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Canadians Ship Out to Art Basel

Works by several Canadian artists, including Hugh Scott-Douglas, Rebecca Brewer, Liz Magor, Gareth Moore and Ian Wallace, are being featured at Art Basel in Switzerland this week. The fair opens to the public today.

(To view some of the Canadian works and booths at Basel, click on the Photos icon above.)

OCAD-trained, New York–based artist Hugh Scott-Douglas is being featured in a solo presentation at the booth of San Francisco dealer Jessica Silverman, which is located in Art Basel’s Statements section.

Asked why Scott-Douglas, born in 1988, is the right artist for a solo project at this time, Silverman expressed confidence in his practice.

“Hugh Scott-Douglas is part of a younger generation of artists, who are making paintings and sculptures with unexpected combinations of analog and digital media,” Silverman said via email. “His work is creative, intelligent and ambitious. I was confident that he would make a new body of work that held its own on the international platform afforded by Art Basel’s Statements.”

Scott-Douglas’s installation in Basel presents three new bodies of work displayed on and in road cases.

The “Chopped Bills” series results from high-res scans of small ink stamps found on American $100 bills. These scans are then used for dye-sublimation works on linen.

Scott-Douglas’s “Torn Cheque” works consist of abstract laser cuts on white gessoed canvas, with the cuts based on images of the artist’s earlier works as re-ordered by a digital algorithm.

The last series, “Bit Rot,” consists of four works derived from disassembled lighting-gel catalogs. Framed by slide mounts and run in an analog slide projector, the colored gels are transformed into projections.

Elsewhere in Art Basel, Vancouver’s Catriona Jeffries and Montreal’s Landau Fine Art have booths.

Jeffries has brought a variety of works by rising and established Vancouver-based artists. These include recent oil-on-panel paintings by Rebecca Brewer and objects from Liz Magor‘s Being This series.

In a review of Magor’s Being This series debut for Canadian Art, Lisa Marshall observed that each item from this series consists of a gift box that “presents its own unique arrangement: a neatly folded shirt, blouse or jacket embellished with fabrics, sequins, price tags, garment labels, slogans and other found objects.”

Sobey Award finalist for 2012 Gareth Moore is represented at Jeffries’s booth with electrical poles from his Place By the Buried Canal performance/installation, where he established a living space in a public park in Germany as part of Documenta 13.

Black and white works by influential photoconceptualist Ian Wallace are also being featured by Jeffries. These include the photo assemblages Poverty, The Decalogue and An Attack on Art and Literature I & II.

Landau Fine Art, a perennial exhibitor at large international art fairs, specializes in modern works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Karel Appel, and Le Corbusier. It is expected to continue this tradition in Basel.

As usual, Canadian talent is also being brought to the fair by a range of international galleries.

For instance, work by Calgary-born, Montreal-based artist Hajra Waheed is being exhibited at the booth of Kolkata, India, gallery Experimenter, located in Art Basel’s Feature section.

Waheed, whose work has been collected by MoMA and the British Museum, is showing a new set of her Expansion Charts, which catalogue the destruction of historic buildings around Masjid Al-Nabawwi in Medina and Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, two of the most important houses of worship for the Muslim world.

In January, Experimenter opened Waheed’s first solo exhibition in India, featuring work based on her experience of growing up in the Saudi Aramco compound in Saudi Arabia. Waheed’s first public-gallery solo show in Canada recently closed at the Art Gallery of Windsor.

Other Canadian works at the fair include sculptures by David Altmejd at the booth of New York dealer Andrea Rosen. A recent Rodney Graham lightbox titled Drywaller’s Boombox is advertised by New York’s 303 Gallery in the fair showguide, while Berlin’s Johnen Galerie is touting another recent Graham lightbox, Sunday Sun. Two new prints by Janice KerbelLove! Lust! Deceit! Revenge! Death! and The Pickpocket—are also noted in the show inventory of Reykjavik’s i8 Gallery.

Art Basel, founded in 1970, features more than 300 galleries focused on modern and contemporary art. It continues to June 16.

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