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Art Basel reconfigures floorplan to create a special focus on works from 1900-1970
Arno Fischer, Müritz, 1956. Photo: © Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin.


BASEL.- Leading galleries for Modern and historical material from across the globe will once again return to Basel this June for Art Basel's 46th edition, where Hall 2's reconfigured downstairs floorplan will create a special focus on the outstanding quality of material from 1900 to 1970, a fundamental aspect of the show.

In order to further accentuate the historical focus within the show 57 galleries on the downstairs floor have changed position, creating the biggest floorplan change in Basel since 2006. This year, dozens of galleries will – exclusively or as a major part of their program – show Modern and historical material – from the classical Modern to postwar contemporary. At a time when material from the first half of the past century and after has become ever-rarer, the exhibiting galleries will again bring works of high quality to present to Art Basel's audience of connoisseur collectors.

Highlights of this year's presentations include 'Horse and Cows' by Max Ernst, executed in circa 1919, at Richard Nagy. The work is a rare oil from the Dada Movement, reflecting the disjointed structure typical of the Dadaists. The gallery will also show René Magritte's 'Renée Cordier', executed circa 1936, a major painting from the artist's exceptional 1930s oeuvre, playing on the idea of the painting within the painting in the setting of a stage play. A further highlight at the stand will be 'Woman Hiding her Face', a gouache by Egon Schiele executed in 1912.

Landau Fine Art will present 'Cité Fantoche' from 1963, a monumental painting by Jean Dubuffet, marking the beginning of the artist's transformation from the Paris Circus paintings to the L'Hourloupe, two of the most important cycles in his oeuvre. Also on display at the booth will be Henry Moore's 'Family Group', an exceptional bronze from 1947; and 'Les Dormeurs' by Pablo Picasso from 1965.

'Tête de Diego au col roulé', from circa 1951, by Alberto Giacometti will be presented by Dominique Lévy Gallery. The painted bronze sculpture is among the earliest of the series of male heads and busts that were created during the 1950s and became the general model for many works that followed, whose models were almost exclusively family or very close friends.

Highlights at Galerie Gmurzynska's booth will include 'F125' by Yves Klein from 1961. At two meters wide, the work presents one of the largest and rarest of Klein's so-called Fire Paintings, which he created with the help of industrial gas burners, pushing the boundaries of painting's traditional techniques and creative tools. The work will be shown alongside Joan Miró's 'Painting (The Circus Horse)' from 1925, which marks the beginning of Miró's radical surrealist-inflected Dream Paintings sequence, which led to the young artist's breakthrough in the same year and his subsequent rise to become one of the Parisian avant-garde's definitive protagonists. Also on display at Galerie Gmurzynska will be 'Sans Titre' from 1966 by Wifredo Lam. The enigmatic canvas, in a subdued palette of petrol greys punctuated by yellow and red biomorphic shapes, is representative of Lam's mature work synthesizing surrealist and abstract compositional elements with the visual vernaculars of his Afro-Cuban heritage.

With 'Elza Temary' from 1926-1927, Galerie Michael Haas will present a rare example of a nude portrait in Oskar Kokoschka's oeuvre. Further highlights will include the monumental painting 'Two Women' by George Grosz from 1929 and Francis Picabia's 'Le négateur du hasard' from 1946, placing the artist between the poles of figuration and abstraction.

Mitchell-Innes & Nash will present Pablo Picasso's collage 'Verre et Carte à Jouer' from 1914, an important example of Cubism. Also on display at the booth will be 'Rhizome' from 1970 by British sculptor Anthony Caro. The large-scale painted steel sculpture evidences many of the principal concerns of the artist's practice: engagement with form in space, dialogue between sculpture and architecture, and creation of new, abstract analogies for the human figure and landscape.

Moeller Fine Art will feature on their stand as a highlight 'Nature morte (Profil orange)' by Fernand Léger. The painting belongs to a series of still lifes, created in 1928, in which Léger arranged planar, Surrealistic forms – a key, a human face in profile – in layered compositions. 'Nature morte (Profil orange)', a large format oil, is a masterful example in this series and has never before been on the market.

