Despite the heat in the city during Miami Art Week, winter vibes are in the air. The Art Newspaper team has picked some of our favourite seasonal works at Art Basel.
John Baldessari's Penguin (2018)
Believe it or not, this penguin sculpture is a self-portrait of the late US artist. Standing at the same height as the man himself, it is a continuation of his self-portrait series of 1974, when Baldessari—with his renowned droll sense of humour—sought to distort his identity beyond recognition.
Stanya Kahn's Leucistic Penguin (endangered) (2022)
This icy scene was originally exhibited at Kahn’s solo show with the Los-Angeles gallery Vielmetter, titled Forest for the Trees, in summer this year. It is part of a series of works that depict animals in different environments and reference climate change. The frame of the work is made of wood sourced by the artist and it includes “ceramic vessels that mimic icicles in this glacial environment” says Olivia Gauthier, the gallery’s assistant director. You can save this endangered specimen for a cool $24,000.
Jason Saager's Forest of broken spacetime (2022)
Based in Arizona, Saager creates landscapes that are “somewhere between Renaissance painting, with its strange perspective, and Surrealism, with its strange inventions”, says Julie Senden, the director of the Brussels-based Rodolphe Janssen gallery. “They look quite flat from far away but if you go up close there is so much texture in them.” The work sold in the region of $20,000 to a US collector.
Philippe Parreno's Iceman in Reality Park (1995–2019)
This frosty fellow was first created for the 1995 outdoor exhibition Ripple Across the Water in the city centre of Aoyama, Japan. Every day just before lunch, a refrigerated truck delivered the snowman ice sculpture to a private park and it slowly melted away, to be replaced the next day. The stone buttons and eyes and the tree-branch arms embedded in the ice slowly fall off as it melts. At the fair, the work is being replaced every two days. Turns out this melting man is destined to remain in sunny climes—it sold to a Middle East institution for an undisclosed sum. Best keep the air con on.