ART021 takes its name from the Shanghai area code. It held its inaugural event last year in the National Industrial Bank Building on East Beijing Road, the same place Chanel had its “Little Black Jacket” exhibition. That sits it somewhere between Muse on the Bund and the Rockbund Art Museum, which I know is a Venn diagram of directions with no overlap — everyone goes to one of those places but nobody goes to both. The fair continues around the corner, along Yuanmingyuan Road and into the Christian Literature Society Building.
ART021 was founded by PR director Bao Yifeng and former gallery director Kelly Ying, young, successful Chinese who refuse to mire the event in art wank opacity. There’s no serious attempt at curated content and no theme whatsoever. Instead, there’s a Porsche Carrera on the ground floor that’s the same color as the catalog and an exhibition of Chinese collectors’ favorite buys.
Over 50 galleries, most of them from greater China have shown up to sell their wares. These are heavyweights such as White Cube, Galerie Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin from Hong Kong, and Long March Space, PACE and Beijing Commune from the capital as well as a broad selection of hometown favorites.
The fair features minor works by major international artists such as Tracy Emin, Tony Cragg and Francis Bacon, plus the inevitable Naras and Kusamas, but many of the best works are by Chinese artists. Look for graphite and pigment drawings on felt by Zhang Yunyao (Don Gallery), smashed up signage by He An (Madein Gallery), and more of Lu Yang’s “Cancer Babies” (Ren Space) — it’s almost as if those things are multiplying.
ART 021 takes place at the National Industrial Bank Building, 130 Beijing Dong Lu, near Huqiu Lu and in venues along Yuanmingyuan Road. It’s open to the public from 12 noon until 7pm Friday November 14 to Sunday November 16. Full listing here..