For Those Who Won't Step Foot In Art Basel
It is that time of year again in Miami Beach. The artists and art lovers are flocking to the streets for Art Basel and all of the festivities. From Murals and art crawls to after hour parties, this year Miami has a little something for all of us.
But!!! Just in case you wont be able to visit Basel this year, Haut Hous has given you an inside guide to many of the amazing artists that will be presenting in Miami. Featuring wacky sculptors that design for top shelf brands to pretentious painters that leave us questioning art every time. Enjoy the mass scroll opportunity and have a wonderfully creative December as we welcome the new year.
By: Imani D.
Art By Jim Lambie
Acknowledged as one of the most highly regarded artists in the country, Jane Alexander is also one of the most reticent, taking the position that her work must make its own statement. Alexander is an artist whose talent was clearly apparent from the start. Her piece Butcher Boys, the most popular contemporary piece in the collection of the South African National Gallery, and chosen by Jean Clair for his show 'Identita e Alterita' ('Identity and Alterity') in the Palazzo Grassi at the 1995 Venice Biennale, was made while Alexander was still doing her Masters degree at the University of Witwatersrand.
Procedurally, Alexander works by building her figures up in plaster on a variety of frameworks, adding found elements like bone or horns. In the case of the "Oh Yes" Girl, a lace collar is embedded into the figure's shoulders. Oil colours tint the flesh. In recent years, many of the figures have been dressed in purchased or specially made clothes.
Alexander's work does not lend itself to easy interpretation, but despite the artist's silence on the subject, the menacing and eerie figures The Butcher Boys, like Alexander's other sculptures from the late Eighties, were understood to be a manifestation of the deeply maladjusted apartheid society. In the years of change, a new series of work was begun, entitled 'Integration Programme', in which less fearsome but alienated-seeming figures, often hooded, were presented in disturbing tableaux. A second important body of work is Alexander's photomontages, in which her sculptures take on a history of their own as the frequent subject of her compositions.
Sassen was born in 1972 in Amsterdam, and lives there. She studied fashion design, followed by photography at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and Ateliers Arnhem.
A retrospective of 17 years of her fashion work, In and Out of Fashion, opened at Huis Marseille Museum for Photography, Amsterdam, in 2012, and travelled to the Rencontres d'Arles festival, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Savannah College of Art and Design, Fotografie Forum Frankfurt and Fotomuseum Winterthur.
Since founding The Haas Brothers in 2010, Los Angeles-based twin brothers Nikolai and Simon (b.1984) have spurned arbitrary artistic boundaries and hierarchies, creating a playful and provocative world that merges art, fashion, film, music, and design. Their openness to material experimentation and general curiosity has resulted in a wide-ranging visual lexicon that incorporates a spectrum of materials from stone and porcelain to brass and bronze to self-invented resins and polyurethanes. Their dynamic practice is connected at once by technical precision—supported by their active collaborations with an array of artisans—and an acute sense of humor and whimsy that speaks to a universality of experience and makes their work feel refreshingly accessible and human.
The Haas Brothers
Twin brothers Simon and Nikolai Haas run their eponymous furniture design and fabrication studio out of Los Angeles, from which they create everything from set design to wearable art, masks for Lady Gaga to gold-leafed furniture for Louis Vuitton stores. Nikolai apprenticed as a master carver and Simon studied blacksmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design—and together their pieces, while sleek, still retain some traces of artisanal handiwork. Their seating and vessels often combine futuristic finishes with biomorphicforms.
South African artist Simphiwe Ndzube’s carnivalesque portraits catch figures in the midst of movement, in the process of becoming. His theatrical landscapes are peopled by characters who are learning how to be subjects of their own making. They observe others and analyse situations, emulating, educating and transforming themselves. Rather than remaining still, his figures mobilise themselves into their futures, raucous and uncontained by physical boundaries, economic barriers, or legal structures and attendant gatekeepers meant to prohibit their existence and maintain them out of sight.
