Art Basel

Sep 20 – Sep 26, 2021

Our presentation for the 2021 edition of Art Basel will bring together work by leading international artists and estates, anchored by those with significant upcoming institutional projects. In addition to participating in the fair, we will present two monumental works in Art Basel Unlimited: Elmgreen & Dragset’s The Outsiders and Roberto Matta’s L’homme descend du signs.

Artists who have recently joined the gallery will form a central component of the presentation, with major works by Jeff Koons, Robert Longo and Latifa Echakhch on view alongside other significant artists and estates from the gallery’s roster. Additional highlights include a remarkable sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, a luminous microsphere work by Light and Space artist Mary Corse and a drape painting by Sam Gilliam.

Art Fair Details

Art Basel
Sep 24 – Sep 26, 2021

Sep 20 – Sep 26, 2021

Online Preview

Sep 20 – Sep 23, 2021


Messe Basel
Messeplatz 10
4058 Basel

Above: Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Veronese The Wedding at Cana), 2015-2021, oil on canvas, glass, and aluminum, 61-3/4" × 91" × 14-3/4" (156.8 cm × 231.1 cm × 37.5 cm) © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Veronese The Wedding at Cana), 2015-2021, oil on canvas, glass, and aluminum, 61-3/4" × 91" × 14-3/4" (156.8 cm × 231.1 cm × 37.5 cm)

Jeff Koons

Gazing Ball (Veronese The Wedding at Cana), 2015–2021, is part of Jeff Koons’s iconic Gazing Ball paintings series. In these works, the artist reimagines masterpieces by famed art historical figures like El Greco, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Manet, van Gogh, and the Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese, situating a gleaming glass ball on an aluminum shelf within each repainted work.

Gazing Ball (Veronese The Wedding at Cana) features a recreation of Veronese’s monumental painting The Wedding at Cana (1562–1563), which is in the collection of the Musée du Louvre, Paris and focuses on the biblical story of the Marriage at Cana. Veronese’s version of this story, in which Jesus performs the miracle of transforming water into wine, features figures dressed in richly colored robes reveling and imbibing around a busy table in the foreground. Christ, who is accompanied by the Virgin Mary and a group of apostles, faces the viewer from his central position in the painting, seemingly unaffected by the bustling scene.

In his bold reinterpretation of the 16th century work, Koons adds new emphasis to Jesus’s location in the painting with the blue gazing ball, which obscures Christ’s body and leaves only his haloed head visible. The orb produces a mysterious and powerful effect of its own from this prominent position in the composition, beckoning viewers’ attention to the origin of a miraculous and spiritual event.

The electric blue of the ball and the vivid reds, greens, and golds in the painting complement one another, and viewers can see themselves reflected on the orb’s lustrous surface. This interaction between the artwork and its audience cultivates a profound exchange between the present and the past, the contemporary and the art historical.

Koons has called the Gazing Ball paintings “devices of connecting,” adding, “I want to participate, I always just wanted to be involved in a dialogue with the avant garde. This is my family, these are the artists that I have interest in, the joy that has enriched my life.”

Following the presentation of Gazing Ball (Veronese The Wedding at Cana) at Art Basel, Koons will open a retrospective at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence this fall. This landmark solo exhibition, titled Jeff Koons. Shine, will feature works from the mid-1970s to 2021 and explore the artist’s distinct uses of reflective materials in his work.

Wifredo Lam, Les Oiseaux Voilés, 1945, oil on canvas, 43-5/8" × 49-1/2" (110.8 cm × 125.7 cm)

