Basel Chronicles I - Art Basel Unlimited JUNE 2018
ART BASEL 11- 17 JUNE 2018
Every year, art and design lovers from around the world meet in Basel, Switzerland on the occasion of two noteworthy fairs Art Basel and Design Miami to celebrate creativity and honour emerging and established artists. With an exciting program of art conferences, exhibitions and cultural events organised throughout Basel, the city has earned the reputation of international capital of art and design and is considered an authority on the art market. For its 49th edition which took place this year between 11 -17 June at the impressive exhibition centre on Messeplatz 10 - designed by the Basel-based architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron, 291 of the world's most significant galleries showcased the works of more than 4,000 artists, announcing significant sales to private collectors and institutions.
Art Basel - Unlimited
Expertly curated again by Gianni Jetzer, Curator at Large at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. the 'Unlimited platform is dedicated to large-scale experimental projects which this year counted 72 installations, expansive and immersive art, along with projected video works and live performances.
Frank Bowling represented by Alexander Gray Associates, New York
Born in Guyana in 1936, Frank Bowling OBE RA moved to London at nineteen and studied at the Royal College of Art between 1959 and 1962. Soon after his graduation, he held his first solo exhibition, Image in Revolt, at Grabowski Galleries in London.
Starting as a figurative painter, he embraced the British Pop Movement in the '50s and ‘60s, however, when he received his first Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967, he moved to New York. This change of location is a new starting point in Bowler's artistic career. Influenced by new aesthetics, his paintings became gradually more abstract. During this time, Bowling creates his groundbreaking series, the Map Paintings (1967–1971). Today Bowling lives and works between London and New York.
False Start is an excellent canvas from the Map Paintings series.
A keen observer, Bowling began False Start when he noticed a shadow cast through the studio window which had the rough shape of South American continent. Following the shadow, he started to paint flowing abstract forms on the canvas, combining undertones of whites, peach, and pinks. By emphasising the Southern Hemisphere while concealing the Europe and North America, the British-Guyanese painter transmits a powerful political and social message about the effects of colonialism and imperialism.
ALEXANDER GRAY ASSOCIATES
The contemporary art gallery Alexander Gray Associates is based in New York and represents artistic movements and artists like Betty Parsons, Jack Tworkov, Polly Apfelbaum or Frank Bowling, who emerged in the second half of the Twentieth Century. They had a dramatic impact on the international cultural, social, and political scenes, delivering a body of work that crosses geographic borders, generational contexts and artistic disciplines.
Alexander Gray Associates is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America.
Alexander Gray Associates
510 West 26 Street,
New York NY 10001
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Summer Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Barbara Probst represented by Monica De Cardenas Galeria - Milan, Lugano, Zuoz
German-born artist Barbara Probst has been experimenting with photography since the early 2000s, creating a body of work that explores in depth the photographic record and its ambivalence, as well as the subjectivity of truth and perception. With several photo cameras placed at different angles in a room and a remote-controlled shutter release, Probst dissects the photographic moment. Some photo cameras take snapshots of other photo cameras which in turn photograph other cameras. Thus, the observer slips into in a visual labyrinth from which he cannot withdraw easily. When seen as a whole, her multi-figure portraits create an almost sculptural, three-dimensional perspective in the viewer’s mind, who contemplates the composition from inside.
Born in 1964 in Munich, Barbara Probst lives and works in New York and Munich. Throughout her career, she has received many awards and participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Worth mentioning here the Photography Award of Arts Council in Munich (1994), the Dresden Philip Morris Award in (2002), and shows at Monica de Cardenas Galleria in Zuoz, Switzerland and Kuckei+Kuckei in Berlin (2017) Kunstverein Oldenburg in 2009, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008 and Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago in 2008 among many others.
The first Monica De Cardenas gallery opened its doors in 1992 in Corso Como - Milan and ever since it has built a reputation for representing established and emerging artists from around the world. Thus, in 1993, the gallery hosted Thomas Strut’s first solo exhibition, followed by Carol Rama and Markus Raetz in 1994, Gabriel Orozco in 1995, Stephan Balkenhol in 1996, as well as the American figurative artist Alex Katz in 1998. Gradually, new emerging artists were introduced in the following years to the gallery's program.
In December 2006, a new space opened in the picturesque village of Zuoz near St. Moritz, Switzerland. Located in a in a historical building from the 15th century, the gallery was renovated by architect Hans-Jörg Ruch .
