Despite the black-washed walls and floors of arteBA—Buenos Aires’ La Rural dimly lit for the 25th edition of the fair—the booths themselves are throwing out a terrific amount of colour. And so is the sky for those who are interested; ba off-season appears to be more vibrant than Elephant’s own homeland in the middle of Summer (London, not the Savanna).
In arteBA’s U-Turn Project Rooms by Mercedes-Benz, Berlin’s Esther Schipper are showing a solo booth of work by Argentinian artist and trained architect, Tomás Saraceno. The artist’s web-like works are delicate yet commanding, their intricate lines suggestive of carefully considered universes; some monochrome wall-hung works formed into fibrous nets, three bubbly, coloured works hanging from the ceiling as if weightless, light permitting their pastel blue, pink and yellow walls.
The city’s own Centro de Edicion might seem dark on the surface, the Steadman-eqsue scribbles of Luis Felipe Noé are intense and inky, but fighting for space between these lines are an array of colours; smears of reds, blues and greens. The booth is a mini labyrinth, with long, corridor-like spaces behind the outer wall. Here, works by artists such as Ma. Helena Arbuco play with Pop forms and block tones.
Henrique Faria, holding spaces in both ba and New York, are showing a group exhibition of work, that features a strong use of colour, and a potent mix of clean lines and sketchy drawings. Leandro Katz’s backlit graphics provide a powerful entry point into the booth, where similarly bold mixed-media works from the likes of luminous ba artist Marta Minujín and Eduardo Santiere sit. This is a detailed booth to keep revisiting.
Document Art Gallery’s booth takes a ‘more is more’ approach, and it totally works. Grupo Escombros’ works sit atop glass-lidded plinths, featuring banana telephones and precarious looking knives. On the back wall, cloud-like metallic forms from Ariadna Pastorini are hard to miss, where dream-like drawings and watercolours on the left hand wall call for a more contemplative approach.
Maria Calcaterra’s is surely the most eye-catching of all the booths at the fair, using light, optical illusion and every colour under the sun to draw in the surrounding magpies. The magpies like what they see. With all the clashing forms and tones on display here, the booth could easily go into overdrive, but the pieces play off one-another incredibly well; the works of the late Rogelio Polesello adding a shape-shifting effect to all that surrounds them. Elephant particularly enjoyed the mix of amusing, bold sculptures in the right hand corner of the booth–especially Edgardo Giménez’s heavenly jukebox and square white cat.
‘arteBA’ runs until 22 May