Art This Week in Culture

This Week in Culture: Basel and Zurich Edition

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #661, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Welcome to This Week in Culture, a weekly agenda of show openings and events in major cities across the globe. From galleries to institutions and one-of-a-kind happenings, our ongoing survey highlights the best of contemporary culture, for those willing to make the journey.

Cindy Sherman
“An Elusive Red Figure…” by Roni Horn
Hauser & Wirth Zurich

Artists Cindy Sherman and Roni Horn opened simultaneous exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth during Zurich Art Weekend. Considered one of the most influential American artists of her generation, in this solo show Cindy Sherman collages parts of her own face to create a series of unsettling characters who laugh, twist, squint, and grimace in front of the camera. Roni Horn continues her exploration of identity and difference with the exhibition “An Elusive Red Figure…,”  a collection of 33 paired inkjet prints, as well as original drawings, including quotations, collages, photographs, casual commentaries, and notes on news and weather events. “Cindy Sherman” and “An Elusive Red Figure…” will be on view through September 16, 2023 at Hauser & Wirth’s Zurich, Limmatstrasse location.

John Baldessari: (FOOD)
Mai 36 Galerie Zurich

This tribute exhibition in honor of the late John Baldessari celebrates the artist’s passion for food. Focusing on ingredients ranging from asparagus and cucumbers to oranges and sautéed scallops, this exhibition combines works from 10 different series and illustrates how Baldessari built his career by using food as a means to comment on the relationship between art, consumerism, and culture. “(FOOD)” will be on view from through August 12, 2023 at Mai 36 Galerie in Zurich.

For Real” by Christopher Kulendran Thomas
Kunsthalle Zurich

The British-Tamil artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas incorporates A.I. generative tools into his new exhibition to explore the struggle for his family’s homeland in Sri Lanka. The show melds historical documentary with speculative sci-fi, featuring paintings that represent Sri Lanka’s postwar art scene, alongside a series of figurative ceramic artifacts that survived the defeated Tamil revolution, two immersive film installations, and sculptures built from repurposed camouflage clothing. “For Real” will be on view through September 10, 2023 at Kunsthalle Zurich.

Tschabalala Self, Seated Woman in Yellow on Spiral Seat #2, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber.

Spaces and Places” by Tschabalala Self
Galerie Eva Presenhuber Zurich

In her second solo exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, artist Tschabalala Self makes art out of the unnameable and immaterial environment outside of our comprehension. Using synaesthetic color fields and collaged textiles, Self explores the complex power dynamics of Black subjectivity. “Spaces and Places” will be on view through July 22, 2023 at Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich.

Chapter 1: Édouard Glissant” curated by by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Arthur Fouray
Slow Show Installation” by Dimitri Chamblas
SloPEX” by Arthur Jafa
Luma Westbau Zurich

There might not be a better time to support the use of multimedia in art-making. This summer, three exhibitions explore the possibilities of and intersections between dance, video, and sound at Luma Westbau. Curator and art historian Hans-Ulrich Obrist’s digs into his vast archive to present “Chapter 1: Édouard Glissant,” honoring the Martinique-born philosopher, poet, and public intellectual through a collection of audiovisual materials. Dimitri Chamblas’s “Slow Show” is an intense collective dance performance with precise visual impact. Arthur Jafa brings together an unsettling combination of images that explore the history of violence and repression in the United States in his installation, “SloPEX.” These exhibitions will be on view through September 17, 2023 at Luma Westbau in Zurich.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Modena Paintings
Fondation Beyeler Basel

This summer, Fondation Beyeler reunites eight large-scale works made by Jean-Michel Basquiat in Modena, Italy, for the first time since their creation in 1982. The paintings display Basquiat’s typically colorful and expressive artistic style and are now held in eight separate private collections in the U.S., Asia, and Switzerland. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to appreciate some of Basquiat’s most celebrated and valuable paintings, including The Guilt of Gold Teeth, 1982, within the full ensemble they were originally created amongst. “The Modena Paintings” will be on view through August 27, 2023 at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden, A MERCY III, 2023. Image courtesy of Kunsthalle Basel.

A Moment of Inattention” by Tiona Nekkia McClodden 
Kunsthalle Basel

Home to Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s first solo exhibition in Europe, "THE POETICS OF BEAUTY WILL INEVITABLY RESORT TO THE MOST BASE PLEADINGS AND OTHER WILES IN ORDER TO SECURE ITS RELEASE," Kunsthalle Basel will also host the premiere of the American artist’s performance, “A MOMENT OF INATTENTION,” during Art Basel. Through this performance, McClodden builds on her existing body of work, exploring the shared ideas, values, and beliefs within the African American diaspora. “A Moment of Inattention” will show on June 14, 2023 during Kunsthalle Basel Night. 

Basel Social Club
Mauerstrasse Basel

A former mayonnaise factory will house the lively Basel Social Club, which returns to Basel for the second time after its establishment last spring. Over 100 galleries—from Art Basel exhibitors such as Hauser & Wirth and Sadie Coles HQ to smaller project spaces—have taken over the space, turning the factory into a small art fair with cocktails and restaurant pop-ups. Visitors can explore the young and trendy side of Art Basel free of charge. Basel Social Club will be open daily through June 18, 2023 at Mauerstrasse in Basel.

Messeplatz Project by Latifa Echakhch
Messeplatz Basel

At the Venice Biennale last year, the Franco-Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch said she wanted visitors leaving her pavilion to feel the same way they might feel after a rock concert. For this year’s Art Basel Messeplatz Project, Echakhch collaborated with Luc Meier, the director of La Becque Artist Residency in Southern Switzerland, to build a series of deconstructed stages. Together, these spaces will serve as a site for artistic appreciation and musical performances by musicians such as Naama Tsabar, Jessica Ekomane, and Rhys Chatham and Robert Longo. The Messeplatz Project will be open through June 18, 2023 at the Messeplatz.

Refik Anadol, Glacier Dreams, 2023. Image courtesy of Art Basel.

Glacier Dreams” by Refik Anadol
Theater Basel

Turkish artist Refik Anadol highlights the beauty and fragility of Iceland’s volcanic glaciers in his latest artificial intelligence installation, “Glacier Dreams.” Presented as a three-dimensional space that brings together sound, light, and scent to raise awareness about the precarious state of the environment, the exhibition shows viewers how A.I. can be used for good. “Glacier Dreams” will be on view through June 13, 2023 at Theater Basel.

Parcours Night
Münsterplatz, Basel

Every year, Art Basel’s Parcours invites visitors to enjoy sculptures, films, live performances, and site-specific installations in the city’s neighborhoods. This year, Parcours will take over Basel’s Old Town and showcase the work of 21 artists, including special performances by Georgia Sagri, Jacolby Satterwhite, Julie Monot, and The Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group. Parcours Night will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at Münsterplatz, Basel.