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Whitewaller Basel 2019: What to See

In between browsing Art Basel and other fairs, you’ll want to save time for these exhibitions, on view at Basel’s top museums, galleries, and collections.

“Paintings:1960s Onward”
Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie Aeschenplatz/St. Alban Vorstadt
Now—July 5
A graduate of The Institute of Fine Arts, Osaka, and The Osaka School of Art, Minoru Onoda (1937–2008) became a key member of the Gutai group beginning in 1965. Gutai comprised artists experimenting in new media, performances, and environments with a post–World War II no-rules approach. “Minoru Onoda: Paintings – 1960s onward” at Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie will be a solo show of Onoda’s work from the 1960s until the 2000s, revealing the influence of the radical artistic movement, as well as the artist’s engagement with geometric shapes and optical illusions. Featured works will include his “sky dreams” paintings: painstakingly placed dots rendered on gofun—a malleable paste.

Simone Forti
Kunsthaus Baselland Muttenz/Basel
Now–July 21
As an artist in the early 1960s, Simone Forti began improvising a new modern dance based on everyday movement, inspired by choreographer Anna Halprin. Rooted in a curiosity about what our bodies can know, Forti’s work consists of films, videos, photographs, installations, drawings and texts, and performances that often reflect on human behavior, our social responses to politics and media, and the effects of interpersonal movement. The exhibition at Kunsthaus Baselland will be the artist’s first solo show in Switzerland and will feature performances with local artists and dancers trained by Claire Filmon and Sarah Swenson, with whom Forti has worked closely.

Clément Cogitore: (Part II)
Kunsthaus Baselland Muttenz/Basel
Now—July 7
Clément Cogitore, winner of the 2018 Prix Marcel Duchamp, works in film and photography to explore community, ritual, and collective memory. The Paris-based artist structures his investigations around the visual culture of entertainment, advertising, and social networks—and how these seemingly banal systems shape our attitudes and actions. Following the first segment of the exhibition series, which surveyed Cogitore’s recent work, the second part will focus on his prize-winning new work, The Evil Eye, in its first institutional presentation.

Björn Braun
Kunsthaus Baselland Muttenz/Basel
Now—July 7
Artist Björn Braun (b. 1979, Berlin) has long engaged with the question of the extent to which an artist exercises agency in the artistic process. Embracing the accidental and uncontrolled, Braun creates immersive objects, collages, and video installations that reflect his open attitude. For this, he draws from natural and industrial materials, transforming them into novel, poetic, and sometimes humorous forms, challenging the truth of creation itself. This is Björn Braun’s first major presentation in Switzerland.

Rudolf Stingel
Fondation Beyeler Riehen
Now–October 6
Since the 1980s, Rudolf Stingel’s approach to painting has been conceptual and introspective. He has prodded the boundaries of the medium; abstract and photorealistic paintings are often accompanied by meditations on eternity, large-scale works made of Styrofoam, or cast metal pictures. Presenting historic and new, site-specific works using carpets and Celotex insulation boards, the exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler offers Stingel’s insights on the condition and promise of painting. It is the first major presentation of Stingel’s paintings in Europe following his show at Palazzo Grassi in Venice (2013).

Geumhyung Jeong: Homemade RC Toy
Kunsthalle Basel Altstadt Grossbasel
Now–August 11
At once curious and unsettling, the films, sculptures, installations, and
performances of Geumhyung Jeong (b. 1980) are studies in animism. For Homemade RC Toy, the South Korean artist and choreographer focuses her attention on the relationship between the human and the machine, creating an installation comprising homemade robotic sculptures and documentation of the process of their making. The sculptures will be activated in a series of performances, starting on June 6, 2019.

Dora Budor: I am Gong
Kunsthalle Basel Altstadt Grossbasel
Now–August 11
“I am Gong” is the Croatian-born artist Dora Budor’s first institutional solo exhibition in Europe. Inspired by science fiction and cinematic sets, Budor used sound, dust, and environmental data based on investigations of the architectural history of Kunsthalle Basel and its surroundings in order to create an evolving “score” for her exhibition. The result is moody, electric artworks whose unfolding forms are modulated by invisible forces.

Philippe Zumstein: Light Shift
Laleh June Kunstmuseum Basel
Now–June 16
“Light Shift” at Laleh June Galerie will present new and recent works by the Swiss artist Philippe Zumstein. Since the 1990s, Zumstein has transformed industrial materials—polymirror, plywood, aluminum, glass, steel, and car paint—and reinvented them in new, painstakingly crafted forms. Yet despite the sturdiness of their makeup, his enigmatic works tend to suggest fragility, a vulnerability exposed. Zumstein’s “Fat Paintings,” for example, are so heavy with RAL paint (industrial color) that they appear to be on the verge of erupting. Encased only in its own sheen, the paint—almost conspiratorially—threatens to spill beyond its canvas.