Wifredo Lam

Cuban-born Wifredo Lam’s Les Oiseaux Voilés (1945) is a seminal work created during a prolific moment in his career while making monumental works in Havana from 1941 to 1952. This more intimate painting focuses on the artist’s hand and his capabilities in crafting a distinctive pictorial space. Embodying surreal and abstract components, “veiled birds” scatter throughout the canvas, appearing as unraveling totemic structures within tropical vegetation. Lam’s exquisite use of color and movement is further evinced through his application of paint. The winged creatures hurriedly outlined in black contrast the soft, dappled greens, blues, and reds punctuating the surface. A cone-shaped form emerges in the center foreground while at its edge, two spherical eggs rest—their static presence of note amid the canvas’ allover dynamism. All recurring motifs for the artist, the cone-shaped form holds a unique locus alluding to rituals of Afro-Cuban culture. This form references the conical headdress of a diablito (“little devil”) found in traditional initiation ceremonies of the Abakuá, a confraternity with West African origins dating back to the 19th century. With a notable history, Les Oiseaux Voilés was exhibited at Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1945—a month after the end of the Second World War—marking a definitive moment for Lam, as the success of this New York show spurred his continued international recognition.

Richard Pousette-Dart, Summer Presence, 1965, oil on linen, 40" × 30" (101.6 cm × 76.2 cm)

Richard Pousette-Dart

Summer Presence (1965) exemplifies Richard Pousette-Dart's exploration of the connection between nature and energy. The artist created small pointillist style marks, which he reduced to a thin coat before building further upon the surface of the canvas. The result is a surface that permeates light, suggesting an inner glow and inviting the viewer into the painting itself. This method would remain a significant part of the artist’s oeuvre, for it later became a core tenet of his practice. In his journals, Pousette-Dart wrote, "Nature is a great doctor-fantastically healing. How wonderful she mends and overcomes the cruel and ruthless wounds man continuously, insensitively and non-caring-inflicts upon her.” At first glance, many of the works within the artist’s Presence series, of which this work belongs, appear to be monochromatic, but upon closer inspection contain a surprisingly broad spectrum of color that emerges subtly through the visual fields of pigment. Some of these works reveal underlying patterns, while others are structured around a defined circular form. As the title suggests, the present work invokes a seasonal warmth and light, as a keyhole-like shape appears at the center of the canvas, giving the viewer a sense they are surrounded by nature, perhaps walking through a row of hedges.

Richard Pousette-Dart, Hieroglyph Number 7 (Hieroglyph of Light), 1968-69, oil on linen, 76" × 51" (193 cm × 129.5 cm)

As Richard Pousette-Dart continued to develop a style distinct from Abstract Expressionism in the 1960s and the following decades, he adopted a pointillist technique that coincided with his increasing interest in light. He stated, “the point is my way to light and is related to the molecular structure of all form.” Having worked in a photo retouching studio and as a photographer, he was inspired by the granular structure of film to develop these paintings. Pousette-Dart observed that photographs seemed to dissolve into focus out of nothingness, much like his dots of paint congealed into forms on the field of the canvas. A theme begun in the 1960s, his Hieroglyph series—of which Hieroglyph Number 7 (Hieroglyph of Light) (1968–69) belongs—stands apart for its composition of small shapes within a larger pattern that does not allow the eye to rest or focus for longer than a few moments. The series expands on his investigation of abstraction and explores themes of light, energy, and atmosphere.

Robert Longo, Study of Robert E. Lee Monument Graffiti, for George Floyd; Richmond, Virginia, 2020, 2021, ink and charcoal on vellum, 21" × 31-7/8" (53.3 cm × 81 cm) 35-1/2" × 45-1/4" × 1-1/2" (90.2 cm × 114.9 cm × 3.8 cm), frame

Robert Longo

Studies of the final installment of Robert Longo’s Destroyer Cycle, the present works come from a series of never-before-seen works on paper examining notions of American power, violence, and mythmaking pulled from the “image storm” of society’s “culture of impatience.” In this series, Longo slows things down through the venerable medium of charcoal. Centered on themes of protest, freedom, and entropy, this suite of six charcoal drawing studies reflects on the turbulence of the current social and political circumstances while proposing an earnest hopefulness for the future. Drawing inspiration from media photography and footage from the past year, these new works see Longo rendering poignant scenes of a country in crisis. The eerie and profound pieces around individual events and collective experiences relate to the political climate of 2020 and the devastation precipitated by the Coronavirus pandemic. The large-scale versions of these works will debut at Longo’s first Pace exhibition, I do fly / After Summer Merrily, in September 2021. Addressing a critical view of American visual history, Longo’s exhibition, A History of the Present, is currently on view at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York, until October 2021.

