Exhibitions 2018: Baselitz, Bacon – Giacometti, Neto and Balthus at Fondation Beyeler

Exhibitions 2018: Baselitz, Bacon – Giacometti, Neto and Balthus at Fondation Beyeler

Georg Baselitz January 21 – April 29, 2018

At the beginning of 2018, the Fondation Beyeler will be devoting an extensive exhibition to the work of Georg Baselitz (b. 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony), which occupies a central position in the art of our time. The exhibition, marking the artist’s eightieth birthday, takes the form of a focused retrospective, bringing together many of the most important paintings and sculptures created by Baselitz over the past six decades, but also including new works that have not been shown in public before. Baselitz is one of the few contemporary artists whose work is deeply rooted in the history of European and American painting. He is seen as the inventor of a figurative pictorial language that draws on a rich repertoire of iconographic and stylistic elements, although these, in his visual inventions, take on conflicting and ambivalent meanings. Baselitz’s artistic cosmos is like a hall of mirrors in which original, remembered and imagined images blend with art-historical models and precedents to form new and striking compositions. The retrospective assembles some eighty paintings and ten sculptures from 1959 to the present day, with loans from renowned public and private collections in Europe and the USA.

Bacon – Giacometti April, 29 – September, 2 2018

In the spring and summer of 2018, the Fondation Beyeler will be presenting two extraordinary protagonists of modern art. Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) and Francis Bacon (1909–1992) were friends and rivals whose creative visions shaped art from the latter half of the twentieth century to the present day. This is the first time that a museum exhibition is being devoted to shedding light on these two artists and their relationship to each other. Although their respective artistic oeuvres differ greatly at first glance and appear autonomous, the exhibition reveals commonalities and amazing parallels between them. Presented together, their lives and creative personalities will be seen a new light. While the individualists Giacometti and Bacon perceived each other like signal emitting lighthouses, the curators Catherine Grenier, director of the Fondation Giacometti in Paris, Michael Peppiatt, Bacon expert and a personal friend of the artist, as well as Ulf Küster, curator at the Fondation Beyeler, make astonishing parallels visible in this exhibition encompassing circa 100 works.

Ernesto Neto, GaiaMotherTree June/July 2018, Zurich Main station

In June and July 2018, the Fondation Beyeler will be showing an installation by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (b. 1964 in Rio de Janeiro) in Zurich Main station. The monumental work GaiaMotherTree, a sculpture made of brightly colored hand-knotted cotton strips, resembles a tall tree, extending right up to the ceiling of the station concourse, which is twenty meters high. It is a walk-in structure that functions as a meeting place and a venue for interaction and meditation. A varied program of events for adults and children, with music, workshops, guided tours and talks, will take place inside the installation. Ernesto Neto is one of Latin America’s most important contemporary artists. His work, comprising sculptures, installations and multimedia projects, has won worldwide recognition, with several presentations at the Venice Biennale and exhibitions in the world’s leading museums. It has been collected by, among others, the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Hara Museum, Tokyo.

Balthus September 2, 2018 – January, 13, 2019

The Fondation Beyeler in Riehen/Basel is devoting a retrospective exhibition to the legendary artist Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908–2001), known as Balthus. The show is the first exhibition of Balthus’s art in a Swiss museum since 2008 and the first comprehensive presentation of his work anywhere in German-speaking Switzerland. Balthus had a long and close connection with Switzerland, extending from his later childhood years in Bern, Geneva, and Beatenberg, via his marriage to the Swiss aristocrat Antoinette de Watteville and their time together in the French and German-speaking parts of the country, to the final decades of his life in the Alpine village of Rossinière. Balthus is viewed as one of the great masters of twentieth-century art, and is certainly one of the truly singular painters of his time. In his complex and multifaceted oeuvre, admired by some and spurned by others, he pursued an artistic approach that embodied an alternative, and a challenge, to modern avantgardes. In his opposition to prevailing views, he refers to a whole range of art-historical traditions and precursors. Yet in his eccentric detachment from modernism, he developed his own specific avant-garde attitude, which now appears almost postmodern and contemporary.

Image: Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon, 1965. Gelatin silver print Photo: © Graham Keen

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