Six years later, in 2016, Monica De Cardenas staged a celebratory solo exhibition of the illustrious female representative of the radical 1960's artistic movement Arte Povera, Marisa Merz who recently received the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale.
Today, Monica De Cardenas Galleria collaborates with public spaces and museums in Italy, Switzerland and beyond.
Via Maistra 41
7524 Zuoz | St.Moritz, Switzerland
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 3 pm - 7 pm
Open: July - August | December - March
Ai Weiwei represented by neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Born in Beijing in 1957, Ai Weiwei is China’s most prominent cultural figure, and activist internationally renowed for his tremendous body of work which includes sculptural installations, architectural projects, photographs, and videos. A free-thinker by excellence, his art takes different forms of social and political engagement and calls attention to the polarity between the idealistic image of the Chinese society and its reality.
In 2015, the artist was invited to exhibit at Chambers Fine Art in Beijing Tiger, Tiger, Tiger - his long-awaited exhibition after years of interdiction. Subsequently, the Royal Academy of Arts in London organised an Ai Weiwei retrospective. 2015 is also the year when the Chinese authorities lifted his travel ban and returned his passport. Ever since Ai Weiwei has been living and working in Berlin, Germany with his family.
Ai Weiwei is strongly passionate about his country’s cultural heritage often using salvaged objects in his oeuvres, thus giving them a second life. It is the case of the 3,020 broken porcelain vessels used for Tiger, Tiger, Tiger (2015) a silent homage to the thousands of artisans who once had shaped them. The blue-and-white porcelain shards originate from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and have been collected by Ai Weiwei over the course of two decades. The inside base of each bowl displays a hand-painted tiger in various poses. It is surprising how the shards, which undoubtedly come from different sources, are displayed to complete each other, creating an illusion of visual unity with an air of nostalgia. The tiger symbolises courage in the Chinese culture, taking a metaphorical dimension in Ai Weiwei’s engaged oeuvre. With strong references to China’s past and present, Tiger, Tiger Tiger pleads for cultural and historical acceptance which has become fragile in a society lead by authoritarian governments.
Berlin-based neugerriemschneider opened at Goethestraße 69 in Charlottenburg, in 1994 with an inaugural Jorge Pardo exhibition.
In the following years, the gallery organised some of the early solo shows of Franz Ackermann, Sharon Lockhart, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Michel Majerus, Tobias Rehberger, Elizabeth Peyton, and Olafur Eliasson, exhibitions which turned the spotlight on their works.. Today they are considered among the most influential of their generation and well-established in the gallery’s program.
In September 1998, the gallery moved to a new address on Linienstraße 155 in Berlin-Mitte and celebrated the event with an Olafur Eliasson.
In 2001, the gallery opened to innovative artists such as Pae White and Simon Starling and two years later, it organised the first solo exhibitions of Isa Genzken and Pawel Althamer. Since 2011, neugerriemschneider has represented the American filmmaker and artist James Benning as well as Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who had his first solo exhibition at the gallery that same year.
This year at Art Basel, neugerriemschneider represented Ai Weiwei with the installation Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, exhibited for the first time at Chambers Fine Art, Beijing in 2015.
10115 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 28877277
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11 am–6 pm
Horia Damian represented by Galeria Plan B, Cluj - Napoca
Horia Damian (1922 - 2012) was born in Bucharest and one of the most well-known contemporary Romanian painters.
In 1941, he started his studies at School of Architecture in Bucharest and made his debut as a painter at the Official Salon of Painting at Sala Dalles in Bucharest, followed by his first solo exhibition at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest in 1942, where he received the Anastase Simu Prize for painting. In 1946, he won a scholarship to Paris. Here, he studied with André Lhote then with Fernand Léger and Auguste Herbin and was introduced to Piet Mondrian's work by Felix del Marle. It is in Paris, in 1949 when he became acquainted with Constantin Brancusi. This encounter with abstract art influenced his change of style and created his first authentic works, such as Hexagonal Blue or Grande constellation bleue (1959) made of white dots which form geometric shapes.
His early 1960s paintings are in oil on a polyester base, such as Constellation (1964) and executed in a gestural impasto style which focuses on the application of the paint itself on the surface, revealing all of its sensorial properties.
By the late 1960s, we notice a radical change in his manner, his works becoming progressively geometric and sculptural. Soon followed exhibitions in New York, Milano, Tokyo, Osaka, Bruxelles, Munchen and Paris.
