Lovay Fine Arts

Basel Social Club 2023

  • HR Giger
  • Marie Gyger
  • Chris Kauffmann

11– 18 June 2023

10 minute walk from Art Basel Messeplatz

Partnership with: Docent

HR Giger

HR Giger (1940-2014) is well known for creating worlds of dystopias and bio-mechanoid creatures in drawing, airbrush painting, sculpture and set design. Within his work with airbrush, the Landschaften (Landscapes) series is an early and very important group of twenty-eight “Landscapes” made in 1972-1974, that embody his most meditative and speculative imagination. It also addresses Giger’s early concerns about environmental issues since the 1960’s.

Landschaft III (Landscape III), 1972, depicts a surrealistic landscape in which nature, body and technology create one ceaseless “flesh”. The artist defined Landschaft III as part of the “skin landscapes”, painted in red to pink resembling skin diseases like shingles. As he stated himself “I found out that the only correct landscape representation of the mother earth is a transfer of the human skin surface on it. Any other representations of our polluted planet seem sentimental to me and usually give an inaccurate testimony of our relationship with the environment.”

The existential and indeed prophetic quality of Giger’s work has been since cemented, as the same issues surrounding the decay of the earth and of society remain in full blast. It is more than evident that our awkward path with technological development had a powerful influence on the young artist to create his utopic vision of sovereign machines.

This work is presented in collaboration with Galerie Mai 36, Zürich.

HR Giger (1940-2014). There has been a growing recognition of. Swiss artist HR Giger in the past years with a new understanding of the artist’s practice and heritage. The most recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions at Hard Hat, Geneva (2011); The Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2021); Lomex, New York (2022). And Group exhibitions at: Swiss Institute, New York (2014); MAVRA, Berlin (2014); Mai 36, Zürich (2022); and his works has been shown alongside artists such as Jana Euler, Klara Lidén, Sarah Lucas, Maren Karlson, Berenice Olmedo, Hiroki Tsukuda or Sergio Sarri among others.

Marie Gyger

Bombshell, 2023 is an in-situ work made out of folded paper representing a bomb, suggesting a shelling inside the exhibition space. The fragility of the paper and its careful folds creates a tension with violence - the brutality and recklessness of the weapon, as well as to the hyper-sexualisation and weaponising of femininity. 

Marie Gyger’s work is distinguished by an elegance and formal refinement which functions as a veil. She works in a standardised manner as if in a small factory, gently folding under the tradition of Origami. The procedure is based on Euclidean rules that allow to reflect upon the world in a very small scale, as in a child’s game. Each form is measured against the paper from which it emerges within the space that is allotted to it. At first view, their delicate appearance wards off evidence of the anxiety-inducing traits of everyday life, while a contained yet smouldering critical charge lies beneath.

Gyger is a 2023 finalist of the Swiss Art Awards on view from June 12 to 18 at Messe Basel, Hall 1.1 - Entrance Isteinerstrasse, Gate 107.

Marie Gyger (b. 1989) studied Art history at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), 2009–2014; and Art in the Art schools of Utrecht (Netherland) and Bern (Switzerland), 2015–2018. She had debut solo exhibition at Lovay Fine Arts in the winter 2022.

Chris Kauffmann

Times of Doing Anything for Everything, 2023 exemplifies how Kauffmann uses the historical languages of abstraction as neutral backgrounds for the layers on top. The foregrounds of his paintings usually show printed collages with self-portraits or friends in various situations composed with misleading randomness. In this work we see a printed filmstrip containing extracts of a preexisting video work in which the artist is filmed (this video work is screened in the program Kino Süd during Basel Social Club). The artist questions the nature of identity and the role of art in shaping our sense of self.

Through painting, collages and sculptures, Chris Kauffmann provides space for a modest figure (often represented in self-portrait form) whose hidden talents and abilities can finally shine. The naively edited or vulnerably painted bodies evoke a sense of importance, combined with the awkward and shy way these portraits are viewed. Kauffmann’s playful game of revealing and hiding behind the non-functional objects, the painting gesture, and the main characters further emphasizes the complexity and fluidity of the notion of persona in contemporary society.

Chris Kauffmann (b. 1999) – lives and works between Paris and Geneva
In 2022, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from HEAD in Geneva, and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Beaux-Arts de Paris. Recent exhibitions include Chemical X at Cherish and Poésie Parano at Forde, Geneva; i tried being myself I ended being others, curated by Mohamed Almusibli at Lovay Fine Arts, Geneva.