VOLTA8 June 11-16, 2012 at Dreispitzhalle Basel. Limited Edition by Jason Gringler and Jiri Svestka (Prague/Berlin), Nusser & Baumgart (Munich) in foreground.
JUNE 11-16, 2012
BASEL (June 16, 2012). A steady stream of international collectors through the week equalled sustained success and significant sales at VOLTA8. Instead of the typical opening-day surge and following days’ drop-off, gallerists noted constant foot traffic within the Dreispitzhalle, so that even the torrential downpours earlier in the week did not stifle serious art-buyers.
As stated by Artistic Director Amanda Coulson: “It was an extremely strange year for us in terms of the usual traffic and therefore unpredictable. Whether this was because of the heavy and exhausting stack of previous events – Frieze NY, the re-branded Hong Kong fair, Manifesta 9 and dOCUMENTA (13) – or the newly split VIP days at the main fair is hard to say, but instead of fizzing crowds followed by slow moments it was rather a constant, slow but steady trickle that added up to significant attendance but that lacked the normal rhythm. Sales came through, however, so at the end of the day, it was a successful fair if lacking the usual energy of Art Basel week.”
Alejandro Zaluskowski of Galerie Stefan Röpke (Cologne) summed it up: “Like in New York, it’s a patience game, good conversations with good people. Today, we basically sold the entire booth.” Spanish artist Jordi Alcaraz‘s massive methacrylate and mixed-media framed works went to collectors across the globe for 7,500 to 24,000 Euro. William Lawrie of Dubai-based gallery Lawrie Shabibi noted much activity later in the week, selling a regal iron and brass Projectile (range 25,000 – 30,000 Euro) by young Iranian artist Shapour Pouyan to a Turkish collection, while reserving the other two armored hanging sculptures, one to a European museum. The gallery sold one large-scale mixed-media work on paper by Beirut-based Marwan Sahmarani (range 20,000 – 25,000 Euro) as well.
ALARCÓN CRIADO GALERÍA (Seville) enjoyed diverse interest for their three-artist booth, selling three Cprints by Alejandra Laviada (2,800 Euro each) plus drawings on wood (600 Euro each) and the tiered wooden sculpture Receptive Environments (4,000 Euro) by Daniel Palacios. Dealer Carolina Barrio de Alarcón remarked on the global vibe of collectors visiting her booth and “hopes to add VOLTA to her calendar next year!” Over in the A Halle, Arne Linde of ASPN (Leipzig) emphasized she had “twice as many new contacts at this fair than in all of last year,” while selling three paintings by Robert Siedel (2,000 – 12,000 Euro for jumbosized). She also noted serious interest in FAMED, the Leipzig-based artist trio whose emotively conceptual works contrasted Siedel’s paintings.
Successes came in all shapes and forms. BROTkunsthalle (Vienna) chalked up further accomplishments for young Moscow-based photographer and 2011 Venice Biennale artist Anastasia Khoroshilova. Beyond her upcoming exhibition at the Kunsthaus Baselland this autumn, there are plans for a future solo exhibition at the Esbjerg Kunstmuseum (Denmark), encouraged by her VOLTA8 presentation. Poppy Sebire, of her namesake London gallery, observed serious interest from collectors in Roger Andersson, ahead of his December solo gallery exhibition. Tyler Rollins Fine Arts (New York) received VIP visitors who had seen their featured artists Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook and Sopheap Pich at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel. The gallery sold five of Pich’s woven rattan and bamboo grids (7,300 Euro each) and found significant curatorial interest in Rasdjarmrearnsook’s videos.
Gallery Kalhama & Piippo Contemporary (Helsinki) sold multiple, modestly-sized, moody oil on board paintings by Ville Löppönen (1,300-1,600 Euro), including four on Tuesday alone. Paolo Deansi, of his namesake Rovereto gallery, felt there were more visitors overall this year. The gallery sold a range of mixed-media organic wonderlands on paper by Dacia Manto (2,200 – 9,000 Euro). Meanwhile Martin Asbæk Gallery (Copenhagen) moved nine small-scale Sofie Bird Møller painted collages (2,500 Euro each) white noting strong interest from Greek, Belgian, Swiss, and British collectors in her monumental works. Beyond the triumphs throughout the week for Masters Fine Arts Zürcher Hochschule der Künste artist Nicole Schmid, attracting the attention of the Tinguely Museum, her exhibiting gallery balzerARTprojects commented they sold her Balcony assemblage over the phone this morning, before fair doors opened! TiNT Gallery (Thessaloniki), the sole Greek gallery exhibiting at VOLTA this year, sold Christos Venetis‘ entire 25-part installation Anemic Archives – unique, realistic pencil drawings on the insides of book covers – plus nearly every other work they had for the artist.
Peter Lav Gallery (Copenhagen) enjoyed ripping returns, selling their whole booth of Adam Jeppesen‘s photography to a private German collection, the unique 27-part work Untitled, 27 Horizons (25,000 Euro) and two large inkjet editions. “No one can get offended at that!” laughed Lav. His success was mirrored next door at Galerie Mario Mazzoli (Berlin), who moved all of Pe Lang‘s kinetic sculptures (5,000 – 35,000 Euro) to collectors on every continent. Brunnhofer Galerie (Linz) had a huge week as well, selling Thomas Kühnapfel‘s monumental stainless steel sculpture Reservoir III (45,000 Euro) that graced the Dreispitzhalle entrance to a Belgian foundation. They also clocked several vividly angular acrylics by Aurelia Gratzer, sending one to Washington DC and another to Ghent, plus a wall relief by Lucia Dellefant to a New York collector. Emira Krupic of Cologne’s krupic kersting galerie // kuk enthused about “considering a waiting list for Baptiste Debombourg‘s works, since they are selling so well!” The French artist’s evocative stapled murals went for approximately 6,000 Euro each. The consistent crowds at Galerie Ron Mandos (Amsterdam) culminated in a late-day triumph: sale of young Dutch artist Levi van Veluw‘s compelling installation Origin of the Beginning 1.3 to a Belgian collector for 50,000 Euro.
A diverse array of discerning international visitors attended VOLTA8 this week, including Jerry I. Speyer (Chairman of MoMA, New York); Anthony Harrison (British collector); Lea Weingarten (Weingarten Group of Houston, TX); Shay Hindi (Tel Aviv); J. Luis Tranche (Las Palmas); Christian Sveaas (Norway); Rudolf and Caroline Sutter (Basel architect); Meryl Rose (Massachusetts collector); Reydan Weiss (German art commissioner); Jean Boghossian (of his namesake Brussels foundation); Dr. Tayfun Belgin (Osthaus Museum, Hagen Germany); Dorothe Juul Rugaard (Curator, Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst, Forside Denmark); members of the Kunsthalle Göppingnen (Germany); foundations from all corners of the globe and other guests.
Finally there was Smash137, the Basel-based graffiti artist whose towering, multihued tag blossomed across a building near the Dreispitzhalle. It was a week-long work in progress, considering Tuesday and Wednesday’s rain, but at completion the vibrant transformation of a graybrick wall to evaporating tonal gestures acted as a beacon on the Münchensteinerstrasse, and echoed smashing successes at VOLTA8.
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