Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Art Basel

Art Basel

this is a pipe by oliver beer

Oliver Beer

This is a pipe, 2013

the four paintings about sun #3

The Four Paintings about Sun #3, 2013

achtzehnneunundachtzig by georg baselitz

Georg Baselitz

Achtzehnneunundachtzig, 2013

Thursday, June 19, 2014Sunday, June 22, 2014

Messeplatz 10
Basel, 4055 Switzerland

Art Basel 2014

Art Basel, the essential annual rendez-vous, is upon us yet again. We will be attending this 44th edition and are already impatient to see you there (Halle 2.0 B11).

On this occasion, we have specially assembled a selection of important works, amongst them pieces by Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Robert Longo, Ilya et Emilia Kabakov and Alex Katz, as well as young artists with promising careers like Claire Adelfang and Oliver Beer.

We will show a fascinating portrait of a man by Francis Bacon in dark shades. In Bacon’s distinctive style, the figure appears on the edge of disintegration as if it was under a strange optical phenomenon. The brush seems to sweep over the face giving him thus a tragical side which catches the individual in the midst of its isolation. “To speak about the violence of paint, [...] has nothing to do with the violence of war, it’s to do with an attempt to remake the violence of reality itself.”

Following the Alex Katz retrospective on portraiture, which was held in our Pantin gallery and regrouped nearly 100 works, we present a trilogy of his cut-outs. They feature three silhouettes of cut out bathers, painted on aluminum. This work of Katz’s is less well-known, but remains nonetheless essential to understanding the artist’s work, since it enables a better appreciation of his notion of flat color and planar surfaces. His cut-outs have often been compared to the later cut-outs done by Matisse.

In tandem, we will present a new work by Robert Longo. The artist pursues his series of charcoal drawings, this time featuring a tree with wintery branches as his subject. Continually implementing his preferred technique, Robert Longo deploys infinite nuances of light and dark to mimic reality. His drawings are akin to black and white photographs.

From Georg Baselitz we have chosen to present a recent painting that revisits his Heroes series. More specifically, it reinterprets his painting from 1965 Verschiedene Zeichen which is part of the collection of the Fondation Beyeler. In this oeuvre, the lower half of the composition places the male figure that appears as a colossus within a rectilinear grid that leads to a form of abstraction. The color palette applied is more varied and nuanced than the initial painting.

We have also selected a magnificent painting by Ilya Kabakov. The composition of the oeuvre superposes an interior scene over an exterior scene, in which a white circle interferes. The form conjures the geometry of Constructivism; this element thus inscribes the oeuvre within the Russian pictorial tradition. Similar paintings by Kabakov are currently presented in their Strange City for Monumenta at the Grand Palais in Paris.

We will also show an installation by the very young British artist Oliver Beer, This is a pipe, an object fitted into the wall uncovering its profile only. This installation derives from his last series of works presented at his solo exhibition at the MAC Musée d’art contemporain Lyon.

In another significant moment of this week in Basel, we will have the pleasure to show, in the context of Art Unlimited, Harun Farocki’s video installation, Parallele I-IV. Composed in four parts this installation explores how images made with new technologies influence and even predetermine our social and political space, our consciences and our habits. This work constitutes a chronological anthology of images of synthesis and animation.

We are delighted to see you in Basel. For any and all questions, please feel free to contact our team in Paris or Salzburg.

Thaddaeus Ropac