Robert Longo, Study of NASCAR Car crash, Daytona 2015, 2020, ink and charcoal on vellum, 19" × 33" (48.3 cm × 83.8 cm) 33-5/8" × 46-3/8" × 1-1/2" (85.4 cm × 117.8 cm × 3.8 cm), frame
Robert Longo, Study of Cauldron, 2021, ink and charcoal on vellum, 19-1/4" × 33" (48.9 cm × 83.8 cm) 33-7/8" × 46-3/8" × 1-1/2" (86 cm × 117.8 cm × 3.8 cm), frame
Robert Longo, Study of Crown, 2021, ink and charcoal on vellum, 19-3/8" × 33" (49.2 cm × 83.8 cm) 34" × 46-3/8" × 1-1/2" (86.4 cm × 117.8 cm × 3.8 cm), frame
Robert Longo, Study of Empty Baseball Stadium, 2021, ink and charcoal on vellum, 17-15/16" × 33" (45.6 cm × 83.8 cm) 32-5/8" × 46-3/8" × 1-1/2" (82.9 cm × 117.8 cm × 3.8 cm), frame
Robert Longo, Study of January 6 Insurrection, US Capitol, 2021, ink and charcoal on vellum, 21" × 30-1/2" (53.3 cm × 77.5 cm) 35-5/8" × 43-7/8" × 1-1/2" (90.5 cm × 111.4 cm × 3.8 cm), frame
Barbara Hepworth, Single Form (Eikon), 1937-38, cast in 1963, bronze, 58-1/4" x 11" x 12-5/8" (148 cm x 28 cm x 32 cm) 156 lbs. 10-1/2" × 12" × 10-3/4" (26.7 cm × 30.5 cm × 27.3 cm), base only

Barbara Hepworth

Due to renewed interest in and demand for Barbara Hepworth’s pre-war sculptures—and having introduced bronze into her practice in 1956—by the 1960’s the artist began casting earlier sculptural forms and releasing them as bronze editions. In 1963, the plaster model of Single Form was cast in an edition of seven and titled Single Form (Eikon). The upright column of Single Form (Eikon) recalls ancient monoliths of Stonehenge or Stanton Drew throughout rural counties of England and Hepworth’s home in Cornwall. Single Form (Eikon) embodies the refined abstraction present in modernist sculpture throughout the early 20th century, and its curved, triangular shape recalls the Greek word Eikon, meaning “an image.” Standing at almost five feet tall, the present sculpture is coated in a green patination, which she regarded as vital to her bronze works. Hepworth would use the patina—generally brown, blue-gray, or, in this case, green—as a means of bringing out the texture she had established in the plaster as a visible trace of her hand. Other editions of this work are held in the collections of the Government Art Collection, United Kingdom; The Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Tate Gallery, London. In 2022, Tate St. Ives will present a solo exhibition of the artist, Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life, which will focus on her life in Cornwall and bring together many of her most important works.

Roberto Matta

Roberto Matta, Les Semences et les Oeufs, 1995, oil on canvas, 69-5/8" × 92-7/8" (176.8 cm × 235.8 cm)

Chilean-born Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren, “Matta,” is credited for bridging the aesthetic components of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. The widely acclaimed artist introduced numerous American painters to the former movement’s automatism technique—where one relinquishes control, allowing the unconscious mind to dominate creation. Matta’s interest in “psychological morphology” manifested in his spatially complex works, merging external and internal realities, or “the space of consciousness.” These conceptual tenets instruct the composition of Les Semences et les Oeufs (1995), where a dense cluster of biomorphic forms appear as humanoid-like figures. Jostling around each other, they steer towards the center of the canvas. Delicately outlined, the knot of forms rest on top of a muted earth, accented with glowing green, blue, and red tones. This energetic movement creates a fantastical environment and is attributed to Matta’s uninhibited spirit and unconscious artist’s hand. Emblematic of his best-known works, the artist’s signature fluctuating internal space is honed in Les Semences et les Oeufs, a painting made later in his career.

