For Art Basel Miami Beach 2021, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York & Paris are pleased to present works by Etel Adnan, Leonardo Drew, Günther Förg, Ficre Ghebreyesus, Alfredo Jaar, Samuel Levi Jones, Jannis Kounellis, Ana Mendieta, Jaume Plensa, Zilia Sánchez, Tariku Shiferaw, Michelle Stuart, Antoni Tàpies, Barthélémy Toguo, and Juan Uslé.
For Art Basel’s curated Kabinett Sector, we are pleased to present works by the late artist Ficre Ghebreyesus (b.1962-d.2012), whose paintings will be exhibited for the first time at Art Basel: Miami Beach. Born in Eritrea during their War of Independence, Ghebreyesus left as a teenaged refugee before finally settling in the US. Operating fluidly between abstraction and figuration, Ghebreyesus’s matte acrylic and oil paintings suggest the non-linear form of dreams, memories, and storytelling. His work has largely been unseen until now. In 2020, The New York Times described his work during our first presentation in New York: “Mixing sources from jazz to Islamic architecture to Coptic Christian iconography and Eritrean folk art, Mr. Ghebreyesus processed everything he saw as a refugee and a global citizen into a kind of ecstatic surrealism.”
Sculpture continues to be a focus of the gallery’s program with artists from diverse geographical and generational backgrounds looking at the expansion of three-dimensional expression. A new pair of elongated portraits in bronze, Laura Asia and Wilsis (both 2019), by Jaume Plensa will be shown. Plensa’s work continues to activate public spaces including Miami where a monumental work greets viewers at PAMM and the recently unveiled Water’s Soul (2020) on the Hudson River, Jersey City. Leonardo Drew’s investigation into the transformation of raw materials looks at many overlapping themes with emotional gravitas. Following his first outdoor public art installation commissioned by Madison Square Park, New York in 2019, Drew has shown in major solo exhibitions across museums in the United States. Number 291 (2021), a new four-part sculpture that “explodes” the grid will be on view.
The gallery has been a key proponent of Latin-American art for decades, representing some of its most vital figures and presenting museum-quality exhibitions of their work. On view in our booth will be works by Alfredo Jaar, Ana Mendieta, and Zilia Sánchez.
Jaar’s work Six Seconds (2000), is one of the artist’s last works from his six-year long Rwanda Project. Jaar was recently awarded the 40th edition of the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, considered the most prestigious photography prize in the world. Highlighting Sánchez’s evolving interest in completely free-standing work, a recently realized sculpture in bronze, Concepto I (2000/2019), is comprised of two freestanding parts to form a symbiotic pair. The sculpture shares visual characteristics with a historic painting that is also on view, demonstrating how she has repeatedly explored a set of core motifs across her lifetime. The artist’s first full retrospective, Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla, closed in 2020 at El Museo del Barrio after touring through the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC and the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Works by Etel Adnan, Günther Förg, Samuel Levi Jones, Tariku Shiferaw, Michelle Stuart, and Juan Uslé investigate abstraction in each artist’s unique voice. Adnan’s vibrant, expressive paintings and tapestries demonstrate her commitment to communication beyond the confines of the written or spoken word, creating landscapes for which she is well known in a variety of media. Numerous solo exhibitions of Adnan’s work have been presented internationally, with the ongoing solo exhibition Light’s New Measure at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Günther Förg’s commitment to painterly abstraction produced a body of work that played with the notions of modernism. Through the abstraction of book covers into compelling compositions, Samuel Levi Jones explores the disillusionment of the very systems the volumes represent. For Tariku Shiferaw, working in abstraction entails a re-envisioning of identity and form; the gestural surface in his paintings and mark-making is his reclamation of a space that was denied to many artists. Michelle Stuart’s work from 1985, Pacific Passage: Lahaina (Maui), consists of gravel, shells and other artifacts of nature from a site in Hawaii embedded into a shimmering silver grid of encaustic panels, serving as a record of a specific time and place. Over a four-decade career, Juan Uslé has established a distinctive pictorial grammar; gestural brushstrokes systematically applied in tandem with his heartbeat to convey a poetic-fluid landscape.