VOLTA Basel’s art fair for new international positions opens today

Basel’s art fair for new international positions — welcomes 75 galleries across five continents to Elsässerstrasse 215, the former COOP distribution center near Novartis Campus and Voltaplatz — site of the original VOLTAshow — for the fair’s 14th edition, from today Monday 11 June through Saturday, 16 June, concurrent with Art Basel Week 2018.

“VOLTA’s journey started 14 years ago at Volta-Platz in Basel, right around the corner from our latest venue,”

notes Amanda Coulson, VOLTA Artistic Director.

“Throughout the years, VOLTA consistently claimed new territory through content and location. Always evolving, continuously reinventing our shape, consistently moving forward, constantly exploring new terrains and positions. We aim to do what we do best: providing a platform for professional gallery work while remaining a place for research and discovery.”

Half of the positions this year feature solo artist projects and “dialogues” between two artists, the
foundation of VOLTA’s focused and artist-centered program. Among the 20 solo presentations for 2018: Jorma Puranen (presented by Galerie Anhava, Helsinki), a conceptual photography pioneer and celebrated vanguard of the Helsinki School; Malala Andralavidrazana (presented by Alessandro Casciaro, Bolzano), the Paris-based Malagasy artist whose re-appropriated precolonial maps encourage cultural centering and global connectivity; Jaco van Schalwyk (presented by Barnard Gallery, Cape Town), who unveils Nemora, an enveloping forest installation that reflects both Paradise and the peril of over-industrialization; Ilona Szalay (presented by Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh), a Threadneedle Prize finalist, whose figurative compositions on aluminum speak strongly to #MeToo; and a commentary on value structures, via mechanized cardboard object-sculptures by Daniel Agdag (presented by MARS Gallery, Windsor), whose film Lost Property Unity was shortlisted for Best Animated Short at the 2018 Oscars.

Highlights from the 20 dual-artist booths at VOLTA: a consideration on art as activism presented by AD Gallery (Athens), featuring Manuel Ocampo, who co-represented The Philippines at the 57th Venice Biennale, and Mihael Milunovic, subject of a major solo exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in his homeland, Serbia; an interface of digital and physical realities implemented by SCAG (Vienna), featuring new media rising stars Christiane Peschek and Julian Palacz; and a cross-generational celebration of an artist’s handwork at Tezukayama Gallery (Osaka), starring markmaking minimalist veteran Moriyuki Kuwabara, who made his Art Basel debut in 1977, and emotive figurative sculptor Yoshiyuki Ooe, whose own international splash occurred nearly 40 years later at Art15 London.

The other half of VOLTA14 exhibitors convey thematic concepts and material surveys, with highlights
Subscribe Past Issues Translate including: “Tables Pots and Plants – A Song for Matisse”, a love-letter to the still-life from V1 Gallery (Copenhagen), featuring an ensemble cast from the gallery’s international roster, furniture by Charlotte Perriand, and a publication; “The Hierarchy of Scale” by Charlie Smith London (London), highlighting the classical power imbued in artworks miniature and monumental, with artists’ differing dimensions in direct dialogue with one another; and Primae Noctis (Lugano) champions distinct local tradition and sociopolitical concerns across the African continent, led by Abdoulaye Konaté, the celebrated Malian textile artist whose recent exhibitions include a two decade survey at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art (DK) and a major installation for Vive Arte Vive at the 57th Venice Biennale.

VOLTA14 connects with Art Basel via the Dreirosen-Bridge: 4 minutes by automobile, 9 minutes by
bicycle, and 15 minutes by direct tram (Line 1) to Voltaplatz. The hall is likewise connected via direct
tram (Line 11) from Basel’s main train station (SBB), as well as from the Schaulager.
voltashow.com

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018