We watch as they step into unfamiliar worlds, finding their own place in this brave, and sometimes compromised new freedom. We see them reading the iconography of power, finding ways to access formidable structures, shaping their public identities and personas in order to ease their way into structures that were previously shut off to them. But we also understand that they are not slavish imitators or simple mimics. Whilst Ndzube’s characters may analyse the new worlds in which they find themselves, identifying conventions and discerning what is acceptable, they also riotously flout the usual rules of projecting power, class, and arrival.
Ndzube’s work is characterised by his use of multiplicitous materials, artistic techniques, and stylistic choices – including painting, collage and assemblage – reflecting the equally multiplicitous and contentious socio-political landscape of South Africa. The performative stages and figures he assembles are created out of roadside construction site material and castoff clothing – thrown-away objects that the “nobility” of South Africa have discarded. His fantastical leaps of imagination and practicality mirror the techniques common to the bricoleur; like the figures in his carnivalesque processionals, he welds together both home grown and borrowed aesthetic principles, philosophies, and cultural theories.
Rodolpho Parigi has dedicated himself to creating energetic, vividly colorful paintings and meticulously constructed drawings. “I realized that the color I wanted to use had to be powerful and it had to confer unity to his whole image, this whole repertoire of figuration that I was developing,” he has said. Working primarily with acrylic in explosive colors, Parigi weaves flat, geometric forms with distorted figures culled from record covers, pop culture, and botanical drawings into compositions that evoke fragmented, semi-abstract urban landscapes.
Haegue Yang was born in 1971 in Seoul, South Korea, and received her BFA from Seoul National University. In the late 1990s, she moved to Germany, where she earned an MFA from the Städelschule Frankfurt am Main. Traversing a wide range of media, from collage to performance, Yang’s body of work often features quotidian and domestic found objects ranging from tea cozies to cans of Spam. The artist dissociates such materials from their original contexts, rearranging them into abstract compositions that build upon a unique and personal visual vocabulary. By including perceptual effects generated with the help of heaters, electrical fans, and even scent diffusers, Yang frequently stages multisensory environments, which—together with the mundane objects—become meditations on labor, emotional connection, and dislocation, replete with references to various moments of abstraction throughout art history.
Recognizable motifs recur throughout Yang’s oeuvre, including Venetian blinds; the artist’s first work to feature the slats was Series of Vulnerable Arrangements—Blind Room, which made its debut in 2006 at the São Paulo Biennial. Yang’s series of blinds, arranged into offset planes and set on casters, later appeared at The Tanks at Tate Modern in 2012; these pieces also featured performers who rolled around and interacted with the sculptures in a reference to the choreography in Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer’s modernist Triadisches Ballett (1922). In interviews, Yang has discussed the concept of “permeability to perception” offered by Venetian blinds, which have also appeared as elements of her installations at Documenta (2012) and the Venice Biennale (2009).
Yang often explores sociopolitical concerns, and her oeuvre includes the installation Multi Faith Room (2012), which drew inspiration from generic airport prayer rooms designed to serve adherents of all religions. More recently, she has embraced additional mediums and techniques. While on an artist residency in Glasgow, she produced large-scale macramé sculptures that were accompanied by an iPod soundtrack that the artist listened to while making the work.
Alexander Gutke works within the conceptual and minimalist tradition. Analogue apparatuses such as cameras, film and slide projectors are some of the main components in his art practice.
Gutke investigates these technical elements as objects and mechanical devices, and uses them as tools and objects in his works and narrative creating a visual illusionism and a poetic and mystical materialism.
Through his works, the artist explores a whole host of issues, ranging from narrative self-reflexivity, measurement, space, light, shade, darkness and what can be best described as a metaphysical existentialism.
Sanam Khatibi’s works deal with animality, and our primal impulses and the core of her practice interrogates our relationship to power structures, specifically the duality of triumph and failure. The recurrent themes that often feature in her work question our relation to excess, loss of control, bestiality, the male-female dynamics, domination and submission. She is also interested in the thin line that exists between fear and desire, and how closely they are interrelated.
