Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz

Art Basel in Miami Beach

In pictures: Curator Philipp Kaiser picks his top works at Art Basel in Miami Beach

The Swiss-born, Los Angeles-based curator Philipp Kaiser has organised the acrobatic improvised performance by the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas and the choreographer Bárbara Foulkes that is being staged this week in the convention centre’s Grand Ballroom. Although iterations of the work were previously seen in Mexico City and New York’s non-profit art space The Kitchen, the Miami version is bigger and more ambitious, with three performers interacting with kinetic sculptural installations. Working on such large-scale productions is nothing new for the curator, who last year organised the (now discontinued) Public sector of artist commissions in Collins Park. Here are Kaiser’s picks of the must-see works at the fair.

Philipp Kaiser. Photo: Pro Helvetia/Ennio Leanza

“Faith Wilding has had a profound influence in feminist art,” Kaiser says. “Along with Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, she was involved in launching the feminist art programme at CalArts [in Los Angeles]”. This video, which shows the Paraguay-born, US-based artist reciting a poignant monologue about women’s life-cycles, was shown in 1972 in the feminist art exhibition Womanhouse, staged in an abandoned mansion in Hollywood. The Los Angeles-based dealer is also showing a series of paintings made between 1969 and 1979, and says that there are “institutional commitments” for several pieces on her stand in the fair’s Survey sector.
Faith Wilding, Waiting (1972), Anat Ebgi. Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz

“Faith Wilding has had a profound influence in feminist art,” Kaiser says. “Along with Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, she was involved in launching the feminist art programme at CalArts [in Los Angeles]”. This video, which shows the Paraguay-born, US-based artist reciting a poignant monologue about women’s life-cycles, was shown in 1972 in the feminist art exhibition Womanhouse, staged in an abandoned mansion in Hollywood. The Los Angeles-based dealer is also showing a series of paintings made between 1969 and 1979, and says that there are “institutional commitments” for several pieces on her stand in the fair’s Survey sector.

Kaiser highlights this project space in Koreatown, Los Angeles, which is led by the German artist Alice Könitz. In this work, which has separate compartments for pieces made by different artists, such as Carmen Argote, Beatriz Cortez and Katie Grinnan, Könitz “contextualises ideas around community and collaboration”, Kaiser says. “None overpowers another; it’s respectful.” Collectors can buy the work as a whole or in individual pieces.
Alice Könitz, Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA) Display System #7 (2018), Commonwealth and Council. Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz

Kaiser highlights this project space in Koreatown, Los Angeles, which is led by the German artist Alice Könitz. In this work, which has separate compartments for pieces made by different artists, such as Carmen Argote, Beatriz Cortez and Katie Grinnan, Könitz “contextualises ideas around community and collaboration”, Kaiser says. “None overpowers another; it’s respectful.” Collectors can buy the work as a whole or in individual pieces.

“This work is a piece from the artist’s Autorreconstrucción performance at the Kunsthalle Zürich this year, which, like his performance for Art Basel in Miami Beach, had suspended installations made of locally found objects,” Kaiser says. This iteration includes “very Swiss things”, such as gardening tools and skis. The curator adds that Cruzvillegas “bases his sculptural practice around metaphors on social conditions—every place it is installed, there’s a different story”.
Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autokonßtrukschön #14 (2018). Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz

“This work is a piece from the artist’s Autorreconstrucción performance at the Kunsthalle Zürich this year, which, like his performance for Art Basel in Miami Beach, had suspended installations made of locally found objects,” Kaiser says. This iteration includes “very Swiss things”, such as gardening tools and skis. The curator adds that Cruzvillegas “bases his sculptural practice around metaphors on social conditions—every place it is installed, there’s a different story”.

The Swiss painter Helmut Federle “has received international recognition but is not well-known enough in the US”, Kaiser says, adding: “His work is deeply influenced by mysticism and artists such as Rudolf Steiner, but he might remind you of early Modernism and Constructivism.” The Viennese gallery is offering a series of small paintings from the 1980s that are similar to works due to be shown in Federle’s exhibition at the Kunstmuseum in Basel next year.
Helmut Federle, 3 Stühle & 1 Grab, N.Y.C., Dec. 82 (1982). Galerie nächst St Stephan/Rosemarie Schwarzwälder. Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz

The Swiss painter Helmut Federle “has received international recognition but is not well-known enough in the US”, Kaiser says, adding: “His work is deeply influenced by mysticism and artists such as Rudolf Steiner, but he might remind you of early Modernism and Constructivism.” The Viennese gallery is offering a series of small paintings from the 1980s that are similar to works due to be shown in Federle’s exhibition at the Kunstmuseum in Basel next year.

The New York-based artist made this bronze maquette for one of the life-sized sculptures in her work Sketch for a Fountain, which featured in the 2017 edition of Skulptur Projekte Münster. “When Münster opened, the sculptures were packed with kids climbing and sitting on them,” Kaiser says, adding that the artist “is better known as a painter but is also a great sculptor who creates ambiguous, dramatic pieces”.
Nicole Eisenman, Maquette: Sketch for a Fountain (Laying Down Guy) (2018) Anton Kern Gallery. Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz

The New York-based artist made this bronze maquette for one of the life-sized sculptures in her work Sketch for a Fountain, which featured in the 2017 edition of Skulptur Projekte Münster. “When Münster opened, the sculptures were packed with kids climbing and sitting on them,” Kaiser says, adding that the artist “is better known as a painter but is also a great sculptor who creates ambiguous, dramatic pieces”.