Y.Z. KAMI's studio, New York. Photo by Rob McKeever
'In my beginning is my end. In succession / Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended / Are removed, destroyed…' Nothing speaks of Spring, death and re-birth as much as dear old T.S Eliot’s marvellous poem, East Coker, published around this time of year, in 1940. I’m digging this spiritual vibe this week dear reader. So I for one am looking forward to Y. Z. Kami’s exhibition at Gagosian’s Britannia Street outpost featuring his mystical, tremulous paintings that make me go weak inside my Marc Jacobs Military Long Cape. To give me inner strength I shall be purchasing the first item on this week’s wishlist – a copy of Kami’s Gagosian catalogue from his New York show last year that comes with the zen-inducing limited edition print, White Dome, a snip at $450 from Larry’s shop.
Nikolas Gambaroff, Untitled, (2010). Courtesy Balice Hertling, Paris and Philips
Once upon a time abstraction was thought to be the pathway to communing with a more spiritual reality beyond the merely verbal. Think Barnett Newman or even old Mark Rothko. Now abstraction is a nice bit of decoration to be continually Instagrammed and flipped at auction, as a large proportion of the first 50 lots of Philips’ forthcoming ‘Under the Influence’ sale evinces. My colleague, the rugged Oliver Basciano, has already made it quite clear what we think about artists like Parker Ito, so I’m going to stick my £5,000 to £7,000 on Nikolas Gambaroff’s Untitled from 2010 instead, which at least has some European provenance to fight off the accusation that this new embrace of abstraction is a totally shallow market gimmick.
Björk lithograph box set, moma.org
'As I enter the atmosphere /I burn off layer by layer', bellows Björk, perhaps a tad less poetically than Eliot, before levitating whilst her clothes burn off in Black Lake, the central piece in MoMA’s current retrospective of the Icelandic singer and all-round muse. The spirituality that is clearly evident in such a transcendental moment has alas been lost on the many vociferous critics of the show, such as my sometime colleague Christian Viveros-Faune who didn’t seem to care for the show so much and has politely requested that its curator, a Mr Klaus Biesenbach (who he?) retire from curating and devote himself to hanging out with James Franco. Christian has put me right off my third item on this week’s wishlist, the limited edition lithography box set of the singer’s album covers, available from the MoMA shop at $300.
Frank Bowling, For Zephr, (1973). Courtesy Hales Gallery, London
A far more genuinely atmospheric set of works will be up at the Dallas Art Fair, where Hales Gallery will be showing works by Frank Bowling, including the marvellous For Zephyr (1973). Bowling was largely ignored by the market for years until one of his works sold for $275,000 at the Armory a couple of years back, so I might have to dip into the ArtReview weekly pub kitty in order to be able to secure this one. I hope to shortly see it on the walls of the Sir Philip Dowson designed house that I shortly hope to buy in Wimbledon for just under £2.5m
Anish Kapoor, Éditions Dilecta
Finally who could do a column on a spiritually-inspired wishlist without turning to the master of them all, Anish Kapoor? For this is an artist after all whose early works such as 1000 Names (1979–80), referenced Hinduism and who still churns out works like the 2014 piece Gabriel, the Angel, stops and listens to the silence of the cave. His new show at Lisson Gallery looks like a giant with bulimia has thrown up blood onto the walls which I’m assuming is a reference to a creation myth (or a funny joke by his studio assistants). I’m going to pass on those but if I can track down a copy (it looks like it may have already sold out) I'm going to treat myself to the more understated artist’s book by Kapoor available from Éditions Dilecta, that has nice pictures of the great man’s gouaches, for €300,00. And with that I’m going to contemplate the great infinite.
Online exclusive published 9 April 2015