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Newsletter

January 2022

  • Wars Societies and Neon, 2021
  • Neon tubes, plexiglass, metal, transformer
  • Edition of: 20
  • Dimensions: 52,00 cm x 58,00 cm x 6,00 cm
  • Production: Studio Bethan Huws, Berlin
  • CHF 3800.00
  • Sold
  • Inquiry

Bethan Huws’ new text-based neon work is in reference to, and the title of a large-scale installation in the crypt of the Grossmünster, Zurich. It draws reference to the so-called Guido Relief, a bas-relief from the 12th century, located on a capital near the steps of the south portal. It portrays six men, two of whom are in a duel and four outsiders, in a variety of poses. As Bethan Huws remarks, the scene is reminiscent of Bruce Nauman's comic strip, stylized neon figures from the eighties, most notably “Sex and Death” (1985) or “Double Poke in the Eye II” (1985), where Nauman confronts the viewers with the aggression of two people who take on the roles of perpetrator and victim in constant alternation. In addition, there is a reference to the stained-glass windows by Augusto Giacometti and Sigmar Polke, also present in the nave of the same church. Neon works emit light, and can be, as here, multicolored. The separate words forming the sentence bring to mind images of versatile components, related to the experience of viewing, or rather reading a work. Huws' approach is inevitably conceptual; often with a touch of humor. Neon, because of the electricity, is a highly aggressive, competitive medium—not unlike war—with its origins in advertising. In this context the text work aptly resembles a campaign banner.

Thanks to linguistics, the artist has a firm grasp of language and everything that is universal about it. Her text-based works can often be seen as instructions or navigations as to how to read, and therefore understand the work of art. The simplicity of few words stated, a minimalistic approach, is often contrary to the imperative calls prevalent in contemporary text-based works. Nevertheless, Huws prefers ambiguous and broader statements, often involving questions that she, no doubt, knows the answer to, but withholds, forcing us to reflect. Her work is often audacious and laconic. She delights in mischievous twists and turns between words and other types of signs and images. She belongs to the classical tradition of conceptual art, as the likes of Marcel Duchamp or the aforementioned Bruce Nauman.

Bethan Huws latest institutional exhibition was at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2021). The artist has conceived permanent neon installations at the Kunsthaus Zug, for the city of St. Gallen and at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, among others. The exhibition “Wars Societies and Neon” is on show at the Grossmünster, Zurich from the 18th of November 2021 to the 27th of February 2022. Bethan Huws’ works are in the public collections of the Kunstmuseum Bern, Tate Britain, London and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, inter alia.

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  • genau dies, 2021
  • Silkscreen and acrylic paint (unique)
  • Edition of:
  • Size of image: 70,00 cm x 50,00 cm
  • Production: Studio Pia Fries, Düsseldorf
  • CHF 1200.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • just hier, 2021
  • Silkscreen and acrylic paint (unique)
  • Edition of:
  • Size of image: 70,00 cm x 50,00 cm
  • Production: Studio Pia Fries, Düsseldorf
  • CHF 1200.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • wird das, 2021
  • Silkscreen and acrylic paint (unique)
  • Edition of:
  • Size of image: 70,00 cm x 50,00 cm
  • Production: Studio Pia Fries, Düsseldorf
  • CHF 1200.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • genau dies / just hier / wird das, 2021 (portfolio)
  • Silkscreen and acrylic paint (unique)
  • Edition of:
  • Size of image: 70,00 cm x 50,00 cm
  • Production: Studio Pia Fries, Düsseldorf
  • CHF 3300.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Tryptichon

The new series by Pia Fries is located in between painting and printmaking. Three impasto brush applications of white oil paint on a piece of jute are the starting point of this series. The photographic image of these painterly gestures is transferred to the surface in several steps by means of screen- printing. Because the artist does the printing herself by hand, each sheet is unique. Fries combines a classic trompe-l'œil with a moiré effect, thereby creating a spatial illusion through screen-printing. Fries achieves this by covering the silkscreen and parts of the sheet in multiple stages, so that only one segment of the surface is ever released for the gradually added painterly gestures. The combinatorial process of printmaking and painting is complex and elaborate but allows the emancipation of the silkscreen as an independent painterly element. The composition unites in a poetic way the print and the painting to a manifold play of layers, colors, lines, and grids.

