An Artissima 2019 among sex, desecration and politics. Here are the strongest and most irreverent works

An Artissima 2019 under the banner of sex, politics, desecration. Here are which works are the strongest and most irreverent and which are the protagonists of this edition.

It is a 2019 Artissima under the banner of sex, desecration and politics. The theme chosen by director Ilaria Bonacossa and the curatorial team, Abstract sex. We dont have any clothes, only equipments, lived up to expectations, and Artissima confirmed its vocation as a research fair. As always, the preview comments are divided between those who appreciated the courage of certain choices (among the most commented stands was that of The Gallery Apart, which takes a stand on the refugee drama) or the quality of certain works, and those who reviewed works that certain galleries have already presented in the past or wished for a different approach.

But fairs, as we know, always divide professionals, and it is difficult to find unanimous opinions: here, we simply offer our impressions. Edition number twenty-six is very varied: there is no lack, as always, of historicized names (here are a few: Pier Paolo Calzolari, Carla Accardi, Ugo Mulas, Marisa Merz, Tomaso Binga, Luigi Ghirri, Guido Guidi, Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis: as usual, there is a lot of Arte Povera), there are many of the protagonists of this year’s Venice Biennale (from the “golden lions” Jimmie Durham and Arthur Jafa to the protagonists of the Italian pavilion Liliana Moro and Chiara Fumai, and then again Otobong Nkanga, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Augustas Serapinas), many artists who represent the top of the world scene (William Kentridge, Shirin Neshat, Anna Boghiguian just to name a few), several interesting young people to keep an eye on. Among the latter, in addition to some we have already mentioned on these pages(Thomas Braida, who with his orgiastic Siesta del sol proposes one of the strongest and most interesting works of the whole fair, and again Fabrizio Cotognini, Cosimo Veneziano), we suggest not to miss the works of the very young Alfredo Aceto (class of 1991: his big smile is among the most photographed works at Artissima), or the Romanian Štefan Sava who works on unusual materials, the Swedish Anna Uddenberg who reflects on the condition of women, and the Dutch Puck Verkade, who in our opinion stands out in the Present future section dedicated to emerging artists, presenting a series of ironic and pungent object works at the Dürst, Britt & Mayhew booth.

As mentioned in the opening of this brief Artissima summary, there is plenty of sex, of course: there could be no shortage of Renate Bertlmann (present at Silvia Steinek Galerie’s booth, with even a “piece” from her Austrian Pavilion at the Biennale: we included it, however, among the flop 10 of the 2019 edition of the great Venetian exhibition), nor the usual Vanessa Beecroft (again at Lia Rumma), but there are also unusual proposals. Prominent are an ironic and at the same time disturbing Caution men working, an unusual work by William Wegman who usually accustoms us to other kinds of works, the caustic and terrible Slave market by Moataz Nasr that punches the viewer in the face making him aware of how in certain parts of the world women are considered, or Liliane Lijn’s Bridal wound that reasons about the binomial “sex and marriage,” or again Martin Kersels’ interesting work on the most mysterious aspects of eroticism. And then again many reflections on the body (Barbara Probst’s Exposure #132 stands out among them all). However, there are also more lighthearted proposals, which decline sexuality in more playful tones: not to be missed are Ruth Patir’s videos showing us ancient statues in equivocal or provocative attitudes, Haiyang Wang’s mating monkey-men, or Lei Xue’s amusing vase with Donald and Daisy engaged in coitus.

Political works obviously look at the most pressing current issues. Striking, as mentioned, are the works from The Gallery Apart (especially the banners about refugees by Azerbaijani Babi Badalov), Giuseppe Stampone’s considerations of “future and politics,” Shirin Neshat’s “rebellion,” and the ruins of Palmyra photographed by Massimiliano Gatti, Matt Golden’s brick bridge over “troubled waters,” and then again Anna Boghiguian’s extraordinary “polyptych” presented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery, which we can safely consider among the best works of this Artissima: the panels reflect on all that is happening in the world, including wars, bombings, resurgences of fascisms (look at the detail of the chimpanzee laughing between Mussolini and Hitler), giant spiders and ants taking over human landscapes, tigers getting the better of brains, a humanity that proceeds blindly. Among the most irreverent works, the “prize” goes to Fernando Sinaga’s installation-blasphemy: Marginal, with its anagram “GOD-DOG” was, moreover, already the protagonist of a solo exhibition by the established Spanish artist.

Waiting for our “top ten,” which we will publish with the prices of the works and for which we have chosen ten of those that, in our opinion, could be symbolic works of this Artissima 2019, here is a gallery with some of the most interesting works. You can also read, again about Artissima: the interview with director Ilaria Bonacossa, the interview with Vittoria Martini (curator of the Artissima Telephone exhibition), the interview with Lorenzo Giusti (coordinator of the curatorial team of the Back to the future section on contemporary art pioneers) and the interview with Ilaria Gianni (coordinator of the curatorial team of the Present future section dedicated to emerging young artists. Below is our gallery from Artissima 2019.

