Art Market

8 Works to Collect at ARCOlisboa

Demie Kim
May 17, 2017 4:02PM

Back for its second edition, the International Contemporary Art Fair of Lisbon opens this Thursday at the Cordoaria Nacional, a historic 18th-century building on the scenic Rio Tejo. ARCOlisboa, as it’s known, features 50 exhibitors from Portugal and beyond, showcasing works by emerging and established artists alike. Below, we highlight eight works to collect, from an evocative painting by late Arte Povera artist Mario Merz to a critical take on the “female nude” by Danish artist Nina Beier.

Adam Pendleton, Untitled

On view at ARCOlisboa:

Parra & Romero • Galleries, Booth G05

Adam Pendleton
Parra & Romero

On the heels of a solo show at KW Berlin, and with another ongoing at Baltimore Museum of Art, art world star Pendleton continues to evolve his idea of “Black Dada,” which he has described as a “way of articulating a broad conceptualization of blackness.” An avid reader, Pendleton photocopies and appropriates words and images from his ever-growing library, using this printed matter as the raw material for abstracted, text-based collages.

Nina Beier, Female Nude, 2016

On view at ARCOlisboa:

joségarcía ,mx • Opening, Booth OP02

Nina Beier
Female Nude, 2016
joségarcía ,mx

At ARCOlisboa, joségarcía ,mx presents several recent sculptures by the Danish conceptual artist Beier, ahead of her upcoming solo show at the gallery. Across sculpture and installation, Beier explores cultural symbols and the circulation of images, extracting from both art history and the internet. Here, she depicts the archetypal “female nude” of art history as a coco fesse—a seed from Seychelles that has been collected since the 16th century, known for its curvaceous shape—bursting through the straw seat of a chair.

Taus Makhacheva, A Space of Celebration, 2009

On view at ARCOlisboa:

narrative projects • Opening, Booth OP04

Taus Makhacheva
A Space of Celebration, 2009
narrative projects

Inspired by her roots in Dagestan, Russia’s most ethnically diverse republic, video artist Makhacheva—another Venice Biennale participant—explores questions of national identity in her work. In A Space of Celebration, which depicts two figures draped in white cloth in a traditional banquet hall, Makhacheva pokes fun at the lavish, budget-breaking weddings that have come to represent family status in her home country.

Cristina De Middel, Bambuit, 2013

On view at ARCOlisboa:

Galería Juana de Aizpuru • Galleries, Booth E03

Cristina De Middel
Bambuit, 2013
Galería Juana de Aizpuru

Spanish conceptual photographer Cristina De Middel based her “Afronauts” series on the fascinating, yet little-known story of Edwuard Makuka, a Zambian science teacher who launched a space program in 1964 in the hopes of putting the first African on the moon. Blurring fact and fiction, the images see astronauts in colorful suits made of African fabric trekking through surreal landscapes and, in the artist’s words, offer a “a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices.”

Antonio Ballester Moreno, Yellow Plant (Light) #1, 2017

On view at ARCOlisboa:

Christopher Grimes Gallery • Galleries, Booth J03

Antonio Ballester Moreno
Yellow Plant (Light) #1, 2017
Christopher Grimes Gallery

Madrid-based Moreno arranges earth-toned shapes to create spare, symbolic landscapes in the tradition of Paul Klee and Joan Miró, who both portrayed nature in networks of abstract lines and forms. As seen in a spring solo show at Madrid’s La Casa Encedida, the artist often incorporates his individual works into a larger installations representing microcosms of the natural world—with walls depicting rain, sun, moons, and stars.

Sergio Vega, Interventions on a book (Copan-Duchamp with banana), 2016

On view at ARCOlisboa:

Umberto Di Marino • Galleries, Booth G02

For this series, Vega arranged pages of Brazil’s Modern Architecture (published by Phaidon in 2007) with photographs and objects, resulting in humorous juxtapositions—here, Oscar Niemeyer’s famous Copan building in São Paulo meets a black-and-white photograph of a boy and a monkey, as well as a sculpted banana. The mixed-media collages are part of an eclectic research project exploring the links between modernist Brazilian architecture, urban design, bossanova music, parrots, and shamanism.

Mario Merz, Untitled, 1985

On view at ARCOlisboa:

Giorgio Persano • Galleries, Booth F01

Arte Povera artist Merz rejected the mythical and subjective aspects of Abstract Expressionism, instead advocating an egalitarian art of simple, natural materials and found objects. Though best-known for his igloo sculptures, the artist also made paintings full of organic imagery—such as this large-scale, mid-career work, in which animal limbs seem to tear out of a frenzied red and blue background.

Liliana Porter, The Tale, 2011

On view at ARCOlisboa:

Espacio Mínimo • Galleries, Booth C02

New York-based Argentinian artist Porter assembles children’s toys, animal figurines, and kitsch trinkets into whimsical, surrealist-inspired assemblages (like the monumental sculpture currently on view in Christine Macel’s “Viva Arte Viva” Venice Biennale exhibition). For this more modest work, the artist has paired a miniscule statuette of a man reading with a head of a toy horse, which doubles as a “horsehair” brush.

Demie Kim