives and constructs installations through the layering of these narratives, photographs and mementos, presented using antiquated technologies and slide projection.

Tris Vonna-Mitchell hahn / huhn, 2009, 2003 ongoing 
Installation view, Tris Vonna-Michell, X Initiative, New York July 9 – Oct 17, 2009 
Photograph by Tom Powel

Clearly the youngest in the group of six finalists, Vonna-Mitchell has been exhibiting only since 2006 including an exhibition in 2009 in GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy entitled Studio A: Monumental Detours/Insignificant Fixtures and the Jeu de Paume Satellite in Paris.

Metro Pictures
519 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

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