Thomas Braida, Siesta del sol (2019; olio su tela, 280 x 480 cm). Presentato da Monitor
Thomas Braida, Siesta del sol (2019; oil on canvas, 280 x 480 cm). Presented by Monitor

Giuseppe Stampone, Welcome to Bruxelles (2019; penna bic su legno, 29,5 x 35 cm). Presentato da Prometeogallery
Giuseppe Stampone, Welcome to Brussels (2019; bic pen on wood, 29.5 x 35 cm). Presented by Prometeogallery

Barbara Probst, Exposure #132: N.Y.C., 368 Broadway, 02.09.18, 3:56 p.m. (2018; inchiostro ultrachrome su carta di cotone, trittico, ognuno 112 x 112 cm). Presentato da Galleria Monica De Cardenas
Barbara Probst, Exposure #132: N.Y.C., 368 Broadway, 02.09.18, 3:56 p.m. (2018; ultrachrome ink on cotton paper, triptych, each 112 x 112 cm). Presented by Monica De Cardenas Gallery

Vanessa Beecroft, VB52.002.NT (2003; stampa digitale, 163,4 x 127 cm). Presentato da Galleria Lia Rumma
Vanessa Beecroft, VB52.002.NT (2003; digital print, 163.4 x 127 cm). Presented by Lia Rumma Gallery

Sandra Vasquez de la Horra, El Mamon de Afrodita (2012; grafite su carta, cera, 107,2 x 78,5 cm). Presentato da Galeria Senda
Sandra Vasquez de la Horra, El Mamon de Afrodita (2012; graphite on paper, wax, 107.2 x 78.5 cm). Presented by Galeria Senda

Ruth Patir, Cleo (Female Statuettes from the Dayan Collection) (2018; video 24'' su schermo al plasma, in loop, 56,2 x 33,7 cm). Presentato da Braverman
Ruth Patir, Cleo (Female Statuettes from the Dayan Collection) (2018; 24’’ plasma screen video, looped, 56.2 x 33.7 cm). Presented by Braverman

Teresa Burga, Adán y Eva, dalla serie Dibujos #2 (1972; penna su carta, 21,7 x 16,6 cm). Presentato da Galerie Barbara Thumm
Teresa Burga, Adán y Eva, from the series Dibujos #2 (1972; pen on paper, 21.7 x 16.6 cm). Presented by Galerie Barbara Thumm

Liliane Lijn, Bridal wound (1986-1990; vetro, penne di struzzo, base in marmo bianco, 38 x 35 x 27 cm). Presentato da Rodeo
Liliane Lijn, Bridal wound (1986-1990; glass, ostrich feathers, white marble base, 38 x 35 x 27 cm). Presented by Rodeo

Alfredo Aceto, The laughing window 1 (2019; tessuto di acrilico argentato, cotone, gommapiuma e materiale sintetico, 150 x 180 x 7 cm). Presentato da Dittrich & Schlechtriem
Alfredo Aceto, The laughing window 1 (2019; silver acrylic fabric, cotton, foam rubber and synthetic material, 150 x 180 x 7 cm). Presented by Dittrich & Schlechtriem

Otobong Nkanga, The leftovers (2018; tecnica mista, 165 x 250 cm). Presentato da Lumen Travo Gallery
Otobong Nkanga, The leftovers (2018; mixed media, 165 x 250 cm). Presented by Lumen Travo Gallery

Takeo Hanazawa, Golden age (Any Where Out of the World) (2019; olio su tavola, 35,5 x 28 cm). Presentato da Gallery Side 2
Takeo Hanazawa, Golden age (Any Where Out of the World) (2019; oil on panel, 35.5 x 28 cm). Presented by Gallery Side 2

William Wegman, Caution Men Working (1984; inchiostro su carta, 35,5 x 30 cm). Presentato da Florence Loewy
William Wegman, Caution Men Working (1984; ink on paper, 35.5 x 30 cm). Presented by Florence Loewy

Stefan Sava, The fall (2018; acrilico e carboncino su barella degli anni Trenta, 57 x 230 x 15 cm). Presentato da Ivan Gallery
Ştefan Sava, The fall (2018; acrylic and charcoal on 1930s stretcher, 57 x 230 x 15 cm). Presented by Ivan Gallery

Shirin Neshat, Rebellious silence (1994, inchiostro su carta). Presentato da Noire Gallery
Shirin Neshat, Rebellious silence (1994, ink on paper). Presented by Noire Gallery

Haiyang Wang, Skins 09 (2019; pastello su carta, 66,5 x 51,5 cm). Presentato da Capsule Shanghai
Haiyang Wang, Skins 09 (2019; pastel on paper, 66.5 x 51.5 cm). Presented by Capsule Shanghai

