December 9, 2018. By Sharmistha Ray.
Amidst a tremendous amount of great art on display at Art Basel Miami Beach this year, three curated sections threw up new discoveries and mined historical blind spots. In Survey, 16 historical projects presented individual artists across a spectrum of cultures, generations and approaches. Hackett Mill, a gallery from San Francisco, showed terrific late paintings by David Park made shortly before his untimely death in 1960. One of the founders of Bay Area Figuration, Park’s late paintings oscillate between abstraction and figuration, and carry an indelible charge of innocence. Their chromatic structures have been largely pared down, with an equal economy of brushstrokes, which are nonetheless, expressive and authoritative. Positions, meanwhile, is devoted to emerging artists, showcasing 14 ambitious new projects this year, including a dynamic installation by Tschabalala Self at Thierry Goldberg which sets up a bodega interior as the setting for her signature paintings, replete with a checkered floor and hand drawn “wallpaper.” Self, who was part of the group show, “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” at the New Museum last year, works at the intersections of race, gender and sexuality to comment on black feminisms and futures. Her large canvases with rough-hewn collage made of fabrics exhibit black bodies in action. Tiffany Chung, a Vietnam and US-based artist who shows with Tyler Rollins, New York, stands out in the Nova section of solo, two- or three person shows. With concise methodology, her woven maps and detailed line drawings , elegantly translate research data regarding war, natural disasters and migration into art that is poetic and political.