Her subjects live on their impulses in alluring, exotic landscapes. They are ambiguous with their relationship to power, violence, sensuality and each other. She plays with ambivalence to juxtapose dualities such as animal versus human, past versus present, and cruelty versus seduction. Wildlife and animals are an integral part of her practice, and her subjects are often depicted within the same plane as the flora and fauna.
Her work consists of paintings, embroideries, tapestries, and sculptures.
Sam Falls is a contemporary American artist whose boundary-defying work applies artistic processes to natural phenomena. The resulting paintings, prints, sculptures, and videos, often insert organic structures into art and man-made objects into nature. "We change the work by being present, and the work changes us by being present,” the artist’s said. “We are breaking down and being built up, just like every moment."
Born in 1984 in San Diego, CA, he received his BFA from Reed College in 2007 and his MFA from the International Center of Photography-Bard in 2010. The artist’s work has been exhibited in spaces such as Metro Pictures, LAXART, and DEPART Foundation in Rome. He lives and works between Hudson, NY and Los Angeles, CA.
Miriam Bäckström has worked since the mid-90s, with indirect modes of portraiture. She has photographed different interiors, including film sets, environments considered significant enough to be rebuilt in museums, model homes in commercially redeveloped areas and the apartments of either living or deceased people. Bäckström probes the limits of documentation by taking pictures of interiors whose appearance of objectivity imperceptibly acquires a fictional quality. Seemingly familiar, these interiors compel us to invent stories about those who may have occupied them.
Miriam Bäckström explores how history is told and the process of creating and recreating memory using photography, text, theatre and video. Smile as if we have already won has been created especially for Artes Mundi 5 and is the second large scale tapestry to be produced by the artist. Cotton, wool, silk and lurex are woven together to create the piece, which is almost 3 meters high and 12 meters wide. Hung in an arc across the gallery, it allows visitors to explore both the front and back of the piece. The tapestry depicts ﬁgures in a room composed of mirror fragments, making it both claustrophobic and inﬁnitely expanding. From a distance it is clearly a photographic image which disintegrates into fragments of colour on closer inspection.
Rirkrit Tiravanija is widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His practice defies media-based description combining traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action.
Rirkrit Tiravanija was born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tiravanija studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, the Banff Center School of Fine Arts, Canada, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. He has exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide.
Tiravanija’s work has been recognised with numerous prestigious awards including the Benesse by the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Japan and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucelia Artist Award, the Hugo Boss Prize from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2004) and the 2010 Absolut Art Award.
Tiravanija is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts at Columbia University, and is a founding member and curator of Utopia Station, a collective project of artists, art historians, and curators. Tiravanija is also President of an educational-ecological project known as The Land Foundation, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is part of a collective alternative space called VER located in Bangkok where he maintains his primary residence and studio.
The dreamy yet sober canvases of Laeh Glenn seem predicated on this question. The Los Angeles–based artist asks why a painting should exist at all, what its motivation should be, and how one should relate to it—particularly at a moment when images circulate so quickly and casually, and when painting itself seems to exist somewhere between code and canvas. She extracts the medium’s genres—still life, portrait, nude, geometric abstraction—to coolly linger in and wonder at its protocols. Through her distillation of these pictorial archetypes, she reveals new and ever-shiftier boundaries between the image and the world.
Baldessari's artwork has been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions and in over 1000 group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His projects include artist books, videos, films, billboards and public works. His awards and honors include the 2014 National Medal of Arts Award, an award from the International Print Center New York in 2016, memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, the BACA International 2008, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by La Biennale di Venezia and the City of Goslar Kaiserring in 2012. He has received honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland, San Diego State University, Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, and California College of the Arts. He currently works in Venice, California.
John Baldessari was born in National City, California in 1931. He attended San Diego State University and did post-graduate work at Otis Art Institute, Chouinard Art Institute and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA from 1970 - 1988 and the University of California at Los Angeles from 1996 - 2007.
Regarded as part of the ‘Born Free’ generation in Zimbabwe, in his early work Chiurai focused on the political, economic and social struggles in his homeland.
