In ART

With seven fairs descending on Basel this month it can be easy to get confused and over-inundated with art.

For its 15th year, Volta will be presenting works at its former home of the Lysbüchel Cultural Center, with a total of 79 galleries presenting booths this year. Some of the highlights this year include NL=US Art’s massive tufted carpets that look like fungus by artist Lizan Freijsen, incredible paintings by the South Korean artist Jongmin “Joy” Kim, and beautiful scenes in acrylic and ink that blend computer generated images with paint by KANT gallery of Copenhagen’s Fabian Treiber.

An incredible Brian Eno piece from Paul Stopler Gallery in London creates an architecture of sound, while Eske Kath’s tender acrylic on linen paintings evoke a space somewhere in-between the granular and the divine.

Brian Eno, Orchal, 2019. LED lights, Perspex, wood, USB stick, 65 x 65 x 19 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.
Brian Eno, Orchal, 2019. LED lights, Perspex, wood, USB stick, 65 x 65 x 19 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.

Artual Gallery from Beirut presents a group show by five international artists: Rob Tucker, Jonni Cheatwood, Katrin Fridriks, Jean-Philippe Duboscq, and Stickymonger. A well curated booth, the selection of works provides a unique cultural interplay that is nurtured and expressed in nearly every piece, perhaps no more so than in Rob Tucker’s “Raspberry Milkshakes are in That Container,” a mix media work on board of a large shipping vessel foregrounded by delectable fruits.

Rob Tucker, Raspberry Milkshakes are in That Container, 2019. Mixed media on board, 122 x 142 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.
Rob Tucker, Raspberry Milkshakes are in That Container, 2019. Mixed media on board, 122 x 142 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.

Certainly one of the most strange and odd pieces from Volta this year is the debut of ‘Tomato Chair,’ designed by acclaimed artist Parra and contemporary art platform Case Studyo. Over at Joshua Liner Gallery, the chair is an inclined red cherry tomato shaped humanoid. When sitting in it, it appears you are being held up by a person wearing blue stockings.

Parra, The Messy Room, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 85 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.
Parra, The Messy Room, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 85 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.

Interestingly, Zavier Ellis is the first gallerist to exhibit both as an artist and gallerist at the fair this year. For this year’s edition, Ellis is curating his seventh project in a row at Volta entitled “Thresholds,” which features an array of artists such as Geraldine Swayne, Emma Bennett, Barry Thompson, Dominic Shepherd, Florian Heinke and Hugh Mendes, presented alongside Ellis’s work as a visual artist in another group both by Galerie Heike Strelow (Frankfurt am Main).

Zavier Ellis, Revolt, 2018. Oil, house paint, and collage on canvas, 30 x 25.5 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.
Zavier Ellis, Revolt, 2018. Oil, house paint, and collage on canvas, 30 x 25.5 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.

Another favourite from Volta this year are Yigal Ozeri’s large-scale photorealistic portraits of young women in varying landscapes. Entitled “A New York Story”, Ozeri’s recent body of work examines how inspiration can be drawn from the urban fabric of life in New York City.

Yigal Ozeri, Untitled: A New York Story, 2019. Oil on paper, mounted on wood, 30 x 45 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.
Yigal Ozeri, Untitled: A New York Story, 2019. Oil on paper, mounted on wood, 30 x 45 cm. Courtesy of Volta Basel.

Above all, Volta presents a moving array of works by emerging and young artists working in different styles and media, and though it is often usurped by some of the larger fairs in Basel like Liste, Volta remains a stand out and worth a visit if in Basel.

Volta Basel was held from June 10 – 15, 2019

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