EGGWI0018_basel

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64 7/8 x 45 inches (164.8 x 114.3 cm)
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Pigment print
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Edition of 2, 2 AP

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Untitled

Year 
c. 1983-1986
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WILLIAM EGGLESTON

Untitled, c. 1983-1986

Pigment print
Framed: 64 7/8 × 45 inches (164.8 × 114.3 cm)
Edition of 2, 2 AP

Over the course of nearly six decades, William Eggleston (b. 1939) has established a singular pictorial style that deftly combines vernacular subject matter with an innate and sophisticated understanding of color, form, and composition. His photographs transform the ordinary into distinctive, poetic images that eschew fixed meaning. His 1976 solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, curated by John Szarkowski, marked one of the first presentations of color photography at the museum. Although initially criticized for its unfamiliar approach, the show and its accompanying catalogue, William Eggleston's Guide, heralded an important moment in the medium's acceptance within the art-historical canon, and it solidified the artist's position as one of its foremost practitioners to this date. Eggleston's work continues to exert an influence on contemporary visual culture at large.

This photograph belongs to The Democratic Forest, one of Eggleston's most ambitious projects and a prime example of his uniquely recognizable aesthetic. Likened to an epic journey or an enduring narrative, it comprises a careful selection of works from over ten thousand negatives he took in the mid-1980s across the southern and eastern parts of America and in several European countries. These photographs of rural back roads, industrial and residential environs, architectural details, restaurant interiors, and parking lots, among other locales, eluded the conventions of both reportage and the black-and-white art photography practiced by many of the artist's peers at the time, and instead shaped their own definition of what a photographic image could be—intuitive and charged with imaginative possibilities. Collectively, the project echoes Eggleston's belief in the "democratic" vision of the camera, equally able to render the mundane and quotidian as the extraordinary.

DOUST0541_basel

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80 x 60 inches (203.2 x 152.4 cm)
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Digital chromogenic print mounted on Dibond aluminum
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Edition of 5, 2 AP

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Candlelight

Year 
2017
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STAN DOUGLAS

Candlelight, 2017

Digital chromogenic print mounted on Dibond aluminum
Framed: 82 3/4 x 62 3/4 inches (210.2 x 159.4 cm)
Edition of 5, 2 AP

Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas (b. 1960) has created photographs and films—and more recently theater productions and other multidisciplinary projects—that investigate the parameters of their medium. His ongoing inquiry into technology's role in image-making, and how those mediations infiltrate and shape collective memory, has resulted in works that are at once specific in their historical and cultural references and broadly accessible. Since the beginning of his career, photography has been a central focus of Douglas's practice, utilized at first as a means of preparing for his films and eventually as a powerful pictorial tool in its own right. The artist is influenced in particular by media theorist Vilém Flusser's notion of the photographic image as an encoded language that is determined by a specific set of technological, social, cultural, and political circumstances.

The present work belongs to Douglas's 2017 Blackout series, for which he scripted and staged scenes from a hypothetical present-day emergency scenario of the total loss of power in New York City. A rare series set in contemporary times, and only Douglas's second work to be shot in New York, these imagined vignettes are meticulously planned, seamlessly interweaving fact and fiction in their evocation of past events that affected the city, such as the 1977 blackout or, more recently, Hurricane Sandy. Beginning with his 2008 Crowds and Riots series, in which he reconstructed the 1971 Vancouver Gastown Riots, Douglas has used the photographic medium as a tool for understanding the interpersonal dynamics that arise in such moments of societal fracture. In 2017, the artist turned his focus to the pervasive global unrest of 2011—a year that saw Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and riots in cities including London and Douglas's native Vancouver, amongst other mass protests. In Blackout, as in these related series, Douglas juxtaposes images that are filmic in their sweeping overview of what a collectively felt catastrophe might look like, with others that offer intimate glimpses into individual experiences. Through this visual tension, he effectively redirects focus to a basic human level—foregrounding how new rules and relationships are forged in such liminal moments and evoking a range of emotions through subtle visual cues.

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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LUCAS ARRUDA

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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Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seven-part Triangular Construction)

Year 
c. 1982/2011
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FRED SANDBACK

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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JOHN CHAMBERLAIN

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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41 x 31 inches (104.1 x 78.7 cm)
Materials 
Collaged gelatin silver prints
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Splitting

Year 
1974
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GORDON MATTA-CLARK

Splitting, 1974

Collaged gelatin silver prints
41 x 31 inches (104.1 x 78.7 cm)
Framed: 41 x 31 inches (104.1 x 78.7 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.

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