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  • Source: ARTNET NEWS
  • Date: DECEMBER 8, 2017
  • Format: ONLINE

10 of the Most Eye-Opening Artworks at Art Basel Miami Beach

From new directions by stars like Keltie Ferris and Parker Ito to classics from Matta and Bruce Nauman.

Keltie Ferris became famous for making abstract paintings from meltingly bright blurs of color that seemed both pixelated and powered by the force of their own vibrant chromatic electricity. However, she came to feel trapped by that style, and sought a breakthrough. Around 2014, however, she took up a new approach: Wearing a hardy denim outfit, she would coat her body in linseed oil and then do a pushup of sorts onto a canvas treated with a base layer of Flashe, then sprinkle color pigment on top so that it melds with the oil to become paint. (These works filled her last show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in 2015.)

The redoubtable Luhring Augustine gallery is going through a period of revitalization these days, recently snapping up Kantarovsky and also the rising-star sculptor Oscar Tuazon, who has a dynamite piece at the gallery’s booth. Consisting of a walnut tree that has been grafted with a column of concrete, the piece is actually a fountain, intended to be installed outdoors and hooked up to a water line to pump a subtle trickle of water out of the knot in the tree trunk. A living, mutable artwork—it sprouted mushrooms recently when displayed outside the Hammer Museum—it is a product of Tuazon’s deep engagement with the theme of water use and conservation, which runs through his recent work.

The artist is so committed to this subject, in fact, that he has bought a plot of land in a stretch of the Nevada desert where the fragile ecology is currently under threat from a plan to siphon the area’s water to Las Vegas, prompting an outcry from locals and environmental groups. As a way of creating a beacon to draw attention to this crisis, Tuazon plans to turn his property into a “water school,” a building-cum-art installation devoted to the theme of water’s preciousness and featuring a captivating effect: water will continually course through the structure’s windowpanes, thanks to an elaborate piping system.

A modern-day work of Land Art that dealer Roland Augustine compares to Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field, the “water school” project will be represented in Tuazon’s debut show at the gallery this spring, where the watery windowpanes will be on display.