Art Basel Miami Beach, a global hub for contemporary art, is set to witness a remarkable event this December. Gagosian, in collaboration with Jeffrey Deitch, presents its eighth annual thematic group exhibition, intriguingly titled "Forms". This exhibition, opening on December 5th at Miami’s Design District, is a curious exploration beyond the conventional art narratives of figuration and abstraction.
"Forms" is a unique artistic venture that seeks to challenge and expand our understanding of modern art. It delves into how objects can serve as stand-ins for human realities or express abstracted visual language. This exhibit straddles the line between nonrepresentational formalism and a realism of forms, offering new models for expressing the physical and symbolic complexities of the human body.
Among the highlights is Albert Oehlen's "Ömega Man" series, which features simplified humanoid forms inspired by Dr. Robert Neville from the 1971 sci-fi movie "The Omega Man". Oehlen's work symbolizes the consequences of unbridled scientific advancement, a theme that resonates deeply in today's world.
Theaster Gates brings a different perspective, creating figuration through remnants of human activity. His sculpture "THIS WAY" and ceramic work "Vessel #24" evoke human presence through objects laden with ritualistic significance and historical traces.
Carol Bove, through her "collage sculpture" titled "Sinister Sappy Seeping", adds another dimension to the exhibit. Her use of stainless steel and urethane paint in an abstract form that subtly suggests a reclining figure blurs the lines between inanimate material and living flesh.
Lauren Halsey's mirrored columnar sculpture, rich in commercial signage, reflects her South Central Los Angeles roots and offers a radical vision of urban life, while Nari Ward’s "Soul Arch Fixed" uses a surfboard and an old church pew to create a contemporary crucifix, linking physical activity to spiritual experiences.
Tauba Auerbach's "Foam" and Piero Golia's "Basel Painting #1" push the boundaries between realism and abstraction. Auerbach employs a fine stippling technique to create an image of air bubbles, symbolizing the intersection of free will and spontaneous transformation, whereas Golia introduces a large robot as the artist, challenging the traditional role of the human hand in art creation.
Adam McEwen’s "Rendezvous" and Giuseppe Penone’s 2023 work further explore this theme. McEwen uses stylized images of Bic Cristal ballpoint pens to suggest social interplay, while Penone utilizes hand imprints to create shapes that fluctuate between mark-making and figurative representation.
The exhibit features a diverse group of artists, including Ai Weiwei, Judy Chicago, Peter Halley, and many more, each bringing their unique perspective to this exploration of form.
"Forms", running from December 5–10, 2023, at 35 NE 40th Street, Miami, promises to be a thought-provoking experience for art enthusiasts and critics alike, redefining our understanding of form in contemporary art. The opening reception, scheduled for December 5 from 5 to 8 pm, is not just an event but a celebration of artistic innovation and expression.