Consequently he began to look at the issues of xenophobia and displacement in Southern Africa, and started to produce films and paintings that dealt with his psychological and physical experience of living in the inner city of Johannesburg.
In his barbed, theatrical multimedia compositions, Kudzanai Chiurai tackles the most pertinent issues facing his generation of southern Africans, from government corruption to xenophobia and displacement. An exile from Zimbabwe (after producing an unflattering portrait of Robert Mugabe) and the first black recipient of a BFA from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Chiurai mines the words and images of inner city Johannesburg to produce bold paintings that confront the viewer with explicit messages about black empowerment and urban rejuvenation.
He has also made more directly political works, as in his recent “Dying To Be Men” (2009), a series of garish mock portrait photographs of government officials. An increasingly important figure in African art, Chiurai has expanded his activist enterprise to the realms of fashion, publishing, and music.
The beauty pageant, The 1971 Miss General Idea Pageant, allowed for both male and female artist to send in pictures of them wearing the taffeta dress provided. Their work was often presented in unconventional media forms such as postcards, prints, posters, wallpaper, balloons, crests and pins. Self-mythology was a continuous strategy that informed their work.
They created a fictional system that self-referenced and self-legitimized, claiming a space for their local art scene in Canada. Their intent was to reach a greater audience and so their work moved from art galleries and museums to newsstands.
This ensured that different types of people who spent time in different places could have a psychological or social reaction in a place comfortable to them. General Idea initially portrayed themselves as an ambiguous group, but soon realized it was causing confusion with the public.
General Idea was a collective of three Canadian artists, Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, who were active from 1967 to 1994. As pioneers of early conceptual and media-based art, their collaboration became a model for artist-initiated activities and continues to be a prominent influence on subsequent generations of artists.Initially working in Toronto, from 1968 through 1993 they divided their time between Toronto and New York before returning to Toronto for the last few months of their time together.General Idea's work inhabited and subverted forms of popular and media culture, including boutiques, television talk shows, trade fair pavilions, mass media and beauty pageants.
Artist Statement:My work addresses the prospect of residual but forgotten unclaimed frontiers on the edge and inside overdeveloped urban areas, and their unsuspected autonomy. I am interested in the struggle of marginal peoples to sustain independent spaces within all-encompassing societies, the tension between individual and collective behavior, the conflict with institutional power. I pursue an alternative view of hidden borderlands and their inhabitants through drawing, printmaking, mosaic, sculpture, performative interventions, and video structured as complex multimedia installations.
Duke Riley received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Pratt Institute. Riley is fascinated by maritime history and events around the waterways of New York City. Riley’s signature style interweaves historical and contemporary events with elements of fiction and myth to create allegorical histories. His re-imagined narratives comment on a range of issues from the cultural impact of over development and gentrification of waterfront communities to contradictions within political ideologies as well as commerce and the role of the artist in society and at war.
I often work in the tradition of field naturalists, seeking and gathering data, artifacts, and specimens outdoors, transporting them inside for closer observation and study, displaying them in museum-like diorama settings. I combine populist myths and reinvented historical obscurities with contemporary social dilemmas, connecting past and present, drawing attention to unsolved issues. Throughout my projects I profile the space where water meets the land, traditionally marking the periphery of urban society, what lies beyond rigid moral constructs, a sense of danger and possibility.
Quotidian objects are stripped of their utility and regarded as sculptural phenomena, taking on Minimalist aesthetics that challenge the sterilizing force of the white cube. In the same way, Elmgreen & Dragset’s outdoor public sculpture recontextualize the surroundings in which they are located, such as well-known projects like Van Gogh’s Ear at Rockefeller Plaza in New York or Prada Marfa along Highway 90 in the middle of the Texan desert.
Performativity and participation are fraught in the work of Elmgreen & Dragset as their work invites and denies participation in equal measure (pools are emptied, diving boards are oriented vertically, bars are inaccessible, sinks dysfunctional).