Latifa Echakhch, Wind Wall Icon, 2020, metallic pigment, red, black paint, concrete, fiber and vinyl on canvas, 78-3/4" × 59-1/16" (200 cm × 150 cm)

Latifa Echakhch

Based in Switzerland, Moroccan-born artist Latifa Echakhch’s multidimensional painting, sculpture, and installation practice investigates the complexities of political and cultural histories. The present work is from the artist’s recent Wind Wall Icon series, where golden swathes of pigment emerge from a muted grey background made of concrete—a visual contrast transforming the composition into a dynamic abstraction. Echakhch applies a final layer of gold pigment and then chips away fragmented sections on its surface, revealing a material substratum within the canvas.

The title of this series references Japanese paravents or byōbu—translating to “wind wall”—known for their decorative gold leaf backgrounds and depictions of natural landscapes and daily life. Evidenced here are tropes of this traditional design, the gilding process of applying gold leaf on a surface, and the historical use of this material in iconographic and religious imagery from Early Christian to Buddhist art. Fluid in its creation, Wind Wall Icon (2020) alludes to cultural objects’ physical and metaphysical nature. Describing her practice as a synthesis of “politics and poetry,” Echakhch employs methods of erasure and destruction to transform everyday objects into signifiers of identity, history, and mythology. In 2022, Echakhch will represent Switzerland at the 59th Venice Biennale and present her first solo exhibition with Pace at the gallery’s new London space on Hanover Square.

Torkwase Dyson

Torkwase Dyson, Quotidian Curve (The Long Emancipation), 2021, acrylic on canvas, 70" × 45" × 2" (177.8 cm × 114.3 cm × 5.1 cm), left panel 70" × 45" × 2" (177.8 cm × 114.3 cm × 5.1 cm), right panel 70" × 7' 6" × 2" (177.8 cm × 228.6 cm × 5.1 cm), overall installed

Torkwase Dyson’s multidisciplinary approach to artmaking interrogates historical and existing infrastructures and architectures, particularly how Black and brown bodies negotiate space. Examining ideas of distance, scale, and the history and future of Black spatial liberation strategies, Dyson’s abstract works grapple with how space is perceived and experienced. The artist's practice explores modes of awareness contending with the formal applications of mark-making and constructions of space to examine the legacy of environmental justice and Black spatial practices. Quotidian Curve (The Long Emancipation) (2021) is a diptych with two vertical canvases divided horizontally by a line demarcated by black paint. Invoking a sense of a horizon, two three-sided white forms appear to rise from the divided canvases along with two corresponding—perhaps subterranean—forms sweeping downwards. In the present work, Dyson uses form, mark-marking, and line to expand upon her investigation of the politics of geography, infrastructures, and architectures on both micro and macro levels.

Torkwase Dyson, Water Kiss (The Long Emancipation), 2021, acrylic on canvas, 72" (182.9 cm), diameter 2" (5.1 cm), depth

Torkwase Dyson builds upon her series of black paintings with her new work, Water Kiss (The Long Emancipation), 2021. Dyson’s black paintings, and multidisciplinary practice at large, investigate Black Compositional Thought, specifically how Black and brown bodies experience, navigate, and perceive the political and physical geographies and architectures of the world. The present work further explores spatial movement, development, organization, and design as well as the nature of liquidity and what it means to be an environmental refugee today. The present work is composed of a circular canvas divided along the upper third of the painting, invoking a sense of a horizon. Several white lines cut through the dark paint, dividing the composition into various geometries, and hints of red and blue paint emerge from below the surface of the canvas along the top third, suggesting something beyond what is visible to the viewer’s eye. Dyson expertly explores the legacy of environmental racism and the traumas of climate change in relation to architectures and infrastructures inherited by today’s population through her masterful use of color, composition, and line.

