The fourth edition of ART021 opened to Shanghai today, bringing crowds of primarily local and regional collectors to the city’s Shanghai Exhibition Centre. For all the staid grandeur of its surroundings, the fair is spirited, youthful, and bustling. Much of that sparkle comes courtesy of co-founder Kelly Ying, a renowned Shanghainese collector whose background in fashion and impeccable connections infiltrate the fair. To that end, the 84 participating galleries span the young and hip—Shanghai’s Antenna Space, for example—to blue-chip galleries such as Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth. Among those galleries are 38 newcomers, including David Zwirner and Massimo De Carlo. After spending the day walking the aisles of a jam-packed VIP preview, below, we bring you the 10 strongest booths across this year’s fair.
Main, Booth C01
With works by Joe Bradley, Takashi Murakami, Sterling Ruby, Jonas Wood, Edmund de Waal, Georg Baselitz, Douglas Gordon, Albert Oehlen, Balthus, Dan Colen, Alberto Giacometti, Damien Hirst
Installation view of Gagosian Gallery’s booth at ART021, 2016. Photo by Frances Arnold.
Enjoying a prime position and a seemingly ceaseless flow of collectors to a strong selection of work by blue chip artists, Gagosian Gallery’s second stint at ART021 seems, by all accounts, lucrative. Works span the historical (Georg Baselitz’s Farewell to Bill, an homage to Willem de Kooning); to the cult, courtesy of Takashi Murakami’s Arhats (Title TBD) (2016), in which spiritual cartoon figures are superimposed on a background of skulls; to the now, by way of a 2016 painting by American artist Joe Bradley. A particular highlight is British ceramicist Edmund de Waal’s “Red and White” series.
Main, Booth W28
With works by Pixy Yijun Liao, aaajiao, Chen Wei, Li Qing, Liu Shiyuan
Brooklyn-based artist Pixy Yijun Liao has been having a moment in the Shanghai spotlight of late, thanks to a recent solo exhibition at Leo Xu Projects, as well as being featured in Chi K11 Art Museum’s summertime show, “Bagism.” Today, her work Men as Bags (2016) piqued the interest of a steady flow of collectors who were descending on the booth. Literally a man-shaped bag, it subverts gender stereotypes in the wittiest of ways. Meanwhile, Liu Shiyuan’s work explores the ways in which the internet age shapes our understanding of both everyday objects and language. For Simple as Clay (2013), the artist entered the word “clay” into a search engine in multiple languages, unearthing stock image after stock image—none of which, she discovered, were clay. Oddly obsessive, the objects that make up the work are pictured against a blue screen of the same hue used in film production to manipulate backgrounds.
Main, Booth C10
With works by Tomás Saraceno, Liam Gillick, Ryan Gander, Liu Ye, Martin Boyce, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
For their first outing in Shanghai, Berlin-based Esther Schipper/Johnen Galerie is going all out, with booths at both of this week’s fairs. Drawing the crowds—and by the close of day, a buyer—is Tomás Saraceno’s intricate Hybrid Semi Social Solitary Instrument Aoede 761,41 Built by: A Solo Cyrtophora Citricola - Twee Weeks And a Solo Tegenaria Demestica - Four Weeks (2016). Here, the Argentinian artist’s medium of choice is spiderwebs, which he uses to explore correlations between human and arachnid behaviors. Underfoot are irregular-shaped, jungle-inspired tiles by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, while the booth’s various sections are connected with bright sliding doors by Liam Gillick, who recently contributed an installation to Himalayas Museum’s Shanghai Project. Further furnishing this diverse presentation is Martin Boyce’s eminently covetable standing light installation Dead Star (An Island) (2016).
Galerie Chantal Crousel
Main, Booth C09
With works by Gabriel Orozco, Melik Ohanian, Andy Warhol, Oscar Tuazon, Zheng Guogu, Mona Hatoum, Anri Sala, Danh Vō, Wolfgang Tillmans, Haegue Yang
Back for a second edition of ART021, Parisian gallery Galerie Chantal Crousel presents work by a selection of artists that have established resonance in China. Among them is Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vō, whose sizeable chunk of We The People (2010–2014), his replica of the Statue of Liberty recreated in copper segments and crafted at a forge close to Shanghai, was snapped up for around €250,000 early in the fair’s VIP preview. Likewise, Gabriel Orozco, who is riding a wave of recognition thanks to a recent solo exhibition at Hong Kong’s White Cube, is represented by several works on canvas as well as a dramatic feather and bamboo mobile. Two of Andy Warhol’s “Space Fruit” (1979) prints mark a similarly timely addition to the booth; his seminal “Shadows” series (1977-78) is currently on display at the city’s YUZ Museum.
White Space Beijing
Main, Booth W35
With works by Ignacio Uriarte, He Xiangyu, Gao Lei, Liu Xinyi, Gao Ludi, Liu Wentao, Li Shurui, Shi Zhiying, Xie Fan, Wang Qiang, Wang Tuo, Zhai Liang, Jian Ce, Qin Jun
Installation view of White Space Beijing’s booth at ART021, 2016. Photo courtesy of White Space Beijing.
