José Patrício, Chromatic Spirals VI, 2018. PHOTO: Robson Lemos

With approximately 83 thousand visitors during the five days that Art Basel Miami Beach was open for visitation last December, the fair collected encouraging numbers in relation to sales promoted by participating galleries. Good news also for Latin American art, which always stands out at the fair.

The fair's organization announced that sales were strong at all levels of the market. However, the strength of buyers from nearby countries is becoming more and more evident. The regionalization of the fair's editions has been observed by many in recent years.  By having editions on several continents, Art Basel has seen some of its patrons prefer to wait for the nearest edition to cross the ocean to buy works of art. Even so, visits by collectors and representatives of institutions such as the Center Pompidou, in Paris, and the Serpentine Galleries, in London, do not disappoint.

At the 2018 event, something caught the attention of the participating galleries: the willingness of buyers to include works by black, Latino and women artists in their collections. This desire somehow reveals the strength of the claims of movements that fight against the erasure of the artistic production made by these social groups.

Brazilian galleries have reported some success in their sales. Among the 14 Brazilians, Galeria Nara Roesler, based in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and New York, sold works by names such as Vik Muniz, Tomie Ohtake, Julio LeParc and Artur Lescher. Bergamin & Gomide negotiated works by Ivan Serpa and Leonílson.

The two are the only houses in Brazil that also participate in the edition of the fair in Hong Kong, between the 29th and 31st of March. Nara Roesler will present works by some of the artists who were successful in Miami Beach, but also includes works by Xavier Veilhan, Hélio Oiticica and José Patrício. Bergamin & Gomide from São Paulo will bet on works by Jac Leirner, Rivane Neuenschwander, Jim Hodges, Lorenzato and Mira Schendel.

Participating in the Discoveries sector with the Commonwealth and Council gallery, from Los Angeles, Brazilian Clarissa Tossin, represented in Brazil by Galeria Luisa Strina, will present some works she has developed recently (Read an interview with Clarissa by clicking here). Starting from ideas raised by the writer Octavia E. Butler in the triology xenogenesis (1989), Tossin brings to light “a post-apocalyptic materiality”  that involves the ecological issues of the planet, considering “the aesthetic traditions of the native people of the Amazon in relation to the contemporary culture of goods”. Also noteworthy is the Argentine-born artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, who will be exhibiting an untitled work, from 2018, made of gold leaf written in Chinese characters, which can be translated as “We are dreaming under the same sky”, pasted on a newspaper.

The Hong Kong event will feature 242 galleries from 35 countries. In a movement that also demonstrates some of this regionalization of the fair's editions, the Kabinnet sector will focus on artists from Asia, featuring both established names and rising artists. There will be, in all, 21 conceptual presentations in a delimited space and with special curatorship inside the stands. Highlights for Simon Starling at The Modern Institute and Joan Miró at Galeria Lelong.

In the Film sector, multimedia artist and film producer Li Zhenhua has separated 27 film and video works that address the sociopolitical context today, including works that have been shown at major festivals such as spring fever, by Lou Ye, who won the prize for best screenplay at Cannes in 2009 and Dong, by Jia Zhangke, screened at the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. In Conversations, the highlight is the conversation between several curators who produced exhibitions based on Asian geography “discussing the exhibition format as a way of of making maps that seek new understandings, perspectives and disconnections in a region made up of many regions”.


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