Art Basel, Parcours
June 13–16, 2019
Messeplatz 10, 4005
Alexander Gray Associates in collaboration with Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai, and GB Agency, Paris, presented Hassan Sharif’s Copper No. 32 (2015) in the Parcours section of Art Basel, Switzerland.
As a key pioneer of contemporary art practice in the United Arab Emirates, Hassan Sharif introduced the apotheosis of found objects and materials as sculpture. For Art Basel Parcours, Sharif’s Copper No. 32 (2015) is presented at Erasmushaus, an antiquarian bookshop in central Basel, combining location and artwork, manifesting as an emblematic expression of the artist’s interrogation of materiality, absurdist experimentation and his affinity towards language and the written word. Such an apt venue serves to extend this myriad dialogue not only in a visual sense but more poignantly in a literal one too.
Through the work’s process of interweaving copper wire, he creates a three-dimensional anomaly to the effect that the original shapes are lost as new forms emerge in the intersection of lines and voided space. The viewer is thus invited to interpret and conjure their own images in this collision of lexicon, material and form – an organism, a cocoon, a body. Copper is a material associated with the rapid industrialization and modernization of his country. The extensive presence of hyper-consumerism, skyscrapers, and factories reveal the might of this material within a developing nation. In the hands of Sharif, copper is warped and reformed, cut and bent, imitating the fragility of what is deemed strong and stubborn yet charged and manipulated – much like the rapid emergence of his homeland’s rise into modernity.
The Parcours sector of Art Basel engages the public and fairgoers by placing site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances in the city’s neighborhoods. Artworks by renowned established artists and emerging talents will be on display on and around Basel’s Münsterplatz. Parcours is curated by Samuel Leuenberger of SALTS exhibition space.