Chicago's Richard Gray Gallery will display Marc Chagall’s exemplary oil on canvas 'Self Portrait' of 1947. Acquired by New York collectors Bernard and Rebecca Reis in the years prior to 1963, the painting hung in the Reis residence for decades and has remained in the family since. The work epitomizes the complex social, political and psychological dynamics of the post-war period and more specifically, the loss and transition that the artist himself experienced at this time. Richard Gray Gallery will also present a rare and important work in bronze by Raymond Duchamp-Villon titled 'Tête de Cheval' (1914, cast circa 1950). The present example is one of only two that remain in private hands with casts located in prominent museum collections across Europe and the United States, such as the Centre Pompidou, Hirshhorn Museum and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Helly Nahmad Gallery will present 'Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange)' by Mark Rothko. Painted in 1955, the work belongs to the most pivotal moment of the artist’s career. Rothko painted only twenty-two works in the pinnacle year of 1955, 13 of which reside in prestigious museum collections. A further highlight at the stand will be Alexander Calder’s 'Black II', which was executed in 1949. Elegantly standing – as though poised on tiptoe – over three feet tall, the work is an exquisite example of the artist’s innovative combination of sculptural dynamism and grace.

Waddington Custot Galleries will present among other works 'Study for Homage to the Square (JAFF 1976.1.624)' form 1972 by Josef Albers and Jean Dubuffet's 'Site aux itinéraires (T 121) 9 septembre 1975' from 1975.

Galerie St. Etienne will present a wall of striking self-portraits by Lovis Corinth, Käthe Kollwitz and Max Beckmann, including his 'Self -Portrait in Bowler Hat' from 1921. Further highlights include Otto Dix’s seminal Circus series from 1922, which will be shown in its entirety, and two major Expressionistic watercolors by Egon Schiele: 'Seated Nude, Back View' from 1911 and 'Standing Nude with Brown and Red Shirt' from 1913. These works will be shown alongside 'Portrait of a Young Woman with Dark Hair', a watercolor from circa 1935 by Emil Nolde and 'Wine Bar' a George Grosz watercolor from 1925.

Highlights at Galerie Thomas will include 'Portrait of Leon Schames' by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner from 1922-1924, which will be shown alongside Max Beckmann's 'Small Revolving Door on Yellow and Rose' from 1946.

For their presentation in Basel, Galerie 1900-2000 will put a special focus on Sol Lewitt's series 'Incomplete Open Cubes' from 1973. These drawings will be shown alongside 'Untitled', an original rayograph by Man Ray from 1959, and important works on paper including 'Vanité' by Francis Picabia from 1916-1918 and 'Autoportrait de profil' by Marcel Duchamp from1963.

'Ghise (Boetti)' by Alighiero e Boetti from 1968 will be on display at Peter Freeman, an early work in which the artist introduced the theme of twinning, henceforth a major occupation of the artist and one that came to be central to his thinking for the next decades. In the fall of 1968, the artist began to move away from Arte Povera, but he maintained a career-long engagement with the critical themes that he set out during that year.

Highlights at the Van de Weghe Fine Art booth will include 'Man in Blue VI' by Francis Bacon from 1954, 'The Golfer (John D. Rockefeller as a golfer)' by Alexandre Calder from 1927, and 'Self-Portrait' from 1966 by Andy Warhol.

A highlight at the von Bartha stand will be 'Double Andalou' from 1968 by Jesús Rafael Soto. After having featured in Soto's first exhibition at Marlborough Fine Art in Rome in 1968, the work remained in the private collection of Carla Panicali di Montalto until just before her death when it was acquired by von Bartha.

Kicken Berlin will present 'Morning glory' from 1962 by Kiyoshi Niiyama at the show. With his morning-glory flowers the Japanese photographer congenially visualized the ideas of abstraction in mid-20th century avant-garde as it had been practiced by German photographer, teacher and collector Otto Steinert and his international movement of Subjective Photography.

Galerie Natalie Seroussi will present 'Untitled (Aerial view of Jasper Johns’ house)' by Cy Twombly from 1969. The drawing was executed when Twombly visited the vacation home of his friend Jasper Johns, on the island of Saint Martin. Twombly fuses the physical aspects of the landscape with his own impressions. Also on display at the gallery's stand will be 'Sans Titre', circa 1950, by Jean Tinguely. 'Meta Mécaniques' – board of moving elements – made Jean Tinguely one of the pioneers of an artists’ generation fascinated by movement, such as Alexander Calder or Pol Bury. Created in Los Angeles by Martial Raysse 'La France orange' is a tribute to the artist's native country and to his wife, first-named France. A masterpiece of 1960s Pop Art, the work had been acquired by Georges and Claude Pompidou for their private collection. It is also a homage to Yves Klein, who passed away in 1962.






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