Art Genève 2014

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The first thing at Art Genève that I notice going up the escalator is a tree hanging from the ceiling. Then I notice two more. Their roots are not much above head height. The branches get lost in the massive steel infrastructure of Palexpo. Henrik Håkansson’s “Three Hanging Trees” makes you stop and think.  The work is disconcerting but people wander around underneath it chatting happily.

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Henrik Håkansson, Three Hanging Trees, 2014

There are 68 galleries represented this year. The exhibition spaces are staffed by pleasant young men and women sporting young beards, narrow ties and woollen miniskirts. Some are guardians of really important works. I find the odd Picasso, Miro, Hirst and Hodgkin. But as this event is dedicated to “contemporary art,” there is no small quantity of broken pieces of wood, plastic bottles, infantile daubs, torn shirts, burnt paper and photos of mum. Even if, on the kissing stakes, the frogs outnumber the princes, it is worth the trip to Palexpo. Bravo to the organisers! Art Genève: another Art Basel in the making?

If you go this weekend, here are some of the young royals to look out for…..

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Alexander Kosolapov, Molotov Cocktail, Acrylic on Canvas, 140cm x 117cm, 1999

Works by Gilbert and George always contain images of themselves. And yes, there they are!

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Gilbert and George, Gunpoint, Mixed media, 151cm x 127cm, 2011

A young women comments to her friend “O….M….G…..!! It’s a vagina!” I’d love to know what Keith Sonnier would say to this.

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Keith Sonnier, Bamboo sheets no.4, Neon / argon, 76cm x 57cm, 2001

I come across this really beautiful, powerful, balanced and textured “painting” by Donald Sultan.

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Donald Sultan, Lantern Flowers Liquid Blacks Sept 24, Enamel, tar and spackle on tile over masonite, 122cm x 244cm, 2010

In my opinion, Kim Sooja’s remarkable photo “To Breathe – A Mirror Woman” sits on the throne this year.

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Kim Sooja, To Breathe – A Mirror Woman, Duraclear photopgraphic print in light box, 185cm x 138cm x 16cm, 2006/2009

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