After 10 years of Art Basel Miami Beach, as the fair shifts to occupy the digital realm, we are excited to present an expanded online viewing space to feature and contextualise works we would have shown on our booth at the fair had the world been different today. These works, by a selection of the gallery’s artists, each reflect on our current and highly unusual situation as well as exceptional recent social and political events.
‘We Must Act’, instructs Sharon Hayes’ painted banner, whose title and content speak so eloquently to the current moment. The work holds an omission at its very centre – a space where the absence of the word ‘Women’ is outlined in faint pencil – ‘we [women] must act’. In a similar way, Kate Mosher Hall’s paintings use these gaps and voids in composition – torn curtains or Venetian blinds – to represent that which is framed by these absences.
At once ominous and playful, Elizabeth McIntosh’s painting entitled ‘Pattern’ is also broken open to reveal the blank white space beneath, like a relief between storm clouds. Her second work, ‘Elements’, explores the many ways that we longingly represent the sun in these dark days, using Bruno Munari as her guide. Antonio Ballester Moreno thrives in these differences, asserting that his paintings of suns are never the same. After all, it is always a different sun that we look at every day.
Jimmy Roberts’ new sculpture complicates the distinctions between image and space, revealing a contorted figure captured within a paper sculpture. The artwork engages and seeks to dissolve socially defined or culturally inscribed identities. Similarly, Esteban Jefferson’s ongoing consideration of the collection shown by the Petit Palais museum in Paris reflects on race, identity and the legacies of colonialism, questioning how institutions process uncomfortable histories.
'What messages might we already leave for the archaeologists of the future from their ancient past, before the doors to the future close?’ asks Studio For Propositional Cinema’s manifesto. Their off-set printing plate works echo Hayes’s initial call to action, adding an important caveat for consideration – 'IF THERE IS STILL ENOUGH TIME TO DO SO’.
But as Elif Saydam says of their contemplative Ottoman miniatures, there is the reassuring voice of hope and reflection in even the midst of the wildest tempest. In the end, this too shall pass, they say. But when it does, and the sky clears, “What kind of a world do we want to live in? And how do we want to live in it?”
Jimmy Robert’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses performance, photography, film and collage, frequently collapsing distinctions between these mediums. Robert's interest in how the body can be personified through materials and the reverse is a force that integrates his longtime work with performance with his larger practice.
His mid-career survey exhibition, ‘Akimbo’, is currently on view at Nottingham Contemporary gallery in the UK. Next year, the exhibition will travel to CRAC Occitanie, Sète in spring and to Museion, Bolzano in summer 2021. ‘Tobacco Flower’, his new commission for Glasgow International festival, will open at The Hunterian in summer 2021. Recent solo exhibitions and performances include Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Performa 17, New York; CAC - La Synagogue De Delme, France; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; and Museum M, Leuven.
Robert (born in 1975 in Guadeloupe) lives and works in Berlin. His next solo exhibition at Tanya Leighton, Berlin will open in July 2021.
Robert’s work often explores the intersections between art history and subjectivity, informed by his experience as a queer black person who grew up in a colonial territory, Guadeloupe, and then in the colonial power, France. Robert deploys myriad quotations and allusions throughout his work, creating a layered set of reflections mirrored across time, place and identities.
–Nicole Yip Curator, Nottingham Contemporary