Art Basel’s Unlimited sector is an unique exhibition platform that is always a highlight of the fair. This year’s event features 79 artworks, the largest number of projects to date. Curated for the second consecutive year by Gianni Jetzer, Director of the Swiss Institute in New York, Unlimited always showcases a strong selection of works, many of museum quality. This is the largest number of projects to date and well worth a visit. Pieces by Carl Andre, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Lygia Clark, Michel Majerus and Gina Pane. Emerging talents – including Esther Kläs, Emil Michael Klein, Oscar Murillo and Amalia Pica – will be shown alongside established artists Ai Weiwei, Martin Creed, Thomas Demand, Theaster Gates, Antony Gormley, Susan Hiller, Walid Raad and Thomas Schütte.
Unlimited provides exhibiting galleries with an opportunity to showcase large-scale sculptures, video projections, installations, wall paintings, photographic series and performance art which cannot be displayed within the limitations of an art fair stand. Since first being introduced at Art Basel in 2000, Unlimited has become a key element of the show. This year, the sector, which is generously supported by UBS, will take over an increased exhibition space in Hall 1; the Statements and Magazines sectors and the talk’s auditorium will be relocated into the new extension of the hall, designed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron.
Highlights of Unlimited will include the largest painting ever exhibited within the sector: ‘Two into One becomes Three’ (2011) by Matt Mullican, which measures 22 by seven meters and will be presented by Klosterfelde (Berlin) and Mai 36 Galerie (Zurich). Alison Jacques Gallery (London) will present a large-scale aluminum plate structure by Lygia Clark entitled ‘Fantastic Architecture’ (2013), first conceived in 1963, but realized for the first time at Art Basel. Galerie Daniel Templon (Paris) will show ‘In Silence’ (2002-12), an iconic installation by Chiharu Shiota, comprising a charred piano and two rows of chairs
in a room ravaged by threads of black wool. Konrad Fischer Galerie (Berlin) will show Peter Buggenhout’s installation, ‘The Blind Leading the Blind’ (2009), while Gagosian Gallery (New York) and Massimo De Carlo (Milan) will jointly present Piotr Uklański’s monumental textile installation reminiscent of human anatomy, ‘Open Wide’ (2012). Mitchell-Innes & Nash (New York) and Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris) will present Jessica Stockholder’s large-scale multimedia installation, ‘Wide Eyes Smeared Here Dear’ (2009), while Galerie Eva Presenhuber (Zurich), kamel mennour (Paris) and kaufmann repetto (Milan) will show Latifa Echakhch’s reconfigured circus merry-go-round, ‘Horses and Figures’ (2012).
This year’s performances include ‘Strangers’ (2008-11) by Argentinean artist Amalia Pica, presented by Herald St (London), in which two actors who, never having met before, hold a string of bunting for hours on end. Gavin Brown’s enterprise will present ‘Work No. 850’ (2008) by Martin Creed, which will see runners sprint as fast as they can every thirty seconds through the exhibition hall.
A growing number of artists from Asia and South America, will this year be represented in Unlimited, including Chinese artists Huan Yong Ping’s controversial installation ‘Abbottabad’ (2012), presented by Gladstone Gallery (New York), in which he replicates the compound in which Osama Bin Laden was found. Long March Space (Beijing) will show Chinese artist Liu Wei’s installation ‘Library’ (2012), in which anonymous urban landscapes shaped by familiar landmarks have been created out of books. Luhring Augustine (New York) will present Brazilian artist Tunga’s historical 16mm film installation ‘Ão’ (1981), while Nature Morte (New Delhi) and Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai) will jointly exhibit ‘Vendi, Vidi, Vici’ (2013) by Indian artist L.N.Tallur, marking the first time the work will be shown outside of Asia. Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar’s cornerstone work on Africa, ‘The Sound of Silence’ (2006), will be presented by Galerie Thomas Schulte (Berlin). ‘Fairytale Ladies Dormitory’ (2007) by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will be presented by Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne (Beijing, Lucerne), while Victoria Miro (London) will show ‘Carnívoras’ (2012) by Barzilian artist Adriana Varejão.
Photo: © PC Robinson ArtLyst 2013