In the early 70’s, he starts working on his 'Galaxy' series - a body of work which consists of monumental sculptures. An example is his Galaxy project for a monument in Houston, Texas, designed in 1972 and constructed two years later at the Ludwig Forum in Aachen. Galaxy was reproduced by Galeria Plan B in 2014 which exhibited it at Art Basel this year.
The 11-meter-long sculpture was originally conceived as an imaginary monument in the landscape adjoining the city of Texas, with celestial and transcendental connotations.
Damian continued to create other monumental works such as The Hill, for the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1976. His fascination with the extra-terrestrial spatial order, is reflected in his impressive creations retaining a symbolic and metaphysical aura with ‘explicit references ... to a celestial rather than a terrestrial space, to an ideal, rather than a palpable world order, and to sacral rather than temporal realities’ as the museum’s director of that time, Thomas Messer noted.
Galeria Plan B was founded in 2005, in Cluj, Romania by artists Mihai Pop and Adrian Ghenie and specialises in the production of contemporary art whilst promoting remarkable Romanian talents without previous international exposure such as Ioana Batranu, Cornel Brudascu, Alexandra Croitoru, Octav Grigorescu, Victor Man, or Ciprian Muresan, as well as foreign artists.
In 2007, Galeria Plan B organised the Romanian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale, curated by Mihnea Mircan which displayed artists Victor Man, Cristi Pogacean, Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Christoph Büchel & Giovanni Carmine. The co-founder Mihai Pop was the curator of the Romanian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015 along with several other group exhibitions.
In 2008 the gallery inaugurated a second permanent exhibition space in Berlin, run by Mihai Pop and gallerist Mihaela Lutea. One year later, Galeria Plan B started the collective independent cultural project Fabrica de Pensule (The Paintbrush Factory) in Cluj. Located on in the premises of an old paintbrush factory, the project includes five art galleries and thirty artist studios
Fabrica de Pensule / The Paintbrush Factory
Str. Henri Barbusse 59-61
Tel. +49 151 64617845
Tuesday-Friday, 16–19 h
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Potsdamer Strasse 77-87
Building G, Second Backyard
Tel. +49 30 39805236
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sam Gilliam represented by David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1933, Sam Gilliam is one of America’s most celebrated abstract painters and a significant figure among the Washington, D.C.- based modern and contemporary art communities. An abstract expressionist, Gilliam has been experimenting with colour, form and texture during his whole career and radically reinventing the canvas. From the late 1950s through mid-’70s, he adhered to the Washington Color School, a movement which looked closer into the optical effects and transcendental properties of colour, experience which undoubtedly changed his perception of colour. Furthermore, in the late 1960s, for the sake of innovation, he introduced a revolutionary way to display his colourful compositions hanging them from the ceiling and on the walls, thus creating visually striking drapes and a 3-dimensional effect. This original draping display became his artistic signature. Thus, he pushed further the concept of depth, physicality, and intensity of colour. Today his works are displayed in various distinguished museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
Sam Gilliam was present this year at Art Basel Unlimited with Untitled (2018), his newest draped installation made especially for the occasion and celebrated at Kunstmuseum in Basel with his first solo European show, The Music of Color’ from June 9 until September 30.
DAVID KORDANSKY GALLERY - LOS ANGELES
Established in 2003 with the aim to promote and bring together various emerging L.A-based artists, David Kordansky Gallery has rapidly imposed itself on the international art scene, representing today renowned names worldwide. Today, artists like Markus Amm, Kathryn Andrews, Betty Woodman, Valentin Carron, Anthony Pearson, David Noonan or Sam Gilliam are part of the gallery's internationally known program.
The 20,000 square foot location in Mid-city LA acquired in September 2014 which comprise two adjacent and similarly-sized gallery spaces have supported the gallery’s ambitious plan to organise solo, group, and historical exhibitions.
5130 W. Edgewood Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10am–6pm
He Xiangyu represented by White Space Beijing, China
He Xiangyu was born in 1986 in Liaoning Province, China and currently live in Beijing. Since 2008 when he graduated with a bachelor's degree from the Oil Painting Department of Shenyang Normal University, he has participated in some of the most important group exhibitions: Art Patrons 艺术赞助人 at Qiao Space in Shanghai in 2018, L'Été plus vaste que l'Empire... at Wentrup, in Berlin - Kreuzberg in 2017, and Juxtapoz x Superflat at Vancouver Art Gallery in 2016, Save The Date at SCAI The Bathhouse in Tokyo in 2016, La Vie Modene at the 13th Edition of La Bienale de Lyon, Jing Shen - The act of painting in contemporary China at Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea (PAC), Milan, in 2015, to name a few.
