Art Basel 2024 UNLIMITED

Gary Kuehn, Booth U46

“Reflections and Projections” once again poses a question that has preoccupied Gary Kuehn for six decades: “What it’s really about is how many ways things can fall apart, what holds things together.” Especially in times of war in Israel-Palestine, growing right-wing movements in Europe and the upcoming elections in the USA, this question is more existential than ever.

Comprising of 50 small format works on paper the installation can be understood as a physically tangible diary in which Kuehn explores emotional and physical human connections in the wider sense in the spirit of a “stream of consciousness”. Using a conceptual formal language to avoid associations of gender, origin, ethnicity and appearance the drawings are connected through their predominantly circular forms of organic shapes which are increasingly subjected to deforming forces: they are curved and pulled apart, stretched and compressed again, superimposed or rotating around themselves. Inviting viewers to reflect on and project (physical) relationships, the anthropomorphic forms deal with psychological and social restrictions, with the inner tugging and pulling of personal and social sensitivities.

Based on his experiences as an ironworker and roofer in the 1950s and 1960s, Kuehn developed his conceptual approach to materials such as wood, metal, plaster, polyester, plexiglas, and steel. Born in 1939, Gary Kuehn thus became an outstanding representative of the post-minimal era and radically shaped the concept of art in the 1960s. Since then, Kuehn has repeatedly explored questions of freedom and determination, free development of form and (social) restriction, always with the idea of breathing emotion into minimalism. 

Installation images

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