Chuck Close, Cecily, 2013, oil on canvas, 72" x 60" (182.9 cm x 152.4 cm)

Chuck Close

Cecily (2013) is presented in loving memory of Chuck Close, who died in August at age 81, and as a tribute to Close’s long relationship with the gallery and his friendship with Pace’s founder, Arne Glimcher.

The work features a candid depiction of Close’s fellow artist, the painter Cecily Brown, rendered amid a mosaic of vibrant pinks, purples, blues, and greens. The painting, which is divided into three distinct and differently sized color fields, exemplifies Close’s inventive portraiture style that utilizes grids to create coherent images from disparate hues, shapes, and other elements. A pioneer of Photorealism, Close created deeply intimate images of himself, friends, and family members for over 50 years. With Cecily, the artist has brought Brown to life by way of individual cubes of pigment. The miraculous result of Close’s experimentations with color is a tender image of an artist seen through the eyes of another.

Cecily was exhibited in the 2015 exhibition Chuck Close: Red Yellow Blue at Pace in New York. This year, the artist’s work is the subject of a solo exhibition co-organized by Pace at Tatintsian Gallery in Moscow.

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, Painting of mobile (Kennedy), c. 1962, watercolor on paper, 13" × 14" (33 cm × 35.6 cm)
Alexander Calder, Tunnel, 1973, painted metal and wire standing mobile, 17" × 20" × 23" (43.2 cm × 50.8 cm × 58.4 cm)
Alexander Calder, Untitled, c. 1954, sheet metal, wire and paint, 50-1/2" × 56" (128.3 cm × 142.2 cm)
Ellsworth Kelly, Fork Left, 1958, oil on canvas, 48" × 26" (121.9 cm × 66 cm)

Ellsworth Kelly

Pioneering 20th century American artist Ellsworth Kelly’s Fork Left (1958) exemplifies his radical exploration of hard-edge abstraction. A central focus of Kelly’s practice exaggerates the flatness of painting and rethinks the presence of the artist’s hand—a fundamental tenet of Modernism. Fork Left was first exhibited at Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, in 1959, alongside several free-standing works, marking the first showing of Kelly’s sculptures. Understanding Fork Left within this context, the artist’s rendering of sculptural form and his interplay of positive and negative space is apparent. A graphic, bold white form arches out at a diagonal on a flat black background, the bent shape extending out into space and beyond the picture plane. Around the late 50s, Kelly was inspired by architectural forms and silhouettes around him in the rapidly industrialized city of New York. In response, he made paintings referencing the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, and Broadway, in the same vein as Piet Mondrian, whose legendary modernist paintings celebrated the city’s architectural grid. Fork Left is a masterful work in which Kelly took his experience of the world around him and transposed it into a distinctive artistic style.

Sam Gilliam, Untitled, 2018, acrylic on Cerex nylon, installation dimensions variable approximate installation dimensions (146" x 124" x 110")

Sam Gilliam

American abstract artist Sam Gilliam is best known for his canonical Drape series, which expanded upon the tenets of Abstract Expressionism through the artist’s groundbreaking experimentation with color, material, and space. Consisting of unstretched canvases draped from the ceiling, walls, or over objects such as sawhorses, these paintings range from small sheets to large, heavy canvases that require being bolted in place. In Untitled (2018), parallel cloths fall in waves from the ceiling and gather in complex layers, folding over each other to create a sculptural form dictated by gravity. The painted surfaces result from several methods of application, including soaking, folding, and spattering—practices Gilliam has implemented since the mid-1960s. One cloth contains swaths of warm colors: canary yellows, rosy pinks, and oranges; the other is soaked with cooler hues of purple, dark blue, pinks, and yellows. Drips and splatters dot both fabrics in addition to the patterns which emerge from the artist’s emblematic staining and folding techniques. Together, these paintings appear to rise from the ground and invite viewers to view the painting as an immersive experience.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso, Homme au mouton, nu et musicien, January 7, 1967, colored crayon on paper, 19-1/2" × 23-7/8" (49.5 cm × 60.6 cm) 32-13/16" × 37-5/16" × 2-3/16" (83.3 cm × 94.8 cm × 5.6 cm), frame