The importance of printmaking elements also runs through a much of Pia Fries' oeuvre. Since the early 2000s, the artist has reflected on the printed and reproduced image as a form-giving element in her painting. In doing so, she takes classical print fragments, for example by Maria Sibylla Merian or Hendrick Goltzius, and develops a new painterly language based on motif excerpts. She uses those motifs less as a reference than as an independent pictorial element, emphasizing the autonomy of the printed as well as the painted image. The series of works "genau dies / just hier / wird das”, 2021 is typical of her working method in several respects. On the one hand, gestural abstraction in the work of Pia Fries oscillates between material and color language. Here, the dynamic component is created by the encounter of the subjective gesture with the printed elements. On the other hand, word creations as titles have played a role in the work of Pia Fries for a long time. These are language games that demonstrate the experimental nature of the artist's intermedial and processual work. The juxtaposition of words seemingly taken out of context highlights, after prolonged reflection, the clarity of the existential, painterly moment.

Pia Fries last institutional solo exhibitions were at Kunstpalast Düsseldorf (2019), Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2019) and Museum Kurhaus Kleve (2017). She was awarded the prestigious Gerhard Altenbourg Prize in 2017. Her work was shown at the Venice Biennale curated by Harald Szeemann in 1999. Pia Fries' works are in the collections of LACMA, Los Angeles, and Museum Folkwang, Essen, among others.

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  • Ohne Titel 1, 2021
  • Lithography
  • Edition of: 20
  • Size of image: 92,00 cm x 67,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 680.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Ohne Titel 2, 2021
  • Lithography
  • Edition of: 20
  • Size of image: 92,00 cm x 67,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 680.00
  • available
  • Inquiry

The new works by Evelina Cajacob show whimsical fields of lines unfolding across a sheet of paper. First gently and calmly set, then sweeping and arching vividly, the lines seem to move with graceful ease within the pictorial space. The two lithographs convey a sense of transparency, space, and tactility. They bear witness to Evelina Cajacob's many years of graphic exploration of the line as an elementary means of design. Stroke by stroke, gesture by gesture, the artist explores the evocative power of line structures. As a ray, thread, or stripe, the line always remains intact and recognizable as such, but at the same time, in interaction with its peers, it transforms into waves, fabric, volume, and movement.

For these works, Evelina Cajacob drew directly onto the lithography stone. In doing so, the artist played with the pressure exerted on the grease crayon to create different stroke widths. Using subtle shades of color, she also suggests the fading intensity of the ink. This effect is reminiscent of the artist's ink drawings and lends a painterly quality to her lithographs. The dancing planes extend beyond the edge of the sheet, evolving into a movement that transcends space and the origin of which can only be found in our imagination. Indeed, Cajacob's weaves of lines speak to our fantasy. They raise the question of where the line ends and becomes a spatial experience, visualizing the fluid transition from the abstract to the figurative.

Evelina Cajacob's work is characterized by a strong continuity that comprises her sculptural practice, drawings, and videos. Thus, the exploration of repetitive movement, reduction of form, and spatiality, present in the current edition, is a common theme in her oeuvre. The Kunstmuseum Chur and the Kunstmuseum Bochum dedicated an extensive solo exhibition to Evelina Cajacob in 2019/2020. Her works are represented in the collections of these two museums as well as the city of Chur and the canton of Graubünden, among others.

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  • United States Federal Reserve One-Dollar Note: Series 2017, Issued by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia, Printed in Washington, District of Columbia, Plate Position F4, Front Plate No. 104, Back Plate No. 80, Serial No. A46336540C - A46336600C
  • Lithograph and hand polished gold bronze on banknote (unique)
  • Edition of: 60
  • Size of image: 15,50 cm x 6,50 cm x 3,00 cm
  • Size: 32,50 cm x 24,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 740.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Only available in artist's frame (6/22 white aluminum frame with passe-partout) | The full title contains all the information about the bill, including the serial number, and is therefore different for each work.

