For this year’s edition of Art Basel, Lehmann Maupin will present works by artists Kader Attia, Ashley Bickerton, Mary Corse, Roberto Cuoghi, Kim Guiline, Nicholas Hlobo, Shirazeh Houshiary, Lee Bul, Liu Wei, Liza Lou, Angel Otero, Robin Rhode, David Salle, Do Ho Suh, Mickalene Thomas, and Erwin Wurm.
About Lehmann Maupin
Founded in 1996 by partners Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, Lehmann Maupin has fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established, working in multiple disciplines and across varied media. With three locations—two in New York and one in Hong Kong—the gallery represents artists from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Known for championing artists who create groundbreaking and challenging forms of visual expression, Lehmann Maupin presents work highlighting personal investigations and individual narratives through conceptual approaches that often address such issues as gender, class, religion, history, politics, and globalism.
Art Basel Unlimited
Comprised of a limited-edition video and installation, Mickalene Thomas’ Do I Look Like a Lady? (Comedians and Singers) collages together clips of female comedians and singers, shifting across the screen in an unpredictable, ever-changing pattern. Among the performers featured are Josephine Baker, Jackie "Moms" Mabley, Wanda Sykes, and Whitney Houston. The 12-minute, two-channel video presents a piercing, moving, and at times uproarious portrait of the diverse expressions of womanhood, building on Thomas' ongoing reconsideration of black female identity.
The immersive installation is meant to function as a space for viewers to experience inclusion, contemplation, and initiate communication. Furnishings are upholstered in brightly colored, vintage pattern fabrics, recalling Thomas' childhood surroundings and her familial textiles. Woven into the layout, are faux plants and carefully curated stacks of books, from past and present, relating to feminism and African American culture. This work highlights the artist's increasing focus on private, domestic spaces and their relation to a broader cultural framework.
The works have been included in Thomas’ solo exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, CO; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA.
About Art Basel Unlimited
Curated by New York-based curator Gianni Jetzer, Unlimited is Art Basel’s pioneering exhibition platform for projects that transcend the classical art-show stand, including massive sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances.
Art Basel Short Film Program
Kader Attia’s film Reflecting Memory (2016) is included in the Art Basel Short Film Program "Phantom Limb", which refers metaphorically to the medical phenomenon of phantom pain: a nervous disorder in which the brain reacts to the removal of a body part by continuing to send pain signals. A so-called phantom limb continues to cause pain even after amputation. Reflecting Memory explores ideas of repair from both physical and emotional war and trauma—it’s one of his strongest works and all the more relevant in today's political landscape. In the film, Attia interviews a range of subjects from surgeons who specialize in prosthetic limbs to religious historians and medical experts who discuss the psychological scars caused by centuries of religious and political strife. Attia arranges his subjects in different scenarios--praying in church, eating a meal--with a mirror bisecting their body. The mirror reflects directly onto the person but also symbolizes those things, which cannot be separated from people's lives such as religion and heritage. The poetic film serves as a monument to that which is no longer there physically but lives on in memory.
For Robin Rhode's Performa 15 commission, the artist transformed Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg's atonal opera Erwartung to reflect the experiences of women who have been separated interminably from their husbands by the migrant labor system, political exile, activism and/or imprisonment. Composed in 1909, Erwartung tells a melancholy story of love, loss, and longing that takes the form of a one-act monodrama. Rhode’s performance grounds these complex, universal emotions to the particular social and cultural trauma of South African racial politics and migrant labor. Set in New York City’s Times Square, the intimate one-person show is scaled to dramatic proportions within this most public of settings, giving a candid and global voice to this cause; a woman’s anguish explodes on the streets of New York as an operatic monument to lamentation. Erwartung invites us inside an encounter of pain and perseverance. Staged on a set based on the original designs sketched by Schönberg in 1909, Rhode's mise-en-scène draws threads between the past and present versions of this performance.
Art Basel’s week-long program of films by and about artists is curated by Maxa Zoller. Known for her roaming series of experimental film screenings, Zoller plans a diverse and challenging program of works that together create a dialog about the medium of film today.