Created while living in the south of France, Homme au mouton, nu et musicien (1967) displays an array of Pablo Picasso’s most well-known motifs. The three characters stem from a renowned small body of work where Picasso repeatedly drew figures in varying mythological scenes inspired by his idyllic surroundings. The nude is unmistakably Picasso’s second wife and final muse, Jacqueline Roque, distinguishable by her exaggerated facial features echoed in varying profile degrees. Represented as an ancient goddess, she is seated next to a pointed-ear flute player, whose figure suggests he is Pan, the Greek god of shepherds and hunters—also known for his musical abilities and lustful behavior. Pan serenades the goddess, and next to him, a shepherd dangles one of his flock over his shoulders while looking directly at the seated woman, as if bringing her a sacrificial offering. A familiar trope in Picasso’s work, the shepherd—often interpreted as representing the artist himself— resembles one of his renowned sculptures, Homme au mouton (first created in 1943 and later cast in bronze in 1950). A similar work from this series of drawings resides in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois.

Oldenburg/van Bruggen, Typewriter Eraser, Model for Scale X, 1998, aluminum and resin, painted with polyurethane enamel, 38-3/4" x 24" x 31" (98.4 cm x 61 cm x 78.7 cm)

Oldenburg/van Bruggen

Robert Mangold

Robert Mangold, X Within X (Red-Orange), 1981, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 56-1/4" x 77-3/8" x 1-1/2" (142.9 cm x 196.5 cm x 3.8 cm)
Robert Mangold, Ring Image C, 2008, acrylic, graphite and black pencil on canvas, 96" (243.8 cm) diameter
Lee Ufan, Dialogue, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 89-9/16" × 71-3/4" (227.5 cm × 182.2 cm)

Lee Ufan

Robert Irwin, IBIZA, 2017, Shadow + Reflection + Color, 72-1/16" × 95-1/4" × 4-1/4" (183 cm × 241.9 cm × 10.8 cm)

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin is a pioneering figure in the Light and Space movement, anchoring a generation of artists with his phenomenological experimentation with light, color, and display. Irwin often conjures notions of either places or sounds with titles such as Harlem Nocturne (2014–15), South South West (2014–15), and the present work IBIZA (2017). Irwin’s use of fluorescent lighting dates back to the 1970s when he abandoned his studio practice and began exploring the effects of light, color, shadow, and reflection with his site-conditioned works. In keeping with his interest in broader themes of light and display, Irwin here lists his medium not as gel film on fluorescent bulbs but “Shadow + Reflection + Color.” His rhetorical choice of medium displaces the physical object, locating the work as the phenomenal and perceptual sensations produced by these immaterial conditions, altering the exhibition space and the viewer’s field of vision. Consistent with Irwin’s practice, his light sculptures influence viewers to consider how we perceive the world through sensation and perception.

Loie Hollowell, Yellow Brain, 2021, oil paint, acrylic medium and wood on linen over panel, 72" × 54" × 3-1/2" (182.9 cm × 137.2 cm × 8.9 cm)

Loie Hollowell

Henry Moore

Henry Moore, Maquette for Reclining Figure, Conceived 1945, bronze, 10.5 cm × 17.5 cm × 7.9 cm (4-1/8" × 6-7/8" × 3-1/8")

Mary Corse

Mary Corse, Untitled (Black Double Arch), 1997, glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas, 54-1/2" × 66" × 1-3/4" (138.4 cm × 167.6 cm × 4.4 cm)
Mary Corse, Untitled (Black/White/Yellow), 2000, glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas, 96" × 36" (243.8 cm × 91.4 cm)

Mary Corse is renowned for her exploration of material and light through subtly gestural and striking geometric paintings. Corse developed her initial work during the emergence of the Light and Space movement in Southern California. The subjectivity of perception, awareness, and time are central to Corse’s work. As she notes, "The art is not on the wall, it's in the viewer's perception.” Untitled (Black/ White/Yellow) (2000) is exemplary of Corse’s light-filled, geometric paintings. Perceptions of light, space, and time are at the core of Corse’s practice and evident in the artist’s hand, especially in this visually striking and expertly balanced work.

