In a central area within Art Basel’s “Unlimited” sector—where large-scale artworks thrive, freed from the confines of the traditional fair booth—across from works by Carl Andre and Xu Zhen, Cheim & Read presents Ron Gorchov’s monumental Entrance. Aptly titled, the historic 1971 work is an archway of sorts that reaches 15 feet in height, and 20 feet in width, with an opening at its center large enough for a person to walk through and view its scaffold-like construction on the reverse side. The work is made up of long painted canvases, built in curved, three-dimensional shapes that Gorchov stacked horizontally in rows, attaching them to achieve a rounded, layered composition featuring vibrant stripes of color. Entrance welcomes viewers to pass through its bounds and engage with its dialogue as a hybrid entity that straddles the line between sculpture and painting, as does Gorchov’s practice as a whole.
Gorchov’s work carries into the next exhibitors hall, where his recent PASSACAGLIA (2013) is on view at Cheim & Read’s booth, demonstrating his continued explorations into the painted canvas as a multi-dimensional, sculptural object. Ventures in painting and sculpture are also evident in a suite of works by Jack Pierson, whose text-based works—mismatched letters spelling out ironic or vexing statements that recall roadside signs and ransom notes—have become art fair staples, and favorites. In addition to Pierson’s new FREE LOVE (2014), the gallery offers an unexpected series of oil stick and ink works on paper, predominantly in shades of cobalt and navy blue, in varying degrees of translucence. Though they range in composition and technique, the works form a cohesive group, and serve as a strong contrast to Pierson’s signage works—and as refreshing, careful meditations on color, art-making, and medium.
Male artists by no means dominate, though; Cheim & Read also shows fantastic works by their pioneering female artists, including iconic corporeal sculptures and works on paper by Louise Bourgeois; polyurethane foam and cast aluminum sculptural pours by Lynda Benglis; a work from Jenny Holzer’s “TOP SECRET” series; and iconic expressive abstractions by Joan Mitchell.
Visit Cheim and Read at Art Basel 2014, Galleries, Booth C14 and Unlimited, Booth U58, June 19th–22nd.