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Cady Noland. Push Papers, 1986. Skarstedt. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Special: Scandinavian and Polish Art at ART BASEL HONG KONG 2015 0

Anna Mikaela Ekstrand

The  Swedish gallery Andréhn-Schiptjenko has been a regular fixture at ABHK since it’s launch. “We have noticed a fast development of the audiences knowledgebase in the three years that we have participated. They are very curious and unafraid to buy art from artists unknown to them,” says gallerist Marina Schiptjenko. Unsurprisingly they had a stellar booth with regionally geared themes. Showing oil paintings by Kristina Jansson, especially compelling and rather humorous was the largest picturing Mao hunched over a desk in a large control room. It sold to a collector from Kowloon on Monday. Alongside work by Xavier Veilhan, Uta Barth and a few of Per B Sundberg’s fascinating, phantasmagorical and technically advanced ceramics, one containing a baby Lao Tse figurine.

Andersen’s Contemporary based in Copenhagen has been doing the fair since Art HK, they showed a chair with an inbuilt pendulum system, it’s front legs slowly bouncing up and down on two balloons. Created by the Chinese artist Liu Shiyuan partially based in Denmark – not only a crowd pleaser but also an interesting insight negating the fragility and focusing on the strength of balance.  A well-executed mobile by the Danish artist Kirstine Roepstorff was also on view, the naked iron is unusual for Roepstorff that often works with textile and mixed-media. Berlin and Oslo based gallery Gerhardsen Gerner were showing Per Inge Bjørlo, a challenge since the established pioneer of Norwegian installation art is little known in the region Atle Gerhardsen said to me. It is part of a grander promotion scheme, as they also will be showing the artist in Berlin in May.

Polish gallery Raster was exhibiting for the first time in the fairs Discoveries section, devoted to emerging contemporary artists. The gallery is not entirely new to the region as they have had a pop-up show in Tokyo. Sculptures by Olaf Brzeski and a series of photographs by Aneta Grzeszykowska were on view. Grzeszykowska’s series, Selfies# 1- 20, photographs of modelled body parts, are a commentary on todays selfie culture and an interesting juxtaposition between macabre and kitsch.

Recent years have seen many blue-chip galleries open off-shoots in HK, Gagosian, Pace, Lehmann Maupin, Simon Lee, Axel Vervoordt, White Cube to name a few, among the major players is Galerie Perrotin. At Friday’s VIP opening the booth was buzzing, the gallery staff flown in from Paris and New York were on their toes. I overheard a Frenchmen on the phone saying “I think we are competing about discounts.” One of the pieces fawned over and on hold unless a higher price offered was a glazed stoneware piece by Swedish artist Klara Kristalova. Other work by Scandinavian artists up for grabs was a Karin Mamma Andersson painting at David Zwirner and London based Atlas Gallery had several analog multi-exposure photographs,printed in Tallinn, apparently very popular by Finnish artist Niko Luoma.

Although Skarstedt is based in London and New York Per Skarstedt is after all Swedish and the amazing Cady Noland mixed media work from 1986 and Cindy Sherman Film still that he brought to the fair, two high price fetching pieces by two incredible artists, are well worth a mention.

Kristina Jansson. Control Room 2, 2014. Oil on canvas, 51 1/8 x 114 1/8 in. (130 x 290 cm) total dim. (diptych). Andréhn-Schiptjenko. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Per B Sundberg. Object with Hole, 2013. Stoneware, 11 3/4 x 9 x 11 3/8 in. (30 x 23 x 29 cm). Andréhn-Schiptjenko. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Per Inge Bjørlo. Gerhardsen Gerner. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Aneta Grzeszykowska. Selfie #2, 2014. Photograph, 27 x 36 cm. Raster. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Klara Kristalova. From the golden wood, 2015. Glazed stoneware, 14 1/2 x 14 1/8 x 13 3/4 inches / 37 x 36 x 35 cm. Galerie Perrotin. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Niko Luoma. Randomized Unfold IV. Atlas Gallery. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #4, 1977. Gelatin sliver print 16 x 20 inches 40.6 x 50.8 cm. Signed and dated Cindy Sherman 1977 (on the reverse) Edition 1/1. Skarstedt. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the gallery