Three Special Anniversary Editions
Just in time for the holidays: discover new artworks released to mark our 50th anniversary, with 100% of proceeds supporting artists in need
To celebrate von Bartha’s 50th anniversary this year, the Basel gallery has produced three new artist editions, by Andrew Bick, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and Beat Zoderer.
Each edition has been produced in a limited run of 50, and is available to purchase here. 100% of proceeds will go to the Foundation for Artists in Need, an initiative developed by the Basler Kunstverein to help visual artists in and from Basel in cases of need caused by exceptional life circumstances.
Jo Melvin, in a new essay on Bick’s work describes his approach to making using a grid as follows: ‘In fact, Bick’s reiteration of the grid is more complex, anecdotal and witty than might at first appear to be the case. He takes delight in storytelling; it is part of his interlocution with history...’
This particular print fits this paradigm. Firstly, there are two grids. One is two equal size squares with a larger square overlaid so that the .618 of its golden section is the same measure as each side of the two equal squares. Within the larger square a yellow triangle marks the intersection of the diagonals of the two different sizes of square. The second grid to the right is a section of my regular OGVDS-GW format including a direct quote from Gillian Wise’s pages in the 1972 Systems catalogue. Overlaid is a rubber stamp taken from a scan of a 2017 work from a series called „The Negative Drawings“. These were made for an exhibition in Kunsthalle Palazzo Liestal responding to the idea of Brexit and they contain notes, vexations and the names of artists who are significant influences for my work. This particular drawing was a response to a phone call with a UK public gallery where I was curating an exhibition. In the phone call the anxiety of the gallery concerned writing a press release about abstract art, for an un-initiated audience. What could they say was fresh, what was new and exciting about the work being exhibited? Frustration with the negativity of the phone call let me to think of the legendary Ian Dury album, „New Boots and Panties“ (1977). This particular drawing emerged from word play scrawled on graph paper during that phone call. Combining these elements is what forms the edition; combining grids with anecdotes is the „New Boots and Concrete“.
Andrew Bick, November 2020
‘I was asked by the von Bartha Gallery to make a drawing for their 50th anniversary. From 1956 to 1962, I learned how to draw and paint letterforms while studying Graphic Design with Armin Hofmann at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel. Since then, I‘ve used the shapes of AtoZs in a lot of my work. In the books I write, I type lines of letterforms as text. In large architectural spaces I paint giant Supergraphic letterforms floor to ceiling from one wall to the next. When the number 50 was mentioned by the gallery, the obvious thing for me to do was draw the number 50 as big as possible on a sheet of white paper. That is what I do.’
Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, San Francisco, 2020.
Inspired by calligraphy, flecks of colour are pulled to the end of the paper in one continuous stroke, each new colour crossing Zig Zag through the next, creating a rhythmic pattern of concentrated movement. Beat Zoderer repeats this process until there is a density in the combination of colours, yet still allows for the fragility and the lightness of each stroke to remain apparent. Zoderer controls the otherwise natural movement of paint towards the bottom of the sheet, to create his distinctive composition. The colour palette was defined by the watercolours at hand that day – an aspect of chance in contrast to the clear vision of the final result.
For the edition, archival pigment is printed on deckle edge paper with a golden border, then mounted on cardboard, thereby giving each of Zoderer’s 50 editions the look and feel of a unique work of art.