Every piece shown at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021 was not contemporary. There were Picassos, Miros, Kandinskys and more. I just didn't take photos of them, instead concentrating on more recent art. The point here is, hopefully, to let people know about recent artists or even artists from the past that are less familiar.
I didn't IGNORE the historical!
Jean-Paul Riopelle's Le puits hanté (1957) shown by Galerie Thomas (Munich) is an example of the artist's (fairly) early move into abstract. He is a Canadian artist born in Montreal. He was one of the principle proponents of Refus global, a manifesto that rejected academic training in art. It also rejected religion and was strongly anti-establishment. He traveled to Paris as part of a fellowship from the Canadian government.
His early work is associated with the Surrealists but the piece below was created well after his ongoing movement into abstraction. He lived with American Artist Joan Mitchell for some time. You can find out more about him at the Guggenheim Museum site. He stopped painting in 1992 and passed away in 2002.
Elizabeth Glaessner's Blue Recluse (2021) was shown by PPOW (New York). She is a California-born artist who lives in New York City. PPOW has, for years, represented a fascinating and diverse group of artists. Find out more at elizabethglaessner.com.
Yinka Shonibare's Moving Up is an installation representing the Great Migration--when millions of African-Americans moved from the rural South to the North and Midwest. The Great Migration changed America in fundamental ways. Shonibare is from, and currently lives, in London.
Ed and Nancy Kienholz The Grey Window Becoming shown by Templon (Paris). Before 1972 Ed worked alone. After 1972 all the pieces were collaborative. Their work is always thought provoking and there is something charming about them doing it together. Regardless of marital status, artistic collaboration breathes new life into the process.
Check out the work Andy Warhol did with Basquiat (in my opinion these rejuvenated Warhol, you can quibble about how much he contributed, of course).
Whip Stocking (2021) by Blair Thurman & Espejo Alborotado by Donna Huanca
Her work is about the people regarded as "others." Immigrants, in particular. In America every generation of immigrants faces a unique, directed form of discrimination and dehumanization. This simple fact makes lots of white folks uncomfortable. Let me say, as an old white guy; fuck them.
This is the sort of art we need for the people coming to our country NOW. I know it won't help but maybe it makes people think.
Forget for a moment the philosophy, the intent of the artist and look at the painting. There is an almost Dali-like precision there. It seems like every brush stroke has its own purpose and life. This is an artist who matters and will matter more as time goes on. Collectors should be throwing money at this gallery (and I rarely make such predictions).
Find out more at hayvkahraman.com.
Sam Falls' Riverside is a lovely piece of work but I may damn with faint praise in this context. Many people with different world views and views of art might actually like this glazed ceramic, mounted on cement board with a brass border piece better. It is beautiful and unencumbered with philosophical meaning and that has its place. The world needs pure beauty.
Let's start with that impressive piece, from the bottom up; Tiwani Contemporary (London) showed Tupac y Tupac, Time lords of the Andes. Or, a failed Fitzcarraldo (2021) by Umar Rashid . Rashid's work always has the best titles and it is always nice to see colonialists being impaled at a fancy art fair (figuratively, of course). The artist is from Chicago and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Double Head with Blue Paintings by Mark Manders, was shown by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (New York City). The piece is painted bronze, painted canvas, painted wood, wood and iron.
The remaining pieces are:
Morris, Gainesborough, Turner, Riley (2021) by Grayson Perry shown by Victoria Miro (New York ).
Pastoral Scene (2021) by Barthélémy Toguo shown by Galerie Lelong & Company (New York, Paris).
Found Wanting by Christina Forrer shown by Luhring Augustine (New York).