curated by Beat Wismer

curated by Beat Wismer

Sep 05 – Nov 07 2020

von Bartha, Basel

Von Bartha is proud to present a group exhibition, The Backward Glance can be a Glimpse into the Future, 5 September – 7 November 2020, on the subject of von Bartha’s 50-year history. The show will be on view in the gallery’s Basel space and curated by Beat Wismer. By staging outstanding works from the past hundred years, the exhibition will offer reflection on this moment and look ahead to the future. After 50 successful years, von Bartha is transitioning from the founding generation to the next. The exhibition title highlights this decisive moment. The arc of the exhibition is far-reaching: from contemporary, rigorously conceptual works, to the pioneers of international and South American Constructivism from the early 20th century. The exhibition will also present works that seem incredibly contemporary, despite being made much earlier, adjacent to recently created works of which many have benefited from and developed the potentials of classical modernism; minimalistically strict or playfully free, geometrically abstract or figurative, but always reflected and respectful. The exhibition will feature works by leading artists in the programme including modern artists Camille Graeser, Yves Laloy, Jean Tinguely and contemporary artists Anna Dickinson, Terry Haggerty, and Sarah Oppenheimer.

The gallery’s space, located in a former garage, will play an important role in the staging of The Backward Glance can be a Glimpse into the Future. The exhibition’s architecture draws on this, as well as the various strands that make up the show’s polyphonic narrative, incorporating paintings, sculptures, objects, photographs, videos, and text works. The exhibition is built around the idea of the symposium: in its contemporary sense of a conference, participating in an open artistic conversation through a wide variety of languages, as well as seeking to evoke the symposium’s original meaning;  a convivial gathering appropriate to a festive occasion. The exhibition will present diverse works within a framework to encourage conversation about art, about what it was, what has become of its modern ideas and which paths it could take—especially now, in this very extraordinary time.


Opening Day: September 5, 12 – 6 pm