Rebecca Horn: Body Fantasies
Museum Tinguely Wettstein
Now–September 22
Museum Tinguely and Centre Pompidou-Metz present companion exhibitions of Rebecca Horn. “Body Fantasies” at Museum Tinguely (“Theatre of Metamorphoses” will take place at Metz) displays performance works, films, and kinetic sculptures that span the artist’s career. Horn’s works always begin with the human body, and the exhibition will explore this union of the corporeal and the material in four themes: “Flapping Wings,” “Circulating,” “Inscribing,” and “Touching.” In “Inscribing,” for instance, viewers will find the Pencil Mask (1972), a mask-like construct that morphs the wearer into a drawing automaton. In the same gallery will be the “Bodylandscapes” series (2004/2005): works on paper alluding to the artist’s body.

Art — Light: Martin Kammler/Onorio Mansutti
Sarasin Art Spalenvorstadt/University
Now–June 22
“Art – Light” is an exhibition of work by the Basel-based artists Martin Kammler and Onorio Mansutti. Kammler’s painting practice is emotionally charged; the abstracted face recalling a skull of Face yourself 1 generates questions of perception, as it is influence itself that forms the face. Onorio Mansutti photographs letters from advertisements and restructures them into quotations by his favorite writers, using bust-length portraits to space out the words. Together, the artists demonstrate playful yet precise practices, elaborated across different mediums and representations.

Véronique Arnold: We Are the Universe
STAMPA Historic Center Basel
Now–August 31
“We Are the Universe” is a solo show by Véronique Arnold, the French artist who incorporates philosophy, nature, and the liberal arts into her luminous textiles. Arnold’s exhibition—her second with STAMPA—takes inspiration from the images recovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. As her own humbling act of miracle, Arnold has translated the infinite universe into intricate, vibrant embroidery. Earthly and galactic shapes seep into her textiles, in homage to astronomical phenomena and the metaphysical greatness from which mankind descends.

Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People
Vitra Design Museum Weil am Rhein
Now—September 8

The 2018 Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi will have his first international retrospective outside of Asia at the Vitra Design Museum. Focusing on significant projects carried out between 1958 and 2014, “Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People” displays drawings, models, photography, film footage, and several full-scale installations that illustrate his practice, in addition to innovative structures like the Indian Institute of Management (1977, 1992) and Aranya (1989), the low-cost housing project. Crafted during a period of rapid change in India, the rich material is imbued with many influences: Doshi’s humanist philosophy, his shared vocabulary with his sometimes collaborator Le Corbusier, his beliefs in sustainability, and his social, ethical, and religious values.

Karim Houreldin: Equinox
von Bartha Kannenfeldplatz
Now–July 27
For Karim Noureldin’s fourth solo show at von Bartha Basel, the Swiss artist will exhibit new large-scale drawings, textiles, and previously undisplayed works on paper. “Equinox”—the title of both the exhibition and a featured series within it—grapples with Noureldin’s interest in drawing, and how he confronts the nonrepresentational with an instinctive spatial approach. Crafted with the “Panza technique” from western India, the featured textiles have been hand-woven in collaboration with master weavers, expressing an artistic tradition to complement a large, site-specific wooden mount installation.

“6 Days Open Storage”
Schaulager HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste)
Now—June 16
Concurrent with Art Basel 2019, Schaulager will offer German- and English-language tours of some of its storage spaces. Installed, mounted, and readily visible, the objects belong to the collection of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation and represent painting, sculpture, photography, video, film, and multimedia installations by over 160 artists. Normally, the space is open only to specialists, making the tours a unique opportunity to examine the facility and to peer into the world of preservation. Visitors will also see two monumental installations by Robert Gober and Katharina Fritsch that are permanently installed in the space.

William Kentridge: A Poem That Is Not Our Own
Kunstmuseum Basel St. Alban-Graben
Now–October 13
In a career spanning more than three decades, the South African artist William Kentridge has worked in film, drawing, printmaking, stage production, and sculpture. “A Poem That Is Not Our Own” comprises early graphic art and films from the 1980s and 1990s, as well as recent experimental films—traversing three gallery floors with politically and socially engaged commentaries on migration, flight, and apartheid. It will also debut In Praise of Folly (2018), part of Kentridge’s “Drawing Lessons” series, which alludes to Erasmus of Rotterdam’s searing 1509 critique of the Catholic Church. The film quotes Hans Holbein’s portrait of the thinker, among other Basel treasures.




Inviting the audience to feel, touch, and experience art in its most dynamic state is “When Forms Come Alive” at Hayward Gallery.
Susan Chen's first solo show at Rachel Uffner is on view now through April 20 in New York, including works in clay and ne paintings.


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