Art Basel Online Viewing Room 2022

VIP Preview
June 13, 2022, 12 Noon – June 15, 2022, 12 Noon (CET)

Public Day
June 15, 2022, 12 Noon – June 19, 2022, 12 Midnight (CET)

Antenna Space is pleased to participate in the 2022 edition of ‘OVR: Basel’ with artist Allison Katz, presenting two sets of works.

Untitled and Wings 3 (16) feature the motif of the black pear that featured prominently in Allison Kate’s work between 2009 – 2016. In her hands, the shape shifts between a fruit, a nose, or an ass; sometimes a simultaneous version of all three, as in the ongoing series of ceramic sculptures titled “Arsi-versi.” On paper, the shape takes flight in space; with comical wings, or free falling. For Katz, the pear is rotten, but also at its sweetest – the bruise being a concentrated spot of sugar. In this figuring of decay, a new form of beauty is presented.

The motif of the fairy first appeared in Allison Kate’s oeuvre in 2016, which was initially a diminutive portrait scaled to the size of the artist’s hand. The shape of “Fairy” is based on a CCTV image purportedly magnified over one thousand times by a man in his garden in England in the early 2010’s, posted online, and picked up by local newspapers.

The two “Fairy” works exhibited in Art Basel OVR, West Bund Fairy (2018) and 021 Fairy (2018), were made for respective Shanghai art fairs, cropping up to re-inscribe the scale and gesture of the artist’s hand in an overloaded social situation. For Katz, the fairy motif represents an interest in pre-Freudian psychology and the general manner in which surrogates from other realms are positioned as stand-ins for states of mind and body. As liminal beings, fairies possess a history of changing shape, intention and presence; signals of the invisible that destabilize what may be seen on the surface. Additionally, Katz is interested in the persistence of fairy tales and folklore, and their relationship to oral history and current technologies.

The fluctuation and mutability of the fairy subject over an extended span of time, scale and context is the very condition of what is being depicted. There are two subsequent large scale versions of “Fairy” showed in Katz’s latest solo exhibition Artery, Channeling (2021) and CCTV (2020). Taken together, these works offer a meta-discursive look at how a motif operates within Kate’s painting practice. Her images of fairies convey an intense and illuminating watchful gaze, playing with questions of visibility, projection and perception. The desire to see magical creatures via technology is one way of coping with the surveillance state.

In Allison Katz’s work, goodness and hope emerge from pain and decay, while truth and free spirit thrive from illusion and blurred boundaries.

Text courtesy of the artist.
Translator: Yao

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