With a roster of predominantly young Chinese artists at this year’s fair, it is nonetheless the anomaly that’s drawing particular interest among collectors at White Space Beijing’s booth. Entirely self-taught, Berlin-based artist Ignacio Uriarte takes inspiration from his former office career by way of oblong, pebble-like shapes, densely-filled with doodles, squiggles, and circles. By the end of day, the gallery was very close to finalizing the sale of a punchy canvas by emerging talent He Xiangyu, who in the past few years has enjoyed a solo exhibition at both White Cube, London and UCCA, Beijing. Most eye-catching, however, is Liu Xinyi’s wall mounted installation, Nine Segments of Sausage (2016). Following the curve of the much-contested South China Sea area in the form of charcuterie, it might be the most photographed work at this year’s fair.
Wang Xin, Welcome to the Art World, 2016 (still). Image courtesy of de Sarthe Gallery.
Looking a lot like a David Lynch movie, Wang Xin’s Welcome To The Art World (2016) at de Sarthe Gallery is a pleasingly cynical dig at art-world elitism. Presented as a typical Shanghai nightclub in garish black and pink, it has it all: the disinterested doorperson, who is nonchalantly munching on watermelon; the barricades to imply exclusivity; and catchy, clubby music. Unlike your average nightspot, however, it also includes a giant hamster wheel set before a screen of instructions for artists (“Build Relationships,” “Create a Mailing List”) and so on. A bar selling vodka concoctions titled “How to speak art-speak” and “How to network” is manned by artists—on VIP day the artist was Katy Roseland, recent Swatch Art Peace Hotel artist in residence and co-founder of Shanghai art collective Basement6. Atop a nearby stepladder, visitors are invited to don a virtual reality headset that transforms the lurid if elite setting to a barren, dystopian landscape.
Main, Booth C06
With works by Fausto Melotti, Wilhelm Sasnal, Stefan Brüggemann, Alexander Calder, David Smith, Paul McCarthy, Larry Bell, Diana Thater, Roni Horn, Pipilotti Rist, Bharti Kher, Rashid Johnson, Thomas Houseago
Participating in ART021 for the first time this year after three outings at the concurrent West Bund Art & Design fair, Hauser & Wirth is making excellent use of its prime corner spot in the central hall of the exhibition center. The booth is separated into three distinct sections, the first featuring kinetic and 2D works made with metal and mirrors, including mesmerizing, quivering sculptures by Fausto Melotti set against Stefan Brüggemann’s Timeless (2016). The next is dominated by American masters David Smith and Alexander Calder, whose offerings include both a signature mobile by Calder, as well as a handful of Smith’s lesser-known paintings. Things take a turn for the contemporary with Diana Thater’s filmic plays on perception of color, Pipilotti Rist’s work in glorious technicolor, and two pieces by New Delhi-based Indian artist Bharti Kher—including her animal-tree hybrid installation Solarum Series I (2007-2008). In addition to participating in both ART021 and West Bund Art & Design this week, Hauser & Wirth is co-presenting Martin Creed’s Understanding (2016) at Qiao Space, a gallery in Shanghai’s burgeoning West Bund district, founded by collector Qiao Zhibing.
Main, Booth C05
With works by Shinro Ohtake, Aki Sasamoto
Making its first ART021 foray is Tokyo gallery Take Ninagawa, which features found object collages by mid-career artist Shinro Ohtake, as well as a striking installation by New York-based performance artist Aki Sasamoto. Making quite the Shanghai debut, Sasamoto is also featured in this year’s Shanghai Biennale, opening this weekend at the city’s Power Station of Art. At ART021, her statement work, Talking in Circles in Talking (2015), features melting blocks of ice that are suspended from the ceiling, each with mementoes of deceased loved ones frozen inside—a bracelet here, a USB stick there. The installation is dimly lit by lights that shine directly onto the ice, and surrounded by the sound of dripping water, amplified via contact microphones, which makes for a highly atmospheric installation.
Installation view of Christine Park Gallery’s booth at ART021, 2016. Photo courtesy of Christine Park Gallery.
London’s Christine Park Gallery is a highlight of the fair’s APPROACH section, which features curated shows of up to three artists. The gallery is showing work by two Korean artists, as well as emerging British talent Jessica Rayner. In particular, Sangyoon Yoon’s supersize canvases present dreamlike vistas of buildings, offices, or parks under a shallow pool of water. Central to each is an irregular being or creature, such as a graceful ballerina or a serene deer. According to Christine Park, much of the interest from Chinese buyers can be attributed to the palpable nod to traditional Eastern art in each painting, whether by way of a mountainous backdrop, or twisting pine tree. In contrast, Rayner’s UV prints on aluminium are elegant in their starkness. Returning for a second edition of the Shanghai fair, Park praised the fair’s capacity for drawing top local collectors.
Main, Booth W17
With works by Eric Baudart, Nuri Kuzucan, João Vasco Paiva, Ko Sin Tung, Cui Xinming
Edouard Malingue Gallery’s entrance to the Shanghai scene is making quite a splash. In addition to booths at both of this week’s art fairs, last weekend the Hong Kong incomer inaugurated a brand new space in the city’s West Bund cultural district. Garnering particular interest at ART021 is a series of small paintings of maritime signal flags. Attracting the most attention, however, is Eric Baudart’s painstaking Papier Millimetré (2015). Viewed from afar, the work appears to be a seismographic reading of sorts. In fact, however, it is millimeter graph paper—the kind used by architects—compulsively scored to reveal its cardboard mount behind. The gallery is enjoying a very warm welcome in Shanghai, and confirmed several sales at ART021 on its preview day, as well as four works sold at the concurrent West Bund Art & Design.