Elmgreen & Dragset
Elmgreen & Dragset have been working together since 1995 at the crossroads of art and architecture, performance and installation. Preoccupied with objects and their settings, and the discourse that can arise when those objects are radically recontextualized, Elmgreen & Dragset push against the normal modes for the display of art. Whether presenting sculptures or total environments, their work draws attention to the institutions that host them and their attendant politics.
Diana Al-Hadid was born in 1981 in Aleppo, Syria. She was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and currently lives and works in New York. Al-Hadid’s large-scale sculptures and wall hangings are the outcome of process-based investigations into materials, including fiberglass, polymer, steel, and plaster.
Exploiting the innate tension between mass and gravity, Al-Hadid is particularly interested in the point at which her works are fixed to the ground, often seeking to create what she describes as “something that seems improbable.” Making drawings since her adolescent years with her grandmother, Al-Hadid creates meticulous renderings driven by a fascination with the depiction of space and perspective. While critics often cite Al-Hadid’s Syrian background as influential to her ornate works, the artist is just as likely to reference to ancient Rome, the Renaissance, or Mannerist painting.
Encompassing works on paper, photography, drawing, sculpture, video, and performance documentation, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s chronological retrospective—which is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a multi-venue exhibition program exploring artistic dialogues between Latin America and Los Angeles—shows how Maiolino has used her art to investigate a range of subjects, from the daily rituals of the home to the repressive conditions of a dictatorship to bodily existence.
AS ONE MIGHT expect of an artist whose life has unfolded on different continents and over seven decades to date, Anna Maria Maiolino has produced a remarkably varied body of work. Born in 1942 in wartime Italy to an Italian father and an Ecuadoran mother, she spent formative years in Venezuela and Brazil. In the late 1960s, she moved with her children and her husband, artist Rubens Gerchman, to New York, where the family sought refuge from Brazil’s military dictatorship. She stayed in New York for a few years before divorcing Gerchman and returning to Brazil with her children.
Anna Maria Maiolino
Mouths and digestive systems are recurrent motifs in Maiolino’s work, and might refer, in part, to Oswald de Andrade’s influential Cannibalist Manifesto (1928), wherein the poet wittily described Brazil’s consumption and creative regurgitation of other cultures as a national strength and a means of producing a modern, independent country. The 1967 woodcut Glu Glu Glu . . . (whose title phrase means “gobble gobble gobble” in Portuguese) portrays the same type of open-mouthed figure as that seen in Anna. It sits at a table topped with a spread of food. A pipe runs from the table (or perhaps from the figure itself) to a toilet depicted in the composition’s bottom half. Another 1967 work titled Glu Glu Glu . . . is an odd, wall-mountedsculptural piece made from painted, stuffed fabric. Here, the figure is rendered in a deep blue with red lips and two rows of cartoonish teeth; the phrase glu glu glu spills from the open mouth, leading down to a digestive system painted in yellow, green, and red. The piece is diagrammatic but not didactic. This is what keeps us all alive, Maiolino seems to say. There is poetry in the pragmatism.
Doug Aitken is an American artist and filmmaker. Defying definitions of genre, he explores every medium, from film and installations to architectural interventions.
Aitken’s “Sleepwalkers” exhibition at MoMA in 2007 transformed an entire block of Manhattan as he covered the museum’s exterior walls with projections. In 2009, his Sonic Pavilion opened to the public in the hills of Brazil at the new cultural foundation INHOTIM. Aitken presented his large-scale film and architecture installation, “Frontier”, on Rome’s Isola Tiberina in 2009 and in Basel in 2010. “Black Mirror” featured a video installation and a live theatre performance on a uniquely designed barge floating off Athens and Hydra Island, Greece in 2011.
Commissioned and produced by the LUMA Foundation in 2012, “Altered Earth” explored the ever-changing landscape of Arles, France through moving image, sound and architecture. Also in 2012, “SONG 1” wrapped the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC in 360-degree panoramic video projections, transforming the concrete exterior into an audiovisual spectacle. In 2013, Aitken created “MIRROR” at the Seattle Art Museum, which utilized hundreds of hours of footage changing in real time in response to the life around it, transforming the museum exterior into a living kaleidoscope.