from Etel Adnan to Afra Al Dhaheri
Art Basel returns this year in physical and digital formats, allowing the public to experience the fair up close in Switzerland or from the comfort of their own homes around the world.
The 2021 event features major regional gallery presentations, while artists from the Middle East are increasingly visible among established and emerging galleries in Europe, the United States and South Africa.
Here are some of the regional artists featured at this year’s fair.
The new monumental work of Lebanese artist Etel Adnan The Sun Always was presented as the highlight of the Art Basel VIP preview. The brightly colored six-meter-long fresco, made up of 136 hand-painted tiles, is presented by the German Sfeir-Semler Gallery in the Unlimited section of the fair.
Adnan is best known for her small paintings and drawings. This work, estimated between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000, is a rare deviation intended to be enjoyed by a larger audience, rather than in closed private spaces.
In addition, Galerie Lelong in Paris will present new works by Adnan, including a woolen tapestry, as part of a group exhibition in the main section of the fair.
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
The third family (2011), a large-scale composition by the late Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, is presented by the James Cohan Gallery in New York in the Unlimited section of the fair.
For six decades, the Iranian artist has developed his own abstract compositions using traditional artisan techniques of mirror mosaics and reverse glass painting. Her kaleidoscopic works explore Sufi mysticism and geometry, fused with the 20th-century abstract art movement to which she was exhibited while studying and working in New York City in the post-war decades.
In this series of eight paintings, the artist reveals how rigorous structure and endless repetition can be the source of endless possibilities. The series is on sale for $ 3.2 million.
Berlin gallery Barbara Wien presents three large-scale panels from the series by Michael Rakowitz Room G, Northwest Palace of Nimrud (2019).
The panels consist of collages reconstructing ancient reliefs from the archaeological site of Nimrud in northern Iraq, using wrappers of Middle Eastern food items and bilingual newspapers the artist found in stores run by the Chicago Arab community. The series was first shown during his solo show at Malmo Konsthall in Sweden in 2019.
It is part of a larger project, The invisible enemy should not exist, discussing the war in Iraq and the destruction of ancient Iraqi artifacts, which the American artist of Iraqi descent has been working on since 2006. Panels range from $ 25,000 to $ 75,000.
Afra Al Dhaheri
Dubai’s Green Art Gallery presents new works by Emirati artist Afra Dhaheri at the June Art Fair, a side event coinciding with Art Basel.
Al Dhaheri is part of a new generation of young female artists from the United Arab Emirates. His tactile sculptures combine contrasting materials such as rope, concrete, plastic tubes, wood and ceramics. Through this, she explores embodied memories and notions of identity, as well as poetic interpretations of time, space and absence.
The Green Art Gallery will also showcase new works by Iranian artist Nazgol Ansarinia, exploring Tehran’s abandoned private swimming pools, which were built in the 1960s and left empty following the 1979 revolution.
Coming out of the port explosion of August 4 and the economic crisis in Lebanon, the Marfa ‘gallery in Beirut will present a solo exhibition by Vartan Avakian, specially commissioned for the fair.
The exhibition stand, titled A sign for things to come, is based on the neon signs slowly fading from Beirut city life, due to power outages and business closures.
The artwork reflects the uncertainty of the current crisis and is part of the artist’s long-standing exploration of archaeological artifacts and fossilization.
The Pilar Corrias Gallery in London will present new works by Kurdish-American artist of Iraqi descent Hayv Kahraman. Draped by the antibody (2021) is part of the artist’s explorations of Islamic and Japanese decorative arts to create contemporary wood panels addressing social issues.
The artist was shortlisted for the V&A Museum Jameel Prize in 2018.
Laurent Abou Hamdan
A first sound installation by the Turner Prize-winning artist will be presented by Sfeir-Semler in the Unlimited section of the fair.
All the truth (2012) discusses the use of voice analysis as a lie detection method by border agencies around the world. The work is part of the artist’s larger investigations crossing sound art and forensic research to uncover difficult truths on topics such as Europe’s migration policies and the realities of a Syrian prison. The sale price ranges from $ 50,000 to $ 75,000.
Qatari-American artist Sophia Al Maria will also screen a new film with Project Native Informant in London, the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg will feature works by Egyptian artist Ghada Amer and Iranian-American photographer Shirin Neshat, and sculptures by Lebanese artist Simone Fattal will be presented in groups. presentations by Kauffman Repetto and Karma International.
Art Basel runs until Sunday September 26
Update: September 23, 2021 9:59 am