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Universality of art in Basel
More than 700 galleries rejected, only 12 new entries, but still 20 are the galleries, in Art Basel, ready to represent the condition of Italian art, put on display for the Swiss based art fair between daring curatorial projects and unusual visions of historical old masters....

Published on Thursday, June 16th, 2011.

More than 700 galleries rejected, only 12 new entries, but still 20 are the galleries, in Art Basel, ready to represent the condition of Italian art. 

Just like last year perseveres the historical presence of galleries such as De Carlo, Gio Marconi, Christian Stein, Zero, Minini and Continua; not more in the spotlight Francesca Kaufmann, Monica De Cardenas, T293 and Monitor, replaced by Suzy Shammah in Milan, Noire Contemporary Art in Turin, S.A.L.E.S in Rome and G.A.M in Bologna.

A cultural platform, Art Basel, which determines the evolution of professional artists, but on the other hand, it also elevates the power of the galleries themselves, creating a union of purpose and a merger between galleries and artists. 

Experimentation, research, quality and attention to the international context; this is the leitmotif of the event that, for several years, also highlights the high level of Italian proposals and artistic culture. 

For the occasion, some considerations: 

for Art Unlimited, the section devoted to oversize works, Italian galleries and artists, balance their attendance. 


Reconfirmed – just like last year - the presence of Mario Merz presented by Galerie Tschudi Glarus, with the massive 74 steps installation " which reappears in a growth of concentric geometry”, while Massimo Minini shows Anish Kapoor, the Alfonso Artiaco gallery  Carl Andre while Daniel Buren is represented by Continua gallery in San Gimignano. To act as a kind of generational opposition, the great masters appear next to last generation artists: Noire Contemporary Art gallery in Turin shows in fact its style and its fresh and experimental character with the Italian group Masbedo who, by keeping up with the grandeur inherent to the special section of Art Basel, reflects the economic and anthropological contradictions of Iceland through a video installation on five screens: Kreppa Babies, a documentary that goes beyond the boundaries of video art to take advantage of its elements; it is indeed a video that literally examines the steps of the “children of the crisis” on a terrain that has become inhospitable and treacherous because of the “crimes of their fathers”. Again Noire Contemporary Art gallery, now in the Art Feature section with a personal unpublished photograph of Alighiero Boetti, a series of videos of 1969 filmed in Super 8 including Untitled (Radial Turntable, Zenithal Turntable). This art piece is a diptych composed of two unedited film rolls in the studio of a contemporary art collector; it represents a typical Boetti’s invention where a small amateur camera on a record player turntable placed in the middle of a room, films, in two different ways, the disenchanted universe of the artist.


For Italy this year this one seems to be a fair of doubles. Boetti in fact, reappears again with the S.A.L.E.S gallery, in the same section, offering a special project: another conflict between old and new school is in the artwork “A come Arienti B come Boetti”, which plays on the conceptual similarities between the two artists, without failing to highlight the individual characteristics. To be observed on display are the latest researches by Stefano Arienti and a rare and unpublished work by Alighiero Boetti; G.A.M in Bologna instead shows Morandi’s mental alphabet: oils, etchings, drawings and watercolours already seen and admired, bottles which are the same and always different. Most of all, as always, they are able to ask questions, to generate personal interpretations. Gallery Suzy Shammah, present with foreign artists, is the fourth of 20 galleries, chosen by the Art Basel's commission for Art Feature. It proposes a special curatorial project bringing into dialogue the personal and autobiographical installation of young Berlin Slotawa with the works of Swiss Zaugg (who died in 2005).

This is therefore a fair that not only reconfirms the historicized artistry of old masters of the calibre of Vedova, Pistoletto, Anselmo, Accardi, Dadamaino, Calzolari, Afro, Ghirri (just to name a few), but most of all it highlights the inevitable generational confrontation, thus presenting a satisfactory view of the eclectic and diverse system of art. One light is shredded on an aspect of art, sometimes neglected, that is its universality.

curated by pamela bianchi

From June 15th to June 19th 2011

Art 42 Basel Venue

Messe Basel, Messeplatz, 4005 Basel, Switzerland
Opening Hours: Wednesday, June 15, to Sunday, June 19,  from 11am to 7pm  



Reserved Reproduction