He Xiangyu was among the twenty-one young artists who received in 2014 the Future Generation Art Prize at Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev, Ukraine where he displayed his mural work Olive Oil. Past is Prologue, executed within a pencil square in virgin olive oil.
A conceptual artist who likes to experiment and address current social and political topics through his art, Xiangyu was present this year at Art Basel Unlimited with his Untitled installation - an analogy to the controversial one-child policy which had been implemented in China for more than thirty years, from 1979 until 2015. The work depicts one isolated white egg placed on a large carton coated with 3500 grams of pure gold as if sitting on a golden throne. The evident contrast created by the gold coat applied on a cheap egg carton portrays the artist's entire generation somehow isolated and conflicted.
Since its opening in 2004, White Space Beijing has been focusing on promoting some of the most distinguished contemporary Chinese artists. Spread on more than 1500m² (16146 sq ft), its new location in Beijing’s well-known Caochangdi Art District was opened in 2009 and incorporates two major exhibition halls where both recognised and emerging artists display their works along with new curatorial shows. White Space Gallery has recently launched an international platform through which it maintains close relationships with major art fairs, foundations, and museums worldwide which further support and promote its artists.
This year at Art Basel Unlimited, White Space Gallery represented He Xiangyu, often referred to as the rising star of the Chinese contemporary art.
Airport Service Road, Chaoyang District
Tel: +86 10 84562054
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm
Alberto Burri represented by Luxembourg & Dayan
Born in 1915 in Città di Castello, Italy, Alberto Burri ( 1915 – 1995) was the founder of the Arte Povera movement and one of the most prominent abstract painters of the 20th century. A doctor by training, he enrolled in Mussolini’s army during World War. Captured in Tunisia, he was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in Camp Howze, Texas where he started painting on discarded burlap.
Throughout his career, the surgeon turned artist developed a remarkable tactile ability to work with his hands, that he polished during his imprisonment. One of his most notable oeuvres is Sacchi (“sacks”) series, created by stitching, patching, and painting on rough burlap bags. Without using a brush, even when working with acrylic or tempera media, he developed a unique technique called painting without paint. His interest in working with unconventional materials such as tar, plastic, zinc oxide, pumice, PVC adhesives, or fabric, played a crucial but however underestimated role in the evolution of collage and assemblage techniques, strongly influenced by the postwar artistic movements.
In 1959, he received the Premio dell’Ariete in Milan and the UNESCO Prize at the São Paulo Bienal, followed by his solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale which won him the Critics Prize, in 1960 and his first US retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston in 1963. In 2015, Guggenheim Museum in New York organised a major posthumous retrospective The Trauma of Painting.
Today, the artist’s works are collected by leading museums worldwide such Tate Modern in London, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, to mention just a few.
This year at Art Basel Unlimited, Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery presented Burri’s revolutionary Nero Cellotex series, unique in the way how the artist transformed such a basic material into a strong visual and tactile experience by manipulating depths and creating a fascinating play of light.
LUXEMBOURG & DAYAN
Luxembourg & Dayan is an art gallery founded by Daniella Luxembourg and Amalia Dayan in 2009, with gallery spaces in New York and London.
Since its opening, the gallery has drawn its attention to the post-war European artistic movements: European Pop, Arte Povera, and Nouveau Réalisme, promoting significant however undervalued European artists such as Enrico Baj, César, Domenico Gnoli, Martial Raysse, and Mario Schifano. Recently new names such as Salvatore Scarpitta and Rodolfo Aricò have been added to the gallery's program.
By promoting these artists, the gallery endeavours to bring back to the spotlight their works and revive public and critical interest.
Although the gallery does not represent artists, it organises yearly exhibitions with a living artist, events which throw it into a contemporary perspective, very important in maintaining its identity.
64 East 77th Street
New York NY 10075
Tel. +1 212 452 4646
Summer Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 am – 5 pm and by appointment.
Robert Longo Represented by Metro Pictures, New York
Robert Longo was born in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, where he currently lives and works. He graduated from high school in 1970 and became involved in the aftermath of the Kent State University Massacre in Ohio, which burst out as a student protest against the US invasion of Cambodia and led to revolts nationwide.
