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.