Anna Uddenberg, Climber (warcraft) (2019; materiali vari, 135 x 125 x 115 cm). Presentato da Gunter Lepkowski
Anna Uddenberg, Climber (warcraft) (2019; various materials, 135 x 125 x 115 cm). Presented by Gunter Lepkowski

Golden Family Matt Golden, Troubled waters (2018; mattoni di risulta e argilla, 130 x 490 cm). Presentato da Pi Artworks
Golden Family Matt Golden, Troubled waters (2018; result bricks and clay, 130 x 490 cm). Presented by Pi Artworks

Renate Bertlmann, Ex voto (1988; argilla dipinta, oro, plexibox, 14 x 7 x 7 cm). Presentato da Silvia Steinek Gallery
Renate Bertlmann, Ex voto (1988; painted clay, gold, plexibox, 14 x 7 x 7 cm). Presented by Silvia Steinek Gallery

Yuli Yamagata, Finger (soft) (2018; lycra, fibra di silicone, filo e porcellana, 60 x 50 x 4 cm). Presentato da Mandragoa
Yuli Yamagata, Finger (soft) (2018; lycra, silicone fiber, thread and porcelain, 60 x 50 x 4 cm). Presented by Madragoa

Romina De Novellis, Gradiva (2017; fotografia a colori in carta Hahnemühle montata su alluminio, 110 x 150 x 5 cm; Presentato da Galleria Alberta Pane)
Romina De Novellis, Gradiva (2017; color photograph in Hahnemühle paper mounted on aluminum, 110 x 150 x 5 cm). Presented by Alberta Pane Gallery

Lei Xue, Vase (2009; porcellana dipinta a mano). Presentato da Galerie Hubert Winter
Lei Xue, Vase (2009; hand-painted porcelain). Presented by Galerie Hubert Winter

Babi Badalov, Refugees will come (green) (2018; pittura su tessuto, 110 x 150 cm). Presentato da The Gallery Apart Rome
Babi Badalov, Refugees will come (green) (2018; painting on fabric, 110 x 150 cm). Presented by The Gallery Apart Rome

Moataz Nasr, Om el Saad (The Slave Market) (2019; stampa su carta di cotone, 150 x 210 cm). Presentato da Galleria Continua
Moataz Nasr, Om el Saad (The Slave Market) (2019; print on cotton paper, 150 x 210 cm). Presented by Galleria Continua

Fernando Sinaga, Marginal (2004-2005; alluminio, vetro, fotografia su acetato, acciaio inox, ottone, butile e shellac). Presentato da Galeria Aural
Fernando Sinaga, Marginal (2004-2005; aluminum, glass, photograph on acetate, stainless steel, brass, butyl and shellac). Presented by Galeria Aural

Arthur Jafa, Micah (2004; stampa su acrilico montata su tavola di alluminio, 177,8 x 119 cm). Presentato da Gavin Brown Enterprises
Arthur Jafa, Micah (2004; print on acrylic mounted on aluminum board, 177.8 x 119 cm). Presented by Gavin Brown Enterprises

Rosa Rendl, Stay calm (2014; stampa su acrilico, 100 x 70 cm). Presentato da Georg Kargl Fine Arts
Rosa Rendl, Stay calm (2014; print on acrylic, 100 x 70 cm). Presented by Georg Kargl Fine Arts

Puck Verkade, Plague (2019; fotogramma). Presentato da Dürst Britt & Mayhew
Puck Verkade, Plague (2019; photogram). Presented by Dürst Britt & Mayhew

Anna Boghiguian, In the world. East and West, North and South III (2017; dipinti, carta, legno, metallo e vetro, 206 x 66 x 130 cm)
Anna Boghiguian, In the World. East and West, North and South III (2017; paintings, paper, wood, metal and glass, 206 x 66 x 130 cm). Submitted by Sfeir-Semler

Massimiliano Gatti, Rovine Palmira #06 (2009 - ; stampa a inchiostro su carta di cotone, 60 x 90 cm). Presentato da Podbielski Contemporary
Massimiliano Gatti, Ruins Palmyra #06 (2009 - ; ink print on cotton paper, 60 x 90 cm). Presented by Podbielski Contemporary

Selma Selman, Dream (2019; acrilico su metallo). Presentato da Gallery Novembar
Selma Selman, Dream (2019; acrylic on metal). Presented by Gallery Novembar

Martin Kersels, Who's that girl (2018; legno, copertina di LP, plastica, stoffa, 51 x 50 x 12 cm). Presentato da Guido Costa Projects
Martin Kersels, Who’s that girl (2018; wood, LP cover, plastic, fabric, 51 x 50 x 12 cm). Presented by Guido Costa Projects

Franco Mazzucchelli, Bieca decorazione (2018; pvc, aria, 60 x 60 x 15 cm). Presentato da ChertLudde
Franco Mazzucchelli, Bieca decoration (2018; pvc, air, 60 x 60 x 15 cm). Submitted by ChertLüdde

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