Nir Hod’s Once Everything Was Much Better Even The Future at Paul Kasmin.
MIAMI - People stood five deep around Nir Hod's amber snow globe at Paul Kasmin's booth at Art Basel Miami Beach. I watched as a father lifted up his daughters so they could get a better view of the oil jackpump working silently in a universe flecked with gold – the harsh realities of oil consumption contrasting with the nostalgic scenes usually found in snow globes. Apparently all four copies of the sculpture Once Everything Was Much Better Even The Future were sold within hours of the fair opening.
At Pace Gallery one of Michal Rovner's video light boxes also cast an amber glow, elegantly bisected by a tall cypress tree. Close by the Rovner, Galerie Karsten Greve displayed a group of small works by Gideon Rubin, the grandson of Reuven Rubin. Mysteriously faceless, these tiny portraits proved irresistible and quickly sold out. Ori Gersht's video of an exploding still life of flowers in a vase at CRG also drew an admiring crowd. Gersht was the subject of a one-person show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston earlier this year.
Sigalit Landau's Deadsee video, 2005.
Hod, Rovner, Rubin and Gersht are all represented in Sotheby's annual sale of Israeli and International Art on December 17th, in which two iconic works of Israeli Contemporary art are also featured: Sigalit Landau's Deadsee video, 2005, and the celebrated photograph by Adi Nes, Untitled, 1999 of Israeli soldiers relaxing around a mess table, based on The Last Supper.
Adi Nes’ Untitled, 1999.
Before leaving Miami, I visited the striking new Pérez Art Museum Miami where Yael Bartana's new video Inferno was prominently presented alongside a major show by Ai Weiwei. Bartana's work elicited a mix of emotions, from wonder to horror to confusion. Her gallery’s website explains: “The starting point of Inferno is the current construction of the third Temple of Solomon (Templo de Salmão) in São Paulo by a Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal Church, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), founded in Rio de Janeiro in the late-1970s with millions of adherents in Brazil and internationally.” In a museum where Latin American art plays a major part, Yael's video was a natural choice for the opening show and emphasizes the internationalism of Israeli art today.
Production images from Yael Bartana’s Inferno, 2013. Courtesy of the artist; Petzel, New York; Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam; and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv.