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Unveiling the tapestry of creativity: Textile art steals the spotlight at Art Basel

Aktualisiert: 19. Juli 2023

As artistic boundaries continue to expand and evolve, textile art has emerged as a captivating medium that engages audiences and artists alike with its tactile allure, intricate craftsmanship, and vivid narratives.

Art Basel has solidified its position as the “Olymp of the Art Market” due to its unrivaled reputation as the premier international art fair. Renowned for showcasing top-tier galleries and artists from around the world, Art Basel attracts a global audience of collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts. However, within the grandeur of this extravaganza, it also offers niches to emerging artists, experimental works, and specialized themes, adding depth and diversity to the overall art experience. Such as textile art that finds its place among those niches as well, showcasing the rising prominence of this captivating medium.

Spot on: Abdoulaye Konaté, Mali

My heart skipped a beat when I saw Abdoulaye Konaté’s artwork at Templon. The very first time I encountered his art was in March at the 1-54 in Marrakech where it caught my attention because of Abdoulaye’s choice of material – woven and dyed textiles - as well as bold colors. A lasting impression! His abstract and figurative pieces explore both aesthetic languages and diverse socio-political and environmental issues. A symphony of colors as well as a deep research through symbols and essence define his œuvre. What a pleasure to witness his assertiveness for some years now in the art market.

Abdoulaye Konaté "Composition bleue avec losanges - motif Tibet" at Templon

Move the highlight to:
Hangama Amiri, Afghan-Canadian in Connecticut

“Hold on” made me stop as the combination of painting and printmaking techniques with textiles seemed appealing to me. Hangama Amiri weaves together stories based on memories of her homeland, amplifying a collective struggle for women’s rights and her diasporic experience. The fragments for her layered, pieced and sewed narratives stem from an Afghan-owned shop in New York City, materializing memories of the bazaars of Kabul in the distance.

Hangama Amiri "Hold on" at Cooper Cole

La Grand Dame: Sheila Hicks, American in Paris

Her credo “I don’t want to go do something I know how to do. I want to go do something I don’t know how to do.” suits her best. To her in all the cultures of the world, textile is a crucial and essential component. Hence, this pliable and adaptable medium is the one she is most closely associated with. As the center-person of the burgeoning Fiber Art, she created sculptural and three-dimensional fiber works that upended conventions, establishing a new order. Her vow that she does not want to be a legacy but just wants to have fun while she is here is a spark that immediately catches the viewer.

Sheila Hicks "A Summer Dream" at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Off-limelight at Liste: Sasaoka Yuriko, Osaka

Sasaoka impresses through immersive video installations that often involve the idea of the marionette—a symbol of sociopolitical puppeteering and gendered normativity—she expands the interstitial spaces between the surreal and the lucid. In her works, she performs as multiple characters, liberating narratives from rigid ideas around gender, identity, and history.

Sasaoka Yuriko "Gyro" at PHD Group

Unlimited light on: Serge Attukwei Clottey, Ghana

This net catches you for sure! Serge Attukwei Clottey’s installation celebrates the ubiquitous yellow containers found throughout Ghana. Originally intended for cooking oil, they are repurposed for collecting water and fuel. The artist interweaves these vessels cut into small pieces into a series of large-scale tapestries in reminiscence of Gustav Klimt’s flowing gold leaf dresses and Byzantine mosaics. These textured sheets of color suspended from the ceiling give the viewer the impression of creating fluid waves that drape onto the floor, spilling into the space.

Serge Attukwei Clottey "Sea Never Dies" at Unlimited

Obviously, as the art world continues to embrace new forms of expression and pushes the boundaries of creativity, the future of textiles in the market appears exceptionally promising. With its ability to merge tradition and innovation, evoke emotions through textures and colors, and engage viewers in unique ways, textile art is poised to lay an increasingly significant role in shaping the artistic landscape. We can anticipate a continued rise in its prominence thanks to its recognition and inherent value. On a side note: Exciting opportunities were already tied in the past between Volta, Aesop, and Abdoulaye Konaté for example.

So, what are you waiting for?

Yours truly,


A&P sidenote: If you fancy browsing through Art Basel 2023 again, you are more than welcome here.

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