Spotted at Art Basel 2023. Part 2

The latest publication about the artworld

Spotted at Art Basel 2023. Part 2

Currently, the art community congregates in Basel. Explore carefully curated artworks showcased at Art Basel 2023 in Basel, accompanied by gallery booths and the innovative Unlimited sector.

Sand Dune is a captivating and enigmatic landscape from the final decade of Francis Bacon’s career. While Bacon is best known as a painter of people, landscapes have punctuated his practice like jewels. The artist made two paintings on this subject and the other sand dune, painted two years later, resides in the collection of the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel.
“Another thing about chaos is I can use the dust. I used dust from the studio in doing those paintings of the sand dunes that I saw in Brittany […] So I just took dust and a cloth and put it onto the wet paint and after it was dried I set it as one sets a pastel.” Francis Bacon


Full of tenderness and sensitivity, Girl on a Turkish Sofa (1966) by Lucian Freud is an exquisitely rendered, jewel-like canvas and is one of just a handful of portraits the artist made of Penelope (Penny) Cuthbertson. A cousin of Caroline Blackwood, Freud’s former wife and muse, Girl on a Turkish Sofa separates itself from the other nudes of Penny, offering a softer, less charged image of the sitter. While the pose undoubtedly has whispers of Diego Velázquez’s famous painting Rokeby Venus, it still feels closer to Modigliani’s more modern Nu couché (sur le côté gauche).

The artist who throws Newton a curve, as Fred Eversley has been named by the NY Times, he is the unheralded pioneer of the Light and Space movement. He has dedicated his five-decade career to abstract sculptural meditations on energy. Eversley drew upon his experience as an engineer in the aerospace industry and elements of the Light and Space movement prevalent in Southern California at the time to develop the lens-like parabolic objects for which he is best known.

While undergoing a paradigm shift in the digital age, Cao Fei’s pioneering oeuvre researches deep interstices of art, media, technology, and futurity. Her recent artworks meditate on the intricate interplay between human and machine consciousness, the porous boundaries of virtual and physical worlds, and the limitless potentialities of the metaverse. Oz, the new avatar appearing in the series of her artworks, is a product of a world full of uncertainty and a growing sense of disillusionment with the impact of technology on humanity.

Charged with personal experience, collective history and futuristic projection, 'Orgy For Ten People In One Body' by Isabelle Albuquerque performs and subverts art historical narratives and archetypes. Classic interspecies love stories like Leda and the Swan and Romulus and Remus meet new embodiments of hybrid creatures, mythic mothers, witches, pussies and saints. In this work, the artist uses her own body and transmutes it across multiple forms and material languages.

Ugo Rondinone’s three enigmatic bronze statues painted in vivid colors: “blue yellow nun” (2020), “orange green nun” (2022) and “yellow pink monk” (2020), were a part of the last year’s show of the artist “the water is a poem unwritten by the air no. the earth is a poem unwritten by the fire” at Petit Palais in Paris. These larger-than-life human figures with massive bodies could be not only religious figures draped in their robes but dancers whose movements are cloaked by enveloping fabric.

Mark Rothko’s capacity to arrest the immeasurable forces of the cosmos remains the painter’s greatest triumph. In Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange), painted in 1955, Rothko forever immortalized the spellbinding and ephemeral magic of daybreak in paint. Rothko's challenge, to both himself and his audience, was to engage not only the eye, but also the mind and the spirit, and this work is a particularly moving exemplar of this ambition.