ARRLU0052_basel

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9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (24 x 30 cm)
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Oil on canvas
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Sem título da série Deserto-Modelo

Year 
2018
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Sem título da série Deserto-Modelo, 2018

Oil on canvas
9 1/2 × 11 3/4 inches (24 × 30 cm) 

Lucas Arruda's (b. 1983) landscapes and seascapes are characterized by their subtle rendition of light. Devoid of specific reference points, his paintings achieve instead their variety through the depiction of atmospheric conditions. The compositions verge on abstraction, but are grounded by an ever-present, if sometimes faint, horizon line that offers a perception of distance. Intimately scaled, they appear at once familiar and imaginary. Through his evocative and textured brushstrokes, Arruda foregrounds the materiality and physicality of paint, while also recalling his genres' historical associations with the Romantic sublime. Yet such parallels are circumvented by the repetitive, nonspecific settings depicted in the paintings. As Chris Sharp notes, "[A] certain steadiness, if not steadfastness, seems to link them together, as if they did not originate from an exterior, observed world, but from a single fixed point." ¹

1 Chris Sharp, "Lucas Arruda," unpublished text, Mendes Wood, São Paulo.

SANFR0316_basel

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Situational: spatial relationships established by the artist; overall dimensions vary with each installation
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Black acrylic yarn
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Thumbnail
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Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seven-part Triangular Construction)

Year 
c. 1982/2011
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Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seven-part Triangular Construction),
c. 1982/2011

Black acrylic yarn
Situational: spatial relationships established by the artist;
overall dimensions vary with each installation

Fred Sandback's (1943-2003) sculptures outline planes and volumes in space. Though he employed metal wire and elastic cord early in his career, the artist soon dispensed with mass and weight by using acrylic yarn to create works that address their physical surroundings, the "pedestrian space," as Sandback called it, of everyday life. By stretching lengths of yarn horizontally, vertically, or diagonally at different scales and in varied configurations, the artist developed a singular, minimal formal vocabulary that elaborated on the phenomenological experience of space and volume with unwavering consistency and ingenuity.

In his own words, Sandback described his sculpture as being "…less a thing-initself, more of a diffuse interface between myself, my environment, and others peopling that environment, built of thin lines that left enough room to move through and around. Still sculpture, though less dense, with an ambivalence between exterior and interior. A drawing that is habitable." 1

The present work comprises 21 strands of black acrylic yarn arranged to form seven freestanding triangles. The use of multiple repeated forms was a device that Sandback often employed throughout his practice, beginning with his early works from the 1960s. While he created a number of works that made use of a single triangular structure, the use of multiple repeated triangular configurations was rare, and this is one of only two known examples. The other, Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seven-part Right-angled Triangular Construction), c. 1982/2011, also consists of seven freestanding triangles; however, they are not right-angled, and the horizontal elements of the triangles touch the floor.

This work will be on view as part of Unlimited at Art Basel 2018.

1 Fred Sandback, in Here and Now: Fred Sandback. Exh. bro. (Leeds: Henry Moore Institute, 1999), n.p.

CHAJO0010_basel

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101 1/2 x 49 x 32 inches (257.8 x 124.5 x 81.3 cm)
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Painted chromium and painted steel
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Rap Psalm II

Year 
1999
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Rap Psalm II, 1999

Painted chromium and painted steel
101 1/2 × 49 × 32 inches
(257.8 × 124.5 × 81.3 cm) 

American artist John Chamberlain (1927-2011) is primarily known for his sculptures made of crushed scrap metal, most often taken from disused automobiles. In Chamberlain's works, this normally dense and intractable industrial material is crushed, shredded, and nimbly transformed into lyrical, sometimes even anthropomorphic assemblages through the interplay of color, scale, and texture. Chamberlain emerged onto the New York art scene in the mid-1950s, a time in which brash Abstract Expressionist painting defined modernity in art. Although sculptors like David Smith and Alexander Calder were increasingly turning to industrial materials, their works remained highly polished and selfcontained. Not content with merely following in their footsteps, Chamberlain spent time at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, known as an incubator of avant-garde thinking in the arts. There, he came into contact with the poets Charles Olson and Robert Creeley, whose simultaneous emphasis on structure and audacity of expression in their own work would help to definitively shape his own practice. Chamberlain's works over the ensuing decade, which do not fit neatly with any single art-historical category or style, are expressive but structurally cohesive.

