KAVI GUPTA PRESENTS FRESH-TO-MARKET WORKS BY FIRST-GENERATION AFRICOBRA ARTIST GERALD WILLIAMS AT ART BASEL IN MIAMI BEACH 2017
At Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017, Kavi Gupta will present an ambitious booth of original work by its distinguished international artists, including Firelei Báez, McArthur Binion, Roger Brown, Nick Cave, Beverly Fishman, Irena Haiduk, Richard Hunt, Michael Joo, Glenn Kaino, José Lerma, Manish Nai, Angel Otero, Clare Rojas, Jessica Stockholder, and Gerald Williams.
A highlight of the booth will be a selection of important, fresh-to-market and direct-from-the-studio works by Gerald Williams, co-founder of AfriCOBRA, an artist collective formed on the south side of Chicago in 1967, which became the definitive visual expression of the Black Arts Movement. In the 1970s Williams moved to Africa and eventually traveled across Africa, Asia, and Europe for more than 20 years, incorporating diverse influences from around the globe. Over time, his work has evolved into a polyrhythmic representation of life at the intersection of figuration and abstraction, or what he calls “mimesis at midpoint,” and is often deeply political. His work was recently included in Tate Modern’s Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, and this will be the first time works from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s will be shown at Art Basel by the first-generation AfriCOBRA artist.
The booth will also feature new works by Glenn Kaino, whose practice addresses issues of race, territory, violence, illusion, expectations, and the balances of power that operate within the social structure. Highlights include a flag piece that has been tie-dyed by using a Civil War-era tarring solution. In creating the piece, this once white American flag heats up as the oxidation of the chemicals creates an exothermic reaction. This spontaneous combustion appears as a symbolic representation of the volatile nature of this time of crisis. The resulting pattern is a beautifully poignant image of concentric circles, a target, alternating black, tan and white. Under the light of examination, the shadows that the flags cast represent the American flag as clear and pristine as a new flag might—a poetic reminder that even during our most unstable and explosive times, the ideals that exist within our concept of our country might still be preserved. A map painting will also be on view. By distressing the graphical elements with a forceful transfer technique, Kaino has created maps that express the territorial boundaries won in the combative struggle for colonial expansion. Both the flag and map series debuted at Kavi Gupta in Fall 2017. These works can also be found in the artist’s current solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2017). Kaino is currently working with producers John Legend and Jessie Williams to produce a film featuring gold medalist Tommie Smith. He will open a solo exhibition at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta in 2018 and a major exhibition at MASS MoCA in 2020.
Manish Nai’s curated space within the booth will be comprised of three works that represent alternative approaches to his perennial engagement with minimalism through a transformation of humble, regional materials. Two circular sculptural wall pieces made of compressed, dyed jute will be positioned within the booth on opposing walls, one solid and one hollow. Between the pair, Nai returns to his “jute mural” technique, a debut for Art Basel in Miami Beach; wrapping a stretcher with layers of contrasting jute, Nai meticulously plucks individual threads from the warp to create layered abstract imagery. Nai recently had a solo exhibition at Fondation Fernet-Branca, Saint-Louis, France (2017), Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France (2016), and a major presentation at the Kochi Muzirus Biennale, Kochi (2014). He won the Prudential Eye Award (2016) for his contributions to contemporary art in Asia.
Firelei Báez’s installation will recall sedimentary architectural history of colonial structures, with indigenous and occupying cultures layered on the walls. Bounded by an arched door referencing Sans Souci Palace of Milot, Haiti the space will feature three paintings in conversation addressing the relationships between body, landscape, and history, and how intersections between these are interpreted socially. Báez recently had solo exhibitions at Pérez Art Museum Miami (2015-2016) and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2017) and was featured in ‘Future Generation Art Prize’ (2017), presented by PinchukArtCentre and Victor Pinchuk Art Foundation at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Báez has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2018) and will be included in the 2018 Berlin Biennale.
The booth will also feature a group of works by Irena Haiduk, whose complex multifaceted practice has been the subject of enormous critical acclaim, most recently at the 2017 Whitney Biennial in New York and at Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany. The work installed in the booth will be an extension of ongoing projects that were created before, during, and after Documenta 14. Haiduk previously showed her work at the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2015), the Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, (2013), the Athens Biennale (2017), and the Istanbul Biennial (2015) and has numerous significant upcoming exhibitions and publications.
About Kavi Gupta
Kavi Gupta Gallery was established in 2002 with a focus on presenting exhibitions of international emerging and mid-career artists in all media. Currently represented artists demonstrate a strong exhibition record with museum solo shows and biennales, with works having been placed in important institutional and public collections. Since its inception, the gallery program has been supplemented by site-specific installations, public works, academic panels, and curated projects at art fairs. The gallery’s curatorial-focused, project-based program has been the subject of enormous popular and critical response. The gallery is continually recognized for ambitious and innovative programing and has won the award for Best Show Nationally from the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA) three times, first for An Epitaph for Civil Rights and Other Domesticated Structures by Theaster Gates in 2011, again for Apparatus by Roxy Paine in 2013, and most recently for I was born to do great things by Mickalene Thomas in 2015. Kavi Gupta comprises two main spaces including a new 8,000 sq. foot exhibition space in addition to its original gallery. After establishing itself as one of the preeminent galleries in Chicago, Kavi Gupta opened an outpost in Berlin’s Schöneberg district in 2008. To accommodate a growing program of original publications, Kavi Gupta expanded to include Kavi Gupta | EDITIONS in 2014, a new curated space focusing on art texts and monographs.
Artists who will be attending Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017 include Gerald Williams, Glenn Kaino, Manish Nai, and Firelei Báez.
Image caption: Gerald Williams, Malcolm, 1970, acrylic on canvas, 35” x 27” x 2”
Kavi Gupta Booth #A16
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017
Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139 December 7-10, 2017
Kavi Gupta Booth #A16