Sarah Douglas sums up ABMB with her top ten list. Click through to read them all but here are three we found most interesting:
- Dana Schutz
Remember how when Dana Schutz’s name came up during the recession, it was invariably in the context of how she was one of those young artists whose prices got pushed up, up, up in the searing heat of the boom and would no longer be sustainable in a fallow period? Well, what the art world seemed to forget was how good a painter she is, how she continues to push her work into ever more challenging territory. As though to reset the discourse, her dealer, Zach Feuer, brought a handful of stunning, brand new Schutzes to his booth in the Nova section of Art Basel. With their weird, contorted, psychologically charged figures, their acrid mannerist palette, and Schutz’s enviably prodigious range of art historical references — one minute she seems to be riffing on Robert Delaunay, the next channeling Balthus — the canvases wowed everyone, and were snapped up in the fair’s first few hours.
- Pieter Schoolwerth
That said, Schutz better look out. A few booths down, in the Art Positions section, another New York dealer, Miguel Abreu, was displaying a suite of recent paintings by Pieter Schoolwerth, complex compositions that also seemed to revel in oblique art historical quotations, and that effected a delicate balancing act between abstraction and figuration. Ten years ago, Schoolwerth — who is not quite as young as Schutz, but still young! — was making large, hyperactive figurative paintings that looked like George Tooker met George Bellows under a fish-eye lens. Now something different, something more cerebral and sophisticated, is going on in his work. Unlike much art fair art, which by necessity falls under the rubric of eye-catching bling, these Schoolwerths rewarded extended looking.
- Everything at Rosa de la Cruz’s new museum, but especially Jonathan Meese
There should be a new test for art spaces: the Meese test. In the wrong space, Jonathan Meese’s sprawling installations and scary, imposing sculptures can look a little scattershot. In the right space, you get a sense for the weight behind the project. Such was the case at Rosa de la Cruz’s new museum, which does justice to so many other artists as well, like Jim Hodges and the late Ana Mendieta. Such was the gravity, the serenity, and the beauty of the de la Cruz building, such was the aesthetic coherence of the collection, that frankly it was difficult to look at anything else for the rest of the day.
Miami Postmortem: A Basel Top 10 (ArtInfo)