For the 2019 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, Lehmann Maupin (1C21) will present a selection of works by Kader Attia, Heidi Bucher, McArthur Binion, Gilbert & George, Nicholas Hlobo, Lee Bul, Marilyn Minter, Catherine Opie, Angel Otero, Do Ho Suh, Nari Ward, and Erwin Wurm. As one of the early Western galleries to open in Hong Kong with its first international outpost in 2013, Lehmann Maupin has influenced the region and greater China, giving many of the artists included in the Art Basel Hong Kong presentation their first solo exhibitions in Hong Kong in recent years. Outside its booth, Lehmann Maupin will have artists visible in the Kabinett, Encounters, and Film section, demonstrating the gallery’s commitment to artists who are expanding the boundaries of their chosen medium.
Kabinett: Lee Bul (IC21) | #LeeBul
For Kabinett, Lehmann Maupin will feature work from Korean artist Lee Bul’s recent series Perdu and a related Untitled series, which expand upon her exploration of the human desire to transcend intellectual, physical, and spiritual limitations through technological innovation. Her retro-futuristic imagery is rooted in biology through the incorporation of mother-of-pearl, a living organism which is collaged onto velvet, leather, and silk surfaces along with materials such as human hair, acrylic shards, crystals, and dried flowers, to broaden these concepts beyond the individual body. The resulting forms reveal the intrinsic tension that exists within utopian idealism, and the reality of its resulting ruin and fragmentation. The unfinished state she alludes to in these pieces is a reference to the persistent human drive to find a sense of “completeness.” Both series are united in their exploration of structural systems, from the individual body to larger architectural frameworks, which have become a hallmark of Lee Bul’s oeuvre.
Encounters: Lee Bul
The Encounters section will feature Lee Bul’s Willing To Be Vulnerable - Metalized Balloon (2015/2019), a 10-meter-long stylized replica of the Zeppelin aircraft. Part of the series that originally debuted at the 20th Biennale of Sydney, this bespoke installation for the fair includes a patterned mirrored floor beneath the hovering blimp. The installation fits within Lee Bul’s career-spanning inquisition of the failings of utopian ideology. This tension between reality and idealism is exemplified in her reference to the Hindenburg, a technological feat during the 1930s that was heralded as the embodiment of progress and modernity before it burst into flames with 97 passengers on board. In Willing To Be Vulnerable, Lee Bul provides historical context for the current-day angst about the potential for technology to turn against us with catastrophic results. The Encounters installation is presented jointly between Lehmann Maupin, PKM Gallery, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
Film: Alex Prager | #AlexPrager | #LaGrandeSortie
Alex Prager’s film, La Grande Sortie (2015; 10 minutes), commissioned by the Paris Opera Ballet, tells the story of a prima ballerina’s struggle with stage fright, with the lead role played by the premier French dancer Émilie Cozette. The film’s score, sampled from Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” was composed by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, with choreography created in collaboration with the Paris Opera Ballet, adapted from Creative Director Benjamin Millipied’s iconic piece, Amoveo. Shot in the renowned Ópera Bastille, the setting is opening night of Cozette’s return to the stage after an unexplained hiatus. The performance is fraught with the dancer’s stage fright and the indifferent and hostile reactions that escalate in the audience. Cozette’s fears manifest in a series of awkward dances, each accompanied by a boorish audience member—played by a mix of retired Paris Opera Ballet dancers and dance teachers—who are magically transported from their seats to the stage. Culminating in a fantastical vanishing act, La Grande Sortie embodies a universal anxiety around performance and success that many people struggle with on a daily basis.
In the Pedder Building: Erwin Wurm | #ErwinWurm
Opening March 25, Erwin Wurm’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong will feature sculpture and photography from the Austrian artist’s most iconic series. Working across multiple media, Wurm approaches each work as an inquiry into the many possibilities of creating sculpture. By pushing the boundaries of this static art form, Wurm has produced a body of work that explores the exciting possibilities of sculpture, incorporating participatory, temporal, and psychological elements. As an artist, Wurm is interested in conditions that test the limits of form and evoke the absurdity that can be found in the routine and mundane actions of everyday life. Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to participate by enacting their own One Minute Sculptures.
About Lehmann Maupin
Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin founded Lehmann Maupin in 1996. The gallery represents a diverse range of American artists, as well as artists and estates from across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. It has been instrumental in introducing numerous artists from around the world in their first New York exhibitions. Known for championing artists who create groundbreaking and challenging forms of visual expression, the gallery prioritizes personal investigations and individual narratives. Lehmann Maupin prizes the distinct conceptual approaches that its artists offer on the essential matters that shape international culture today, including gender, class, religion, history, politics, and globalism. In 2013, with two locations in New York, significant interest in its artists’ abroad, and growing opportunities in new markets, Lehmann Maupin opened an additional location in Hong Kong, followed by Seoul in 2017.