Art Basel's Unlimited presents 76 premier works

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Art Basel's Unlimited presents 76 premier works

This year's edition of Unlimited will consist of 76 large-scale projects, presented by galleries participating in the fair. Curated for the sixth consecutive year by Gianni Jetzer, curator-at-large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the sector will feature a wide range of presentations, from historically significant pieces to the latest contemporary works.

Art Basel's Unlimited presents 76 premier works

This year's edition of Unlimited will consist of 76 large-scale projects, presented by galleries participating in the fair. Curated for the sixth consecutive year by Gianni Jetzer, curator-at-large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the sector will feature a wide range of presentations, from historically significant pieces to the latest contemporary works.

Renowned as well as emerging artists will participate, including: Doug Aitken, Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Andrea Bowers, Chris Burden, Julian Charrière and Julius von Bismarck, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Carlos Garaicoa, Subodh Gupta, Jenny Holzer, Donna Huanca, Arthur Jafa, Barbara Kruger, Cildo Meireles, Bruce Nauman, Park Chan-kyong, Marwan Rechmaoui, Mickalene Thomas and Anicka Yi.

Art Basel takes place at Messe Basel from June 15 to June 18, 2017. Presented across 16,000 square meters of exhibition space, Unlimited has provided galleries – since its introduction in 2000 – with a unique opportunity to showcase monumental sculptures, video projections, wall paintings, photographic series and performance art that transcend the traditional art-fair stand. In ‘Cooking the World I’ (2017) Subodh Gupta (b. 1964) recreates a shelter made entirely from aluminum utensils, in which he carries out a cooking and eating performance, commemorating these ritualistic practices. Also incorporating performance, ‘BLISS (REALITY CHECK)’ (2017) by Donna Huanca (b. 1980) is an elaborate installation comprised of a tableaux vivant of props, painterly elements and actors, designed to suspend the viewer between the role of a passive onlooker and an active performer. ‘Underwater Pavilions’ (2017) by Doug Aitken (b. 1968) is a video installation that explores three mirror sculptures moored to the ocean floor near California, physically connecting viewers to the expanse of the ocean. ‘Messages from the Atlantic Passage’ (2017) by Sue Williamson (b. 1941) confronts the viewer with a large-scale installation in which five rope fishing nets are suspended from the ceiling, filled with engraved glass bottles, each inscribed with a slave name, country of origin and further details, representing the 12.5 million African individuals who were shipped to the New World between 1525 and 1866. 'Saving The Safe' (2017) by Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa (b. 1967) aims to address the financial realm and the tensions it has caused in the last years. The symbolic and powerful image of the bank is reproduced in a series of golden sculptures in tiny scale, with each miniature installed separately inside the safe box of a real bank. Other highlights include the last work made by Chris Burden (1946-2015), ‘Ode to Santos Dumont’ (2015), an operational airship, which explores Burden’s childhood ambition of building functioning machines and is inspired by Alberto Santos-Dumont’s 20th century innovations in aviation. This will be the first time the work will be shown outside of the United States. ‘A Pilgrimage To Noah Purifoy’s Desert Art Museum’ (2016), the most recent work by LaToya Ruby Frazier (b. 1982), is comprised of thirteen prints and documents the site of the artist Noah Purifoy's former home and the disintegration of his sculptures in the harsh desert elements, where he spent the last 15 years of his life. Arthur Jafa's (b. 1960) extensive and sustained research into black culture and his theorization of a black aesthetic have led him to produce 'Apex' (2013), an eight-minute single channel work comprised of hundreds of images that flash momentarily before the viewers’ eyes in quick succession. ‘Leck’ (2012/2015) by artist duo FORT (est. 2008, consisting of Alberta Niemann (b. 1982) and Jenny Kropp (b. 1978) recreates a complete shop interior of the former chemist chain Schlecker, which went bankrupt in 2012. By extracting the objects from their everyday context, the artists bring their sculptural aspects to the fore. 'Skype Sweater' (2010-2017), a seminal early installation by Anicka Yi (b. 1971), consists of three sculptural elements displayed on pedestals, all unified by a billowing parachute. The materials and the methodologies used in this piece have proven to be the blueprints for her practice in the intervening years.

Jack Shainman Gallery, Nick Cave, Speak Louder, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Magazzino; Lévy Gorvy, Enrico Castellani, Spazio Ambiente, 1970

The Box, Galerie Gisela Capitain. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

 On Friday, June 16 from 3pm to 4pm curator Gianni Jetzer will moderate a panel discussion as part of the Conversations program. Focused on Unlimited and titled ‘Social Practice Changes’, the panel will feature the artists Carlos Garaicoa and Sue Williamson. A limited-edition catalog, published by Hatje Cantz, will accompany Unlimited, including descriptive texts and images of each artwork. The catalog is for sale at the show as well as in bookshops. 

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Image of the Day

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie‐Thérèse), executed 4 December 1937. Oil on canvas. 24⅛ x 18⅛ in (61.2 x 46.1 cm)

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie‐Thérèse), executed 4 December 1937. Oil on canvas. 24⅛ x 18⅛ in (61.2 x 46.1 cm)

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