Walead Beshty conceived a new series of monochrome gold US one-dollar bills. The gold powder is based on a copper and zinc composite and has been hand polished on each note after applying a special glue through lithographic printing. Playing with the historical relationship of the gold standard, money’s value today is not only no longer guaranteed by any equivalent, but it is also gradually disappearing into the digital realm. Here the artist invites reflection on a transitioning system of objects of value - be it money or artworks. In the present case the artist chose to name the series' works with the entire information that is codified for each banknote. This practice reveals that none of the works is alike, as each one can be traced back singularly to its production facility and even its printing plate. Beshty also reflects this approach within his attitude toward editions in general: "I don't produce editions because in my concept of artworks, there are never two objects completely alike". This practice not only calls the understanding of authenticity into question, but it re-establishes the necessary discussion about uniqueness and originality in contemporary art and specifically printmaking.

Walead Beshty understands the system of contemporary art as a subfield of the globalized capitalist society, which is characterized by the flow of information as well as value exchange. Thus, for the artist, artworks are no longer conceivable merely as autonomous aesthetic or formalistic objects, but rather as intricate production histories deconstructed into their different composites. The combination of simple and abstract forms with complex and multi-layered institutional criticism leads not only to contemplation but also to the reflection of the socio-political implications of aesthetics. The questions of authenticity and processual transparency are threads permeating Beshty's practice as he always uncovers the objecthood and material constitution of the art object.

Walead Beshty has had his latest institutional exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2020), in the Fondazione MAST Bologna (2020) and the MAMCO, Geneva (2019). His work was featured in the Venice Biennale 2015 "All the Worlds Futures" curated by Okwui Enwezor. Beshty's work is among others in the collection of the MoMA, New York and the Tate Modern, London.

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  • Sooner or Later I - relief print, 2022
  • Woodcut
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 66,00 cm x 66,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 960.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Sooner or Later II - planographic print, 2022
  • Lithography
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 66,00 cm x 66,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 960.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Sooner or Later III - intaglio print, 2022
  • Aquatint and lithography
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 66,00 cm x 66,00 cm
  • Production: Arno Hassler, Moutier
  • CHF 960.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Sooner or Later IV - screen print, 2022
  • Silk screen
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 66,00 cm x 66,00 cm
  • Production: Lorenz Boegli, Müntschemier
  • CHF 960.00
  • available
  • Inquiry

Series

  • Sooner or Later I-IV, 2022 (Portfolio)
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 66,00 cm x 66,00 cm
  • Production: T. Wolfensberger, A. Hassler, L. Boegli
  • CHF 3400.00
  • available
  • Inquiry

Four black squares with golden dots. This is how simply the edition "Sooner or Later" by John Armleder can be described. And despite this apparent simplicity, or precisely because of it, the series invites you to take a closer look at the individual sheets. Only then do the subtle differences become apparent: the density and feel of the black, the structure of the surface. The subtle nuances point to the different printing techniques that were used. Indeed, John Armleder chose to realize the same motif in four different printmaking processes: relief, planographic, intaglio, and screen printing. This idea gave rise to a collective project with printers Lorenz Boegli, Arno Hassler, and Thomi Wolfensberger, which called for technical discussions and collegial collaboration. Whether as a challenge to the master printers, an ode to the richness of printmaking, or a playful experiment, the series entices to a formalistic exploration of color and texture.

In addition to the formal discourse within the series, "Sooner or Later" also refers with a wink to the broader context of art history: from the genesis of abstract painting with Malevich's black square to the illusory effects of the Op Art movement. The minimal composition, based purely on colored dots, is modeled on Armleder's "dot paintings," which, along with his "pour paintings" and "puddle paintings," have become the Geneva-based artist's trademark. The fourfold repetition of the same motif raises questions of originality, singularity, and authenticity in an aesthetic, provocative as well as pointed manner. Such questions have preoccupied John Armleder for a long time. Not entirely without self-irony and humor, Armleder reflects on his role as an artist as well as the value and status of art as a social construct.

Through his varied and prolific activities as a painter, curator, and publisher of books and art editions, John Armleder has established himself as an important figure on the Swiss and international art scene. Armleder has exhibited in numerous institutions worldwide including representing Switzerland at the 42nd Venice Biennale in 1986. His works are represented in institutions such as MoMa, New York, Le Consortium, Dijon and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

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