The present work, executed in 1999, epitomizes the artist's dynamic approach to sculpture. At over eight feet tall (nearly 2.5 meters), the complex twisting form of the sculpture invites viewers to circle the work and examine its crushed and faceted structure. Unlike other brightly colored pieces by Chamberlain, the muted palette of Rap Psalm II, a study in white and chrome, recasts automobile metal into an almost organic form, and emphasizes the structural complexity that is at the heart of his sculptural practice. As Klaus Kertess writes, "[Chamberlain's works ultimately] transcend the language of analysis and description…[their] ravishing opticality must be its own pleasure and reward." 1

1 Klaus Kertess, "Color in the Round and Then Some: John Chamberlain's Work 1954-1985," in Julie Sylvester, ed., John Chamberlain: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculpture 1954-1985 (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1986), p. 38.

GMCT1039_basel

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32 x 22 3/4 inches (81.3 x 57.8 cm)
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Collaged gelatin silver prints
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Splitting

Year 
1974
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Splitting, 1974

Collaged gelatin silver prints
32 × 22 3 /4 inches (81.3 × 57.8 cm) 

Gordon Matta-Clark's (1943-1978) practice during the 1970s introduced new and radical modes of physically exploring and subverting urban architecture. Splitting, 1974, documents one of his first iconic "cut" pieces, in which the artist, along with several friends, laboriously sliced open an abandoned twostory house that was slated for demolition in Englewood, New Jersey, during the spring of 1974. Over a period of several months, Matta-Clark made two parallel vertical cuts through all of the house's structural surfaces; he then removed several of the foundation blocks on which it stood, making one half of the house lean slightly away from the other, creating a wedge-shaped interstice between the two sides. Before the building was demolished and removed in September 1974, he also extracted the four upper corners of the structure, subsequently exhibiting them as freestanding works of art (now in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art).

The transformation of this vacant, quintessential suburban home, which for Matta-Clark represented the decay of the American dream, generated a series of uncanny and somewhat vertiginous photographs. In the present work, a unique collage, Matta-Clark has combined photographic fragments to create a disorienting perspective of his building cuts. The formal and thematic sensibility of this image expresses the artist's ingenuity in regard to the convergence of photography and the medium of architecture. His photocollages express the multiplicity of perspectives that his architectural cuts afford.

Like many artists of his generation (most notably Robert Smithson), Matta-Clark expressed a pronounced fascination with the temporal qualities of architecture and the art object. Nearly all of the architectural cuts he produced were ephemeral and survive only in film or photographic form; Splitting is one such work. A related photo-collage also titled Splitting is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

KAWON0547_basel

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10 x 13 inches (25.5 x 33 cm)
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from "Today" series, 1966-2013 "Monday." Acrylic on canvas
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Signed verso, Accompanied with artist-made box and corresponding newspaper clipping

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8. DEZ. 1986

Year 
1986
Basel Additional Info 

8. DEZ. 1986, 1986

from "Today" series, 1966-2013
"Montag."
Acrylic on canvas
10 × 13 inches (25.4 × 33 cm)
Accompanied with artist-made box and corresponding newspaper clipping

For over five decades, On Kawara (29,771 days) created paintings, drawings, books, and recordings that examined chronological time and its function as a measure of human existence. The artist began making his now signature "date paintings" on January 4, 1966 in New York City and continued to make them in different parts of the world until 2013. Following the same basic procedure and format, each painting is carefully executed by hand with the date documented in the language and grammatical conventions of the country in which it is made. The artist created a sans-serif typeface, which he used to meticulously paint the letters and numbers in white on a monochrome surface. The paintings conform to one of eight standard sizes, ranging from 8 × 10 inches to 61 × 89 inches. On occasion, the artist would select a local newspaper clipping to line the interior of the cardboard box that encases the painting when not on display.

The present work was executed in Berlin on December 8, 1986, and is accompanied by a newspaper clipping about tennis player Boris Becker from the sports section of the German daily Bild. This painting was included in Kawara's 1987 solo exhibition at daadgalerie—a venue affiliated with the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm, part of a United States/German cultural exchange program initiated in 1963 by the Ford Foundation.

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