Art Basel

Hall 2.0 booth H 8

Exposition passéeDu 15 au 18 juin 2017

In June 2015 Gottfried Honegger dropped by to say hello, surprising us with his visit and announcing, “It’s my birthday today ! Give me a hug !” It was shortly before his show at the Pompidou Center opened. That same September we prolonged his enthusiasm—and our own—by showing a few select works by Honegger at the gallery. Although we didn’t expect him to attend, he gave us the pleasure and honor of traveling from Zurich once again. The evening of the opening, in fine form, he gave one of those speeches for which he has a gift : he defended art concret, defended humanism in the face of globalization, and defended the struggle for practical ideas that would improve humanity. In January 2016, he passed away. But his words had long been accompanied by deeds : he and his partner Sybil Albers-Barrier donated a collection of art concret to the Espace de l’Art Concret in Mouans-Sartoux, near Cannes, France, creating a welcoming space within the museum where families from the area can feast their eyes.

It seemed right that we should pay tribute to Honegger on this year’s stand at the Basel art fair, which we will be attending for the 48th consecutive year. We’ll make sure he’s accompanied by artists he loved, like Auguste Herbin (1882–1960), Marcelle Cahn (1895–1981), and Jean Gorin (1899–1981), as well as those he supported and who became his unflagging friends, including Hans-Jörg Glattfelder (winner of the Peter C. Ruppert Prize) and Jean-François Dubreuil (winner of the Aurelie Nemours Prize).

The history of art is written in small letters as well as capital ones, which its what makes it history. We feel that Swiss concrete artist Gottfried Honegger was a capital artist, but only time will tell.

Honegger is there where you least expect him : if you find yourself in the port of La Rochelle on the Atlantic Coast of France, just head to the top-floor gallery of the Tour de la Lanterne (some 125 feet high) and you will see a startling installation. On the floor is a composition of granite, while set in the conical ceiling is a long aluminum arrow pointing toward the ground ; both works date from 1985.

This twelfth-century tower has served as landmark and beacon, just as did Gottfried for an entire generation of artists working in the same vein.

Gottfried—which means “God’s peace” in German—was born in 1917 in Engandin, Switzerland, a small land with international scope.

To visit the webside of the fair it’s here


Art Basel. Hall 2.0 booth H 8