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viewing room

June 16 – September 4 2021

Here or Elsewhere: Roman Ondak, Hassan Sharif, Jirí Kovanda

On the occasion of Art Basel OVR: Portals

The work of Jirí Kovanda (CZ), Hassan Sharif (UAE) and Roman Ondak (SK) has challenged and re-defined the canons of art to open a conceptual space that give prominence to the breaks between art, history, identity, economy and current affairs.

Coming from different geographical regions, the artists constructed their own artistic paths in dialogue with local narratives, inscribing their work into the history of Western conceptualism and opening important spaces to question it and transform it from within.

Roman Ondak (1966, Slovakia) plays with ideas of relocation, representation, and the duplication of experience, shifting and sharpening the viewer’s attention to everyday life.

Roman Ondak, Here or Elsewhere, 2006

Installation
Fallen Parachute (polyamide and cotton fabric)
Unique

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Roman Ondak, Before Waiting Becomes Part of Your Life, 2010

Two-channel video projection, 24 display cases, books, catalogues
Dimensions of installation vary with size of room
Unique

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Hassan Sharif (UAE, 1951 - 2016) was a prolific cultural producer and facilitator, moving between roles as artist, educator, critic, activist, and mentor. His career as an artist began in Dubai and Sharjah in the 1970s, working as a satirical caricaturist, highlighting a rapidly changing United Arab Emirates at the dawn of its formation. With determination, Sharif began a life-long pursuit to expand the definitions of art and the role of artists.

Hassan Sharif, Venus No. 1, 2008

Oil on canvas
200 x 145 x 3 cm
Unique
Signed and dated

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Hassan Sharif, One to Twenty One, 2015

Cardboard,canvas, tracing paper, cotton thread
and canvas
102 x 46 x 12 cm
Accompanied by 1 draft paper
Unique

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Hassan Sharif, Raising Hands No. 4, 2009

Pastel and pencil on paper
40,1 x 29,7 cm, framed 49 x 38,5 x 2,5 cm
Titled, signed and dated
Unique

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Hassan Sharif, Vermilion Boy with Yellow Hair, 2008

Oil on canvas
90 x 70 cm
Unique
Signed and dated

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Hassan Sharif, The Flying House No. 18, 2008

Oil on canvas
150 x 100 cm
Unique
Signed and dated

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Hassan Sharif, Raising Hands, 2009

Pastel on paper
42 x 30 cm
Signed and dated
Unique

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Jirí Kovanda (1953, Czech Republic) is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary Czech art and, though he’s reluctant to catalogue his works as conceptual or political, he entered in the international European scene in the late seventies with different public actions, made in a deliberately subtle manner, avoiding any direct involvement by the public. However, despite the imperceptible and ephemeral character of these interventions, Kovanda’s aim was to approach and create reactions in his audience.

Jiří Kovanda, Anthem, 2014

Fabric, wood, pedestal
100 x 165 x 25 cm
Unique

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Jiří Kovanda, Autumn Piece (Strelecky Ostrov, Prague), 1980

Black and white photograph, typescript on paper
29.7 x 21.3 cm
Edition of 3

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Jiří Kovanda, A Pile of Needles and Nails, Spring 1981 Panské Pole, Orlické hory, 1981

Black and white photo and typescript on paper 29,7 x 21,3 cm
Signed, titled and numbered on the back
Edition 3/3

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Jiří Kovanda, Untitled, 2020

Fabric, cotton thread, pedestal
100 x 150 x 60 cm
Unique

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Jiří Kovanda, Tokio (Tokyo), 1991

Collage, black and white photo, waterpaint paper, on cardboard under glass
38 x 30 cm
Unique
Signed, titled and dated at the back

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“Cheap and simple things can sometimes turn out to be important and extraordinary, while expensive objects can be invisible. […] It just depends on the situation.” Jirí Kovanda