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Arts10 Artists To Look Out For At Art Basel Hong Kong 2019

10 Artists To Look Out For At Art Basel Hong Kong 2019

Egon Schiele, Two Girls (1911) (Photo: Courtesy of Richard Nagy Ltd, London)
Egon Schiele, Two Girls (1911) (Photo: Courtesy of Richard Nagy Ltd, London)
By Oliver Giles
March 13, 2019
It can be hard to know where to start at Art Basel in Hong Kong, which features more than 240 galleries from around the world this year. We introduce 10 talents worth seeking out:

1/10Liu Xiaodong (Eslite Gallery, Taipei)

Liu Xiaodong, Memory Tree 1 (2014) (Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Eslite Gallery)
Liu Xiaodong, Memory Tree 1 (2014) (Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Eslite Gallery)

One of the giants of Chinese contemporary art, Liu Xiaodong is renowned for his large-scale, neo-realist oil paintings of modern life in China (one example pictured above). Liu began receiving international attention in the early 2000s, when he produced a series of paintings depicting families who had been displaced by the construction of the enormous Three Gorges Dam. Since then, Liu has painted everything from communities reeling from the effects of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake to miners digging for jade in China’s northwest province of Xinjiang. 

2/10Egon Schiele (Richard Nagy, London)

Egon Schiele, Woman Disrobing (Edith Schiele) (1917) (Photo: Courtesy of Richard Nagy Ltd, London)
Egon Schiele, Woman Disrobing (Edith Schiele) (1917) (Photo: Courtesy of Richard Nagy Ltd, London)

Austrian artist Egon Schiele might have died more than a century ago, but his work still feels strikingly modern. Schiele, best known for his sensuous, unapologetically erotic nude portraits, which often feature the sitter staring boldly out at the viewer, was vilified as indecent and condemned in his time; once he was even arrested on a charge of “offences against public morality” (the charge was dropped). At Art Basel, gallery Richard Nagy is showcasing a series of Schiele’s works on paper completed between 1910 and 1918, just before his untimely death from the Spanish flu. 

3/10Liu Kuo-sung (Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong)

Liu Kuo-sung, Down to the Water (1976) (Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie du Monde)
Liu Kuo-sung, Down to the Water (1976) (Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie du Monde)

The work of Taiwan’s boundary-breaking Fifth Moon Group, whose members revolutionised Chinese painting in the 1950s by combining traditional techniques with Western abstraction, will be on show at Galerie du Monde’s booth at Art Basel. Liu Kuo-sung was the founder and creative visionary behind the group, and his boundary-breaking ink paintings  perhaps most successfully embody the movement’s desire to fuse the best of East and West.

See also: Canvas Belong: Asia-wide Membership Programme Launches in Hong Kong

4/10Vincent Namatjira (This Is No Fantasy: Dianne Tanzer + Nicola Stein, Melbourne)

Vincent Namatjira
Vincent Namatjira

Albert Namatjira is often hailed as the most famous Aboriginal Australian artist in history—he was the first Aboriginal person to be granted Australian citizenship and the first to win the Archibald Prize, one of the country’s most prestigious art awards. This rich legacy inspires his great-grandson Vincent, who is making a name for himself as one of Australia’s most exciting young artists with bold paintings that reference the country’s colonial history, think pictures of Captain Cook and the Queen, and contemporary politics.

5/10Bagus Pandega (ROH Projects, Jakarta)

Photo: Courtesy of Bagus Pandega (IG: @ baguspandega)
Photo: Courtesy of Bagus Pandega (IG: @ baguspandega)

Living up to its reputation as the go-to gallery for collectors looking for up-and-coming talent from Indonesia, ROH Projects is bringing work by several young Indonesian artists to Art Basel. Among them is Bagus Pandega, who makes complex kinetic installations that often include LED lights or other bulbs, record players and music instruments such as keyboards and electric guitars. These intriguing works have earned him an international fan base: he’s previously had an exhibition in Tokyo, contributed a work to the Amsterdam Light Festival and completed an artist residency in France. 

6/10John Baldessari (Galerie Greta Meert, Brussels)

John Baldessari, Scene ( ) / Take ( ): Bowler Hat (2014) (Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Greta Meert)
John Baldessari, Scene ( ) / Take ( ): Bowler Hat (2014) (Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Greta Meert)

Humour unites all of John Baldessari’s art, whether it takes the form of collages, prints, paintings, films, books, performances or installations. The irreverent Californian is now in his late 80s but is still producing work at a prodigious pace in his studio in Venice, Los Angeles. In a sign that his fame has now spread far beyond the art world, earlier this year Baldessari played himself in an episode of The Simpsons. 

7/10Carmen Herrera (Lisson Gallery, New York and London)

Photo: Courtesy of Lisson Gallery
Photo: Courtesy of Lisson Gallery

Sexism in the art world is a hot topic right now, with many galleries and museums trying to rectify past wrongs and shine a light on innovative female artists who were previously ignored. One of these artists is 103-year-old Carmen Herrera, who creates bright, colour-blocked paintings that were at the forefront of the geometric abstraction and minimalist movements but were swept aside while similar art made by men was lauded as visionary. Herrera didn’t sell a painting until 2004, when she was 89. A recent documentary about Herrera, The 100 Years Show, is sure to bring her some of the recognition that has been far, far too long coming.

See also: 10 Hong Kong Events You Can't Miss In February 2019

8/10Rirkrit Tiravanija (Kurimanzutto, Mexico City and New York)

Rirkrit Tiravanija, Untitled 2018 (2018)
Rirkrit Tiravanija, Untitled 2018 (2018)

“ALL YOU NEED IS DYNAMITE” was emblazoned across one of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s canvases exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach last year, one of many recent works by the Thai artist that explores global inequality and contemporary politics. At Art Basel in Hong Kong, Kurimanzutto is exhibiting new works by Tiravanija that feature a Simplified Chinese phrase printed over pages from the South China Morning Post. In English, the sentence reads “Do we dream under the same sky?”, a phrase Tiravanija has used multiple times over the years in a variety of different projects to explore the ideas that draw communities together—or pull them apart. 

9/10Richard Lin (Bank, Shanghai)

Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams
Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams

Collectors around the world are clamouring for works by the late minimalist Taiwanese painter Richard Lin, whose prices at auction have skyrocketed in recent months. Lin’s meticulous, delicate works are hailed for combining his love of Western modernist architecture, the art of Piet Mondrian and the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi. Outside of Art Basel, where Lin’s work is being shown by Bank gallery, Bonhams is hosting an exhibition of works by Lin at its gallery in One Pacific Place from March 18 to 30. 

10/10Carol Bove (David Zwirner, New York, London and Hong Kong)

Photo: Courtesy of David Zwirner
Photo: Courtesy of David Zwirner

Featuring everything from bent, crushed and warped metal tubes to velvety peacock feathers, Carol Bove’s abstract sculptures encourage viewers to think deeply about the nature of materials. Bove was born in Switzerland and represented the country at the 2017 Venice Biennale but is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, where her neighbourhood’s industrial past has deeply inspired her art.

Art Basel Hong Kong will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong from March 29 to 31. For more information, visit artbasel.com

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