Deborah Schamoni is pleased to have its inaugural participation in the Galleries sector of Art Basel in Basel. The presentation highlights three emerging artists from the gallery’s program who have recently earned international recognition for their inventive approaches to painting: Maryam Hoseini, Yong Xiang Li, and Dala Nasser. In pursuit of their inquiries into sociopolitical concerns—such as the entanglement between colonialism, gender, and the environment—each of these artists reinvigorate the medium of painting by pushing against its limits.read more
Maryam Hoseini’s paintings depict fractured, headless bodies navigating a landscape of architectural fragments and jagged shards, suggesting ruins or the aftermath of disaster. Painted in a bold geometric style and rendered in sumptuous colors, Hoseini’s paintings find levity and pleasure within incompleteness and breakages. In her paintings at Art Basel, Hoseini’s figures appear caught in the midst of a bacchanalian celebration. Some figures use breast-like appendages to imbibe a luminous red liquid from martini glasses; others contort their limbs in states of physical ecstasy. While an erotic charge pulses through Hoseini’s works, her figures do not follow any traditional notions of gender or sexuality. Instead, they revel in finding new ways to use their bodies. Hoseini’s artistic approach reflects the inventiveness of her characters, as she freely intermingles drawing and painting, figuration and abstraction. By using shaped canvases that engage with the surrounding architecture, Hoseini positions the viewers as voyeurs into her painted worlds.Brooklyn-based Iranian artist Maryam Hoseini (b. 1988) received her BFA from Sooreh Art University in Tehran and MFA degrees from Bard College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been shown internationally at venues including High Art, Paris; Deborah Schamoni, Munich; the New Museum, New York; and MoMA PS1, New York.Nothing is ever quite what it seems in the works of Yong Xiang Li. His pieces resist easy categorization: they are neither sculpture nor painting, functional nor decorative. Instead, Li’s uncanny objects splice these categories together into surprising configurations, integrating meticulously painted scenes into wooden structures that alternately suggest cabinets, shelves, or paravents. Li relishes the in-between state in which forms are constantly on the verge of transforming into something else—finding within it a subversive power. Li’s fascination with metamorphosis is rooted in his extensive research into cultural encounters between the West and East. For centuries, Western artists have denigrated Eastern art as merely ornamental, all the while plucking its motifs and techniques for their own use. Li upends this asymmetrical history through his embrace of surface, playfully transmuting a wide range of art-historical references into a visual language that is distinctly his own. At Art Basel, the gallery presents a break (by the bamboo wave) (2022), whose bamboo garden contains echoes of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House Chair, the frozen drama of Gustave Courbet’s Wave paintings, and the illusionist style of Western-influenced Qing dynasty painter Wang Youxue. The work’s panels are hinged, allowing the piece to be folded out into a quasi-chair. If the invitation to sit suggests subservience, a break’s nighttime scene feels laden with danger, its undulating and unwieldy bamboo garden threatening to ensnare the would-be sitter.Chinese artist Yong Xiang Li (b. 1991) is currently based in Berlin. His works have been shown internationally in both solo and group shows at institutions including the FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; the Museum Brandhorst, Munich; and the UCCA Edge, Shanghai. Li earned his BFA from Central St. Martins, London, before receiving the title of Meisterschüler from Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main. In 2023, Li’s works will be included in biennials in Göteborg, Sweden, and Freiburg, Germany. Li will have his first solo exhibition at the gallery in September.he evocative surfaces of Dala Nasser’s works emerge from prolonged engagement with the environment of her homeland, Lebanon. Nasser’s process is slow and unfolds over long spans of time. The foundation of her works are fabrics that she subjects to the landscape—often burying them in the ground or staining them with natural materials. The resulting compositions are both tender and charged, forming an abstract portrait of the landscapes where they were made. Through a visual language of traces and rubbings, Nasser’s works bear witness to violent histories of human intervention in the environment. On view at Art Basel is Snoubar (2023), which focuses on the ecology of South Lebanon, the site of Nasser’s ancestral home. Over the course of several months, Snoubar took shape through Nasser’s continual manipulation of discarded fabrics. The materials used appear delicate and frozen in time, with their many folds suggesting a long history of use and re-use. The piece’s striking purple color is achieved with dyes made from dried berries and plants grown on the surrounding land. Through stark charcoal rubbings of a 340-year-old pine tree, Nasser juxtaposes the earth’s deep time with the transience of human-made materials. By continuously revisiting her work—repeating, remaking, undoing, and reassembling—Nasser reflects on her refusal to settle on a defined form and her own relationship as the caretaker of this land and its history.Lebanese artist Dala Nasser (b. 1990) works between Beirut and London. She was recently included in the 58th Carnegie International, and has previously had solo exhibitions at Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; V.O Curations, London; and Deborah Schamoni, Munich. Nasser studied at London’s Slade School before earning an MFA from Yale University, New Haven. In September 2023, Nasser will have her first major solo exhibition in the US at the Renaissance Society in Chicago.
Art Basel, Basel 2023
Yong Xiang Li
15.06. – 18.06.2023