‘I’m just reflecting the times. I’m not an activist’: artist Monira Al Qadiri on her complicated relationship with fossil fuel, a recurring theme of her work
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Mesmerizing Pixelated Motifs Emerge from Sci-Fi Narratives in Drawings by Matthew Craven
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‘I’m just reflecting the times. I’m not an activist’: artist Monira Al Qadiri on her complicated relationship with fossil fuel, a recurring theme of her work
June 10, 2024
Mesmerizing Pixelated Motifs Emerge from Sci-Fi Narratives in Drawings by Matthew Craven
June 10, 2024

Purr-fect catnip for collectors

Everyone loves a pussy cat, which is why visitors to Liste Art Fair are flocking to Palace Enterprise’s stand to grab a glimpse of the Danish artist Magnus Andersen’s feline series Capricho(after Goya and Whiskas). The cute depictions of moggies naughtily eyeing up their dinner are described as a series of “advertising paintings inspired by campaigns for the industrial cat-food brand Whiskas”. In a brainy accompanying essay, the Paris-based curators Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou write that Whiskas products “are immediately recognisable by their bright purple colour, which has become a Pantone shade over time. Like the red of Coca-Cola or the orange of Grindr, its visual imprint is powerfully anchored in our brains, calling on our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus.” Who knew cat snacks were so triggering?

Was Vilhelm Hammershøi ahead of his time? Hauser & Wirth’s Carlo Knoell demonstrates the neat illusion spotted by sharp-eyed Musa Mayer at the exhibition of the 19th-century artist

Hammershøi the Abstract Expressionist

The exhibition of works by Vilhelm Hammershøi is making waves at Hauser & Wirth’s new Basel gallery. The serene nature of the 19th-century Danish artist’s interiors and portraits is calming the Art Basel crowds—but some visitors are seeing things that perhaps others are missing. Musa Mayer, the daughter of the artist Philip Guston, turned up for the show, explains Carlo Knoell, the gallery’s senior director, and noticed that the work Interior with White Door and Yellow Wardrobe (1886) looked just like a Mark Rothko masterpiece at the Kunstmuseum Bern when turned 90° clockwise, namely No.7 (Dark Brown, Grey, Orange) from 1963. Knoell demonstrated the picture switch to an assembled crowd, who were indeed bewitched by the image’s sudden transmutation from Danish masterpiece to Abstract Expressionist gem.

Fasten your seatbelts: could Lo Brutto Stahl’s show herald the future of aircraft interior design?

Go on a flight of fancy at the airport

The Paris-based gallery Lo Brutto Stahl is showing works at Basel’s private airport, which will hopefully catch the eye of all those collectors hopping off their swanky jets en route to the fair. Air Service Basel 2024 (until 16 June) features pieces by 27 artists, including Thomas Ruff and Bernar Venet. The gallery co-founders, Pablo Stahl and Vincent Lo Brutto, tell The Art Newspaper: “Please note that due to airport security measures, access to the exhibition is strictly by appointment only.” In other words, make sure you check in properly, skip customs, avoid the luggage carousel and head for the pictures.

Undercover gallerist: Anonymous reports from behind the scenes at Basel

I’m still trying really hard to pin down a collector who has ghosted me after taking a shine to some works from the preview. I’m slightly panicking (as always) as the general mood is downbeat, if not slightly delusional, and most collectors have spent more time (and money) in the new Art Basel “concept store” than the small booths of Liste or Statements. It’s going to be a long week, it seems.

Gossip is thin on the ground—which feels like a reflection of sales being thin, honestly. I wish I could share secrets of dealers having illicit affairs in the Agnes Denes wheatfield, but we are apparently a boring crowd so far this year. I’ll try and find something scandalous for you all tonight when we have all drunk our sorrows away at another party.

Last night, I ended up slightly drunk on the tram, where I saw a well-known nepo baby—sorry, collector—typing “already boring, heading back to Zürich on the first train”. Yes, I shouldn’t read other people’s screens but I couldn’t help but wonder if anybody would notice if I was gone from the booth tomorrow.

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