My Highlights from ARCOmadrid 2015

Artsy Editorial
Feb 25, 2015 12:00AM

All of this work is very different, ranging from the medium-specific, to the conceptual, to the archival. However, if there are any unifying elements or qualities to my selection, they would probably be a certain lightness of touch and modesty of scale. This can be gleaned in the handling of materials as much as in the humor that seems to hover over all of it, not to mention the restricted economy that tends to govern—less like a law than a shared proclivity—the majority of this work. If Italo Calvino’s celebrated valorization of lightness comes to mind, it is perhaps no mere coincidence. In a time of rising totalitarianism, oppressively humorless fundamentalism, and general ecological foreboding, a minimum of levity, agility of spirit, and blitheness is wanted, lest we succumb to the increasingly saturnine global mood.

My Selection:

Ramiro Chaves, Untitled (from the series, No. xxxxxxxxxx), 2014, at Yautepec

Untitled (from the series, No. xxxxxxxxxx), 2014

This extensive and heterogeneous series of images is a seemingly encyclopedic reflection on Mexican identity and independence through the letter X at the center of the country’s name.

Oreet Ashery, Angry Drum, 2014, at waterside contemporary

Apparently resentful of its intended function, this unhappy object of percussion is a concise gem of anthropomorphic humor.  

Giorgio Griffa, Untitled, 1976, at Rafael Pérez Hernando Arte Contemporáneo

Untitled, 1976
Rafael Pérez Hernando Arte Contemporáneo

Griffa’s exquisite paintings reduce the medium to and valorize its most essential elements, indicating production process through  color and unstretched canvas, with an exemplary simplicity and elegance.

Karin Sander, Mailed Painting 144, Bonn-New York-Wien, 2014, at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder

This chance-based, deadpan series literalizes and celebrates the anxieties that attend the transportation of art, allowing those dreaded hazards and threats to assume a rare, authorial position. At the same time, Sander’s work offers a new take on the narrative quality of art as an index of its creation.

Aleksandra Waliszewska, Untitled, 2012-14, at LETO

These strange, idiosyncratic works seem to be the byproduct of a delightfully disturbed mind. Full of winsomely gruesome reverie, they possess a truly unique narrative quality: the more you see of them, the stranger they get.

Martin Soto Climent, Wrinkle crinkle (Kate Moss), 2012-2015, at Clifton Benevento

This new series of works continues Soto Climent’s ongoing interrogation of conventional modes of beauty and, even more importantly, the insuperable materiality of images.

Explore ARCOmadrid 2015 on Artsy.

Artsy Editorial