Vitrine Gallery Basel Inaugural Exhibition

The Vitrine gallery was founded by Alys Williams in London in 2012, grown from the project space launched in 2010. Now she opened an additional space in Basel, Switzerland, at Volta Zentrum. The inaugural exhibition of the gallery’s new permanent space is a group exhibition titled A Journey from a sweeping gesture to a lasting effect. The show features works by the artists Nino Baumgartner, Joe Fletcher Orr, Clare Kenny, Wil Murray, Garrett Nelson, Kriz Olbricht, Valentina Pini and Sam Porritt. This video provides you with some atmospheric shots of the opening reception on April 1, 2016.

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Press text:

VITRINE is delighted to announce the inaugural exhibition of the gallery’s new permanent space in Basel, Switzerland. The group exhibition ‘A Journey from a sweeping gesture to a lasting effect’ with Nino Baumgartner, Joe Fletcher Orr, Clare Kenny, Wil Murray, Garrett Nelson, Kriz Olbricht, Valentina Pini and Sam Porritt, brings together a group of international artists who take a transformative approach to material and mark making within multidisciplinary practices.

Each artist suggests a distinct use of material and process, often through imitation, repetition or movement. A point of reference for each artistic intervention is the unique exhibition space and its position on the public square. This coupled with the exhibition being viewable 24/7 presents new challenges for the contributing artists, which are reflected in the works shown. Works are positioned, at once, within and extending beyond the gallery’s boundaries. In a variety of mediums, works intervene, record or imprint this space.

Process and narrative are implied as varied systems of mark making and gesture are made visible to the viewer. As Will Murray investigates transformative mechanisms in his artistic practice by using photography and painting as a hybrid form, he describes the painters mark as a journey, in which his action sends one narrative through another. For this exhibition, he presents an installation created site-responsively.

Kriz Olbricht’s works refer to painting through their titles. However, paint is replaced by tiles, adhesive plaster and reinforcement fabric. The artist transforms and elevates these common construction materials and creates architectural fragments without function, placed both inside the gallery space and extending beyond its borders into the public square.

The manipulation and the transformation of material and the questioning of their role as such takes an important part in Clare Kenny’s work. In this exhibition, fabric has been used as a mould for large plaster reliefs, which have then been directly printed upon. Subtle traces remain on the surface of each piece; abstracting details of the image and manipulating the material, which cause a certain confusion or questioning for the viewer. Valentina Pini also plays with the perception of the viewer in her works. Glass is painted with tarmac creating a mirror effect and reflecting the activities on the square, in combination with petite Madeleine forms cast in bronze.

Sam Porritt works with the unique architecture of the gallery, including its movable walls, presenting site-specific drawings. Disorientation and the deferment or evasion of comprehension is explored through the artist’s response to the particular nature of the space and his parallel investigations into sculpture and drawing.

Through a performative work in the square, Nino Baumgartner responds to the architectural situation on site and the gallery’s launch. For this, the second of his staircase works, he takes on the lavish spiral staircase located just next to the exhibition space and uses Aura-Soma oils to concurrently trace and mark out his journey. Inviting viewers to adjust their understanding of their orientation and participate in his contrived spiritual act.

Garrett Nelson will present a performance work at the opening event, with interventions also addressing the topic of the newness of the gallery. He will turn the architectural surroundings into his stage and leave subtle representatives as traces of his actions. Meanwhile, with a good portion of irony, Joe Fletcher Orr invites the viewer to literally consume his edible work ‘Just Eat’, which is the information hand-out for the exhibition. The artist refers to the ephemeral character of the exhibition hand-out and leaves the digestion of the exhibition content to the viewer.

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