Art Basel 2024 Highlights. Part 2

Publication about the artworld

Art Basel 2024 Highlights. Part 2

Key artworks from Art Basel, world's premier contemporary art fair.

Eric Fischl is a Neo-Expressionist painter and sculptor best known for his figurative paintings and ambiguous, sexually charged imagery. To create this artwork, he has been working backwards from the newest VR technology to the age-old process of bronze casting, and “Lady with Red Hat” (2023) represents the journey these sculptures have taken. ‘No question about it, we live in an age of technological wonder, and being able to bring together these two disparate technologies is irresistible to me as an artist,’ says the artist.

In “Composition with Blue. Yellow. Red and Black”, Sylvie Fleury playfully subverts Piet Mondrian’s Modernist masterpiece of the same name. Fleury replaces Mondrian’s primary colours with white faux fur that seems to spill out of the picture plane, disrupting the rigid geometric lexis of his signature gridded paintings.
Fleury humorously invokes normative notions of femininity and frivolity to denounce the masculinism underpinning the art-historical canon, while also commenting on gendered patterns of consumerism and the fetishisation of fashion.

Georg Baselitz's sculptural series Dresdner Frauen (Women of Dresden) references the artist’s upbringing in postwar Germany. The monumental female heads pay tribute to the so-called Trummerfrauen, a German expression used to describe the women in post-war Germany, which can literally translated to 'rubble women’.
These women helped clear and reconstruct the bombed cities In the aftermath of the war and played a crucial role in the country’s reconstruction. Deeply impacted by the annihilate bombing of the city in 1945, Baselitz here manifests the simultaneous trauma, resilience, and recovery that the city of Dresden has come to symbolise in the post-war era.

George Rouy is best known for his contorting figures that provoke the canvas boundary. His sensual paintings have a hazy, dream-like quality, that layer textures and shades of paint to depict ambivalent nude figures, genderless and unbounded, which blend classical posture and the silhouettes of clubbers. Rouy’s figures seemingly float, enclosed by opaque spaces that waver between darkness and light, an examination of contemporary crucibles of gender, fiction and technology.


"Sometimes I start from a figure and it mutates into something else, into an abstract composition. I just go by my instincts. If I feel like adding a face or an eye or hands, I go with that," – Uman. The artist paints richly-hued worlds replete with gesture, geometry and the sublime.
The artist’s visual vocabulary reflects her life and expansive cross-cultural experiences. Her influences abound from memories of East African childhood, a rigorous education in traditional calligraphy and a fascination with kaleidoscopic colour and design.

Art history meets Lego again in Ai Weiwei's “Therese Dreaming”, which revisits an artwork by Balthus, created in 1938, through LEGO bricks, a playful, readily accessible medium. Ai Weiwei has been working with Lego since 2014, using the medium to replicate Old Master works and “tell a story between something very valuable, historical and something very capitalistic and contemporary”.
There are also, as always with Ai Weiwei, a few alterations that differ his artwork from the one by Balthus. Worth noting, back in 2017 Balthus’ artwork met controversy when it was targeted by an online petition for “romanticizing the sexualization of a child”, and the Met was alleged of “supporting voyeurism and the objectification of children”.

Throughout his photography, video, sculpture, and writing, Trevor Paglen investigates mass surveillance, the military industrial complex, and clandestine forces that shape contemporary society.
Conceptually, Paglen is interested in rendering the invisible visible and in blurring the lines between art, science, and investigative journalism. The artist reinterprets the tradition of American landscape photography as he captures technological intrusions — such as military installations, drones, and spy satellites — into the environment.
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