On the Block: Special Art Basel Edition

We have the scoop on who’s bringing what to the fair of all fairs

Cara Blumstein

Fri, Jun 10, 2022

On the Block: Special Art Basel Edition
Henni Alftan, Soles, 2022

It is the sanctum sanctorum of art fairs, the inner circle’s inner circle, the fair that world’s best dealers—they have to do a lot to qualify for a booth there—save their very best works for. But it’s also, in this season of passion for new names with fresh ideas, a place to discover great talent. LiveArt combed the packing lists of many of the galleries presenting work at the fair, compared the names and works against our own clients’ wishlists, so we could winnow down the lists to these artists we think will be getting a lot of attention:

Los Angeles’s own Blum & Poe gallery is bringing two artists to keep your eyes on. Anna Park, well-known for her frenzied black-and-white scenes of contemporary life, had a solo exhibition at the gallery’s Tokyo location last year. Her popularity with collectors and success on the primary market is buttressed by her work being featured in the Aldrich Museum’s upcoming show 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone. ICA Miami and the MFA Houston were in early, too. Her works are trading for low six-figures on the private market.

Blum & Poe’s other artist is Umar Rashid, sometimes known as Frohawk Twofeathers, who had a solo exhibition with the gallery in 2021. He’s popular with collectors in the Kerwick and Nava crowds partly because he combines real and imagined history with pop culture iconography—all  in a naive style. Rashid is currently showing at Almine Rech’s Paris flagship. In December, Tiwani Contemporary, his London gallery, told reporters they sold out their Miami Basel booth of ten works at prices between $25,000 and $65,000. In 2022, his works are getting high five-figure sums.

If Alex Katz and Domenico Gnoli had a Finnish love child, it would be Henni Alftan. Her work, a mixture of cropped interiors and figures, will be at Sprüth Magers’s booth in Basel. This comes as Sprüth is showing her in London while she’s also part of a group presentation at Acquavella in New York. Her figurative surrealism fits into a style that collectors seem to respond to. Her primary market prices sit in the mid-five-figures—for now.

Mitchell-Innes & Nash is packing up two paintings by Scott Kahn, who is coming off of a highly successful auction season. After his debut lot at auction in fall 2021, eight of Kahn’s paintings have already sold at auction in 2022. His record public price was achieved at Christie’s in Hong Kong when BIG HOUSE, HOMAGE TO AMERICA from 2012 sold for $1,433,167, eleven times its estimate. Kahn has a solo exhibition closing right now at Almine Rech in New York with works reported to be priced between $290,000 and $1,000,000. The Long Museum in China has offered Kahn a retrospective in 2024.

Victoria Miro is bringing a painting by Doron Langberg, who was prominently featured in the Frick Collection’s Living Histories: Queer Views and Old Masters presentation. Langberg’s use of soft lines and rich colors to depict and celebrate same-sex love has brought him both institutional and market support. On the primary market, his paintings sell for high five-figure sums. Langberg made his auction debut this spring when two of his paintings sold in London. Amy in Her Studio from 2017 sold at Phillips for $219,437 over a $40,190.

A painting by Jenna Gribbon, who was also featured in the Frick’s Living Histories, will be on view at LGDR’s booth. Massimo De Carlo, who represents the artist, will also be showing her work. Gribbon is best-known for tackling the relationship between viewer and viewed. Her unabashedly naked subjects peer at the viewer with unyielding gazes. This year, Gribbon had a solo exhibition at Massimo De Carlo in London and was included in the exhibition Women Painting Women at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. In May, one of her paintings sold for $100,800 at Phillips over a $20,000 estimate. On the private market, her works sell in the low six figures.

Pace Gallery is mounting an installation by Korean minimalist artist Lee Ufan; Lisson is bringing a painting by the artist, as well. His soothing works, either despite or because of the philosophical framework and unconventional process Lee uses, are increasingly popular with collectors. Ufan has a strong market with a fifteen-year auction history. Just last December, Seoul Auction achieved his record price at nearly $2.3 million.

Sperone Westwater is bringing a mixed-media photo collage by Shaunté Gates. Last year, Gates had a solo exhibition with the gallery as well as participated in a group show curated by Amani Lewis in partnership with LiveArt. Gates uses found materials and appropriated imagery to create imagined landscapes. He also shows with Luxembourg gallery Zidoun-Bossuyt.

Both Skarstedt and Perrotin are bringing work by Cristina BanBan. BanBan’s lush figures and gestural brushstrokes have attracted a great deal of attention in the past few years. In 2021, Albertz Benda and Gallery 1969 jointly presented a solo exhibition of BanBan’s work. This year, Skarstedt and Perrotin announced their representation of the artist. Perrotin mounted a solo show in Paris. BanBan also made her debut at auction in 2021. El Sueño Va Sobre El Tiempo from 2019 sold at Phillips for $185,039, more than nine times its estimate. At Frieze New York this spring, artnet news reported that Perrotin sold a work by BanBan for somewhere between $70,000 and $150,000.  

Gagosian is bringing a 2022 painting by Rick Lowe. The artist who grounds his work in social practice had a number of works in this year’s Whitney Biennial. His interest in local communities hasn’t limited his global appeal. Gagosian announced their representation of Lowe in the fall of 2021. The artist has strong demand coming from institutions and private collectors alike who are willing to pay the $250- 325,000 prices. The gallery will mount a solo exhibition of his work in September.

Lisson is displaying a copper sculptural installation by Hugh Hayden, who you may know better for his works in wood. Starting with his show at ICA Miami late last year, Hayden has been gaining visibility with installations in New York’s Madison Square Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Hayden has garnered critical attention. Museums and established collectors have taken notice. They want in. Some see Hayden on a trajectory not unlike Simone Leigh, a Venice star in the making.