One press photo of Longo’s former classmate killed during the uprisings by John Paul Filo received particular attention, winning a Pulitzer Prize which would dramatically impact his relation to media images.
In 1972, Longo left for Europe to study restoration and art history at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. In Europe, he visited the major museums and studied in-depth both Old and Modern Masters, an experience which would significantly influence his development as an artist.
In 1978, at only 25 years old, Longo made his debut onto the New York art scene with a collection of large-scale charcoal drawings Men in the Cities.
A keen observer of the complex psychological states, Longo’s art vibrates with emotion, reflecting the world we live in today.
His body of work is a blend of abstract and conceptual, light and dark with a definite political undertone, achieved by mastering the chiaroscuro technique. Applying thick layers of charcoal, the artist builds depth and contrast, thus creating textured surfaces and forms which are both representational and slightly ambiguous, charged with a powerful message.
Proof is among his most important exhibitions is where his works were displayed alongside those of Francisco Goya and Sergei Eisenstein. The show was hosted by the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow in 2016 from where it travelled to Brooklyn Museum in New York in 2017 and the Deichtorhallen Hamburg in 2018.
Worth mentioning here his solo exhibitions at the Musée d‘art moderne et d‘art contemporain Nice, Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany, Albertina Vienna, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago as well as the Menil Collection, Houston.
Robert Longo’s works have been incorporated in Documenta 7 (1982) and 8 (1987) which takes place every five years in Kassel Germany, the Whitney Biennial in New York in 2004 and the 47th edition of Venice Biennale.
In 2005 Longo was awarded The Goslar Kaiserring, which has been launched in 1975 is and is assessed by a committee of curators and museum directors.
Robert Longo’s Death Star II is a suspended globe made of 40,000 copper and bronze full metal jacket bullets. His second work of this kind, Death Star II is a follow-up of the original created in 1993. More than twice larger and carrying more than double the quantity of bullets, Death Star II reveals the terrifying increase in mass shootings in the United States in the last 25 years.
Metro Pictures is an art gallery based in New York City. Established in 1980 at 169 Mercer Street in SoHo, by Janelle Reiring, previously of Leo Castelli Gallery, and Helene Winer, previously of Artist's Space, its inaugural exhibition included artists such as Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Sherry Levine, James Welling, Richard Prince and Walter Robinson. Soon followed their solo shows which played a significant role to their launch on the New York art scene. They would later be included in The Pictures Generation - an exhibition organised in 2009 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and become known as the ‘Pictures artists’.
In 1983 Metro Pictures moved to 150 Greene Street. That same year the gallery hosted René Daniëls and Martin Kippenberger’s first shows outside Europe. Newer generations of artists were introduced gradually to the gallery’s program which has accustomed its public along the years, with engaging conceptual content that addresses current social issues, ideologies and promotes new artistic ideas.
The gallery has been at its current address on 519 West 24th Street, in Chelsea since 1997. In 2016 it was renovated by the architectural practice 1100 Architects was inaugurated with a Cindy Sherman show.
519 West 24th Street
New York, NY10011
T 212 206 7100
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM
Thaddaeus Ropac opened the eponymous gallery in 1983 in the Villa Kast, Salzburg, a magnificent 19th-century Neo-Classic manor, just a stone's throw from the Mirabell Garden. With venues in Salzburg, London, Paris Le Marais and Paris Pantin opened subsequently, the gallery organises around thirty solo and group exhibitions every year and supports some of the most influential contemporary artists, representing them at all major international art fairs. The gallery's program includes Ali Banisadr, Lee Bul, Wolfgang Laib, Daniel Richter, Andy Warhol, Adrian Ghenie, Marcel Duchamp, Elisabeth Payton, Alex Katz or Robert Longo, just to name a few.
The gallery also provides curatorial expertise to leading art museums and public institutions and advice to private and corporate art collectors. It also has its own publishing house inviting big names on the international art scene such British independent curator and art historian Sir Norman Rosenthal or Turkish writer and Nobel Prize laureate, Orhan Pamuk, to bring their contribution.
This year, the gallery joined forces with Metro Pictures New York and represented artist Robert Longo at the Unlimited section of this Art Basel edition.
Mirabell Platz 2, A-5020 Salzburg
TEL +43 (0)662 881 3930
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10AM - 6PM
Saturday 10AM - 2PM
Upcoming Art Basel shows
Miami Beach, December 6-9, 2018
Hong Kong, March 29-31, 2019
Basel, June 13-16, 2019
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