Art Basel: Online viewing room (Pioneers) / Cut-outs

24 - 27 Mars 2021

We showed a group of pioneering artists who all explored the artistic practices of cutting and editing which are at the heart of twentieth century's art history.

Within the Dadaist group, Jean Arp is one of those who explored the most the technique of collage by cutting and assembling heterogeneous materials. If it is sometimes possible to identify a familiar form, Arp's collages often tend towards abstraction.

John Baldessari works from existing images taken out from film or advertising that one never really recognizes, but which are not totally unknown. Through daring photographic montages, they produce striking and enigmatic micro-narrations. But the originality of his work lies above all in the use of painting, which counterbalances the impersonal character of the photos with an eminently individual gesture.

Bodys Isek Kingelez has also considered the city as his artistic field. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he questions the urban development of his country by proposing a new playful and colorful environment. Built from recycled materials, his models of buildings, neighborhoods and sometimes entire cities are true political utopias that open the door to the future.

Gordon Matta-Clark cuts directly into real buildings, making the entire city his open-sky atelier. However, his photographs are not simply documents of an artistic practice carried out in the hangars of the port of New-York or during the construction of the Pompidou Center in Paris. Gordon Matta-Clark's montages extend his in situ gestures by liberating the forms from the material just like a sculptor.