Art Basel is one of the main stops on the yearly circuit not just for the rich and famous but art collectors and art lovers alike but due to the global pandemic that’s made 2020 the year of ughs, they’ve had to postpone shows in Hong Kong, Basel, Switzerland and the upcoming showing in Miami Beach in December until 2021. Although the in person art fair has been cancelled, we can still get some top notch art, albeit virtually and that’s why the Art Basel organizers are launching Art Basel ‘OVR:2020.’ The original concept of the Online Viewing Rooms was to run in parallel to the shows –rather than replacing the physical experience of an art fair – allowing gallerists to showcase additional curated exhibitions of works not presented at the fair. Given these extraordinary times, the newly launched formats of Online Viewing Rooms in September is more focused in theme and scope.
The event taking place virtually will be presented live from September 23 to September 26(see below for private and public schedule), featuring 100 Art Basel galleries from 28 countries and territories showcasing 600 exceptional works created in 2020 by established and emerging artists across the globe, including painting, sculpture, drawings, installation, and photography, as well as video and digital works. Unlike previous iterations of Art Basel, all the works being shown at Art Basel ‘OVR:2020’ were all made this year. This new format will give participating galleries the opportunity to present tightly curated exhibitions, and offer exhibitors an additional platform to showcase artworks to Art Basel’s global network of patrons, as well as new collectors and buyers who will be able to discover.
Several galleries will focus their presentation on a single artist. Highlights include: neugerriemschneider’s presentation of two new works by Rirkrit Tiravanija, whose production will be live-streamed over the course of ‘OVR:2020’, creating an element of interaction often missing from the current pandemic-impacted artistic landscape; François Ghebaly gallery will show new works by Cameroon-born and New York-based artist Ludovic Nkoth; ‘Open Body’ at White Cube, featuring new works by Antony Gormley that explore the tension between stability and collapse; new photographs by Marilyn Minter at Salon 94 that vividly manifest our culture’s complex and contradictory emotions around the feminine body and beauty.
Multiple galleries will feature presentations that address vital themes of social justice and racial equality. Anat Ebgi’s selection of video and digital collage works by Jibade-Khalil Huffman that closely mine the contradictory and intrinsic nature of racism in America; Jenkins Johnson Gallery’s ‘Stand Up, Speak Up, Speak Out’, featuring works by five African Diaspora artists – Lisa Corinne Davis, Rashaad Newsome, Blessing Ngobeni, Amani Lewis, and Raelis Vasquez who explore international political and social issues of 2020; and ‘Gentle People’ at Jessica Silverman Gallery featuring Sadie Barnette, whose work draws on her family history, particularly the life of her father Rodney Barnette, a founding member of the Black Panther Party. Ebony G. Patterson, whose work addresses themes of global social and political injustices, will present her most recent works on paper at moniquemeloche.
Various presentations will reflect on the lived experiences and the sociopolitical narratives of 2020, including new paintings by Ramiro Gomez at P.P.O.W that bring America’s essential workers to the forefront of our visual culture, in dialogue with the topic of immigration and the increasing criminalization of border-crossing; works by Ziad Antar, Elena Damiani, M’barek Bouhchichi, Maha Malluh, and Catalina Swinburn at Selma Feriani Gallery that explore the individual yet collective challenges presented by the
global health crises and subsequent political unrest; and Altman Siegel’s selection of new works by Lynn Hershman Leeson that address the mask as an identity construct, directly referencing COVID-19 and the current state of the pandemic.
The schedule for September’s Art Basel OVR:2020 is below:
Preview (by invitation only): Wednesday, September 23, 2020, noon (CET) – Friday, September 25, 2020 noon (CET)
Public days: Friday, September 25, 2020 noon (CET) – Saturday, September 26, 2020 midnight (CET). Sign up here.
Set your 2021 calendar for these shows next year:
Upcoming Art Basel shows
Hong Kong, March 25-27, 2021
Basel, June 17-20, 2021
Miami Beach, December 2-5, 2021
Featured image: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones © Courtesy Moran Moran Gallery
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pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Editorial Director, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.