The vertical bands of color—created with a mixture of glass microspheres and acrylic paint—result in an optical effect causing waves of varying color and texture to appear as the viewer moves around the painting and light shifts over the canvas. Corse began experimenting with primary colors in the 1990s, and the present work remains a remarkable example of her astery of composition, balance, and mixed media. In 2021 The Long Museum West Bund presented Mary Corse: Painting with Light, the artist’s first comprehensive solo museum survey in Asia.

Julian Schnabel, Untitled, 2020, oil and crayon on found fabric, 74-3/4" × 53" (189.9 cm × 134.6 cm)

Julian Schnabel

Painted in Montauk, New York Julian Schnabel’s recent large-scale works embrace the irregular shapes of their supports—fabrics that covered fruit stands at local markets in Mexico. These works catalogue possibilities of how and what to paint, revealing new ways of examining the world and blurring the line between representation and configuration. As multidisciplinary artist James Nares explains,

“These paintings represent the evidence of their own autonomy. They are metaphoric in an open way, not to interpretation as image but as underlying principles and facets of nature.” The weather-beaten fabrics provide a temporal point of departure. As evident in Untitled (2020), this series is painted with marks Nares refers to as “a kind of mapping of the mind,” evoking volcanoes, rock formations, ocean waves, deserts, outer space, all rendered in vibrant indigo blues, blood reds, pale pinks and olive greens. Once a utilitarian object, the empathic found fabric contains traces of its past life and the perfection of the coincidental opening a window into both our world and one imagined in dense paint. New works by Schnabel will debut at his exhibition, Self-Portraits of Others, at The Brant Foundation’s New York location through December 2021.

Zhang Xiaogang, Shoes, 2018, oil on paper, 102 cm × 153 cm (40-3/16" × 60-1/4")

Zhang Xiaogang

Preeminent contemporary Chinese painter Zhang Xiaogang is a master of representing identity and memory. Akin to surrealist and metaphysical painting compositions, his works imbue a sense of mystery with their dreamlike settings. In Shoes (2018), muted and saturated colors, as well as refined and expressive brushwork, render these oneiric qualities. Evoking a disquieted environment, the striated background of the present work reveals a faint geometric form while four worn shoes line up and wait within the interior. With a curious foot-shoe hybrid in between them, the laces of each shoe create a webbed network in the foreground and plug in an electrical power socket. Imagery at once representational and incongruous, Shoes encourages the viewer to either accept the surroundings and acknowledge the surreal or question its very foundation—using external analysis to add a further layer of complexity to the artist’s crafted realm. The composition of this work reflects the artist’s broad interrogation of the nature of painting as a physical manifestation of the unconscious and as interpretive of individual, collective, and cultural memory.

Nigel Cooke, Healed, 2021, oil and acrylic on linen, 225 cm × 164 cm (88-9/16" × 64-9/16")

Nigel Cooke

Nigel Cooke is known for evocative works that merge the painted forms of constructed and natural worlds with individual consciousness. Combining representation based on careful observation and impressionistic, poetic imagery, the hallucinatory realms of his paintings stage scenes full of pictorial and conceptual discontinuities. Cooke’s richly colorful compositions collapse distinctions between abstraction, figuration, landscape, and still life. In his visually detailed and symbolically complex works, figures are not individual portraits but composites—combinations of perception, invention, and allusion.

Richard Tuttle

Richard Tuttle, Cleo (history), 2019, fir plywood, pine lattice stripping, wood glue, nails, spray paints, hot glue, plastic webbing, staples, 35-1/2" × 29-1/2" × 5" (90.2 cm × 74.9 cm × 12.7 cm)
Richard Tuttle, The Voices, 1966, paint on wood, 31-1/2" × 12" × 4" (80 cm × 30.5 cm × 10.2 cm)