For Art Basel 2022, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York and Paris are pleased to present works by Etel Adnan, Pierre Alechinsky, Leonardo Drew, Jean Dubuffet, Günther Förg, Ficre Ghebreyesus, Samuel Levi Jones, Konrad Klapheck, Jaume Plensa, Zilia Sánchez, Nancy Spero, Antoni Tàpies, Mildred Thompson and Barthélémy Toguo.
Curated by Giovanni Carmine, Art Basel: Unlimited—the sector for monumental projects—will feature installations by Leonardo Drew and Barthélémy Toguo.
Leonardo Drew will create a new site-specific installation, Number 341 (2022), marking the artist’s first presentation of a monumental work in Switzerland. The curator Giovanni Carmine has described Drew’s work as “one of the most ambitious projects at this year’s edition of Unlimited.” Since the 1990s, the abstractionist has been making assemblage-based installations and sculptures in his distinctive abstract language that speaks of life’s cyclical nature. Number 341 (2022) marks a new turning point for the artist as Drew extends the wall installation onto the floor plane for the first time, amplifying its dynamic composition and structure. Recent works by the artist Number 339 (2022) and Number 345 (2022) will be displayed at our booth, demonstrating the artist’s recent exploration of “painting with fire.” Drew continues to expand his visual lexicon, exploring the gradation revealed in wood through oxidization.
Works from Barthélémy Toguo’s Bilongue series will be presented for Unlimited, comprising 50 zingana wood bas-relief portraits. Bilongue is a neighborhood in the suburbs of Douala, Cameroon that Toguo stayed in 2015 while preparing his work for the 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor. Inspired by the residents, Toguo has created a Hall of Fame in their honor, a portrait gallery that pays homage to the African custom of creating wooden sculptures to commemorate kings and warriors.
Highlights from our booth include a public debut of paintings by the late artist Ficre Ghebreyesus, marking the artist’s first presentation in Basel, Switzerland. Ghebreyesus worked seamlessly between abstraction and figuration, populating his works with intricate, highly personal experiences as a citizen of the world. While the artist turned down most opportunities to show during his short lifetime, recent solo institutional exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, California and at Artspace, New Haven, Connecticut. The gallery began representing the Estate in 2019 and held the solo exhibition Ficre Ghebreyesus: Gate to the Blue in 2020. Five paintings by the artist are currently on view in the 59th Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams.
Also featured are works by Zilia Sánchez and Nancy Spero. Sánchez’s sculptural practice will be presented in Basel for the first time, highlighting the artist’s evolving interest in completely free-standing work. A recently realized sculpture in bronze, Concepto II (2019), is comprised of two freestanding parts to form a symbiotic pair. The sculpture shares visual characteristics with Sánchez’s historic paintings, demonstrating how she has repeatedly explored a set of core motifs across her lifetime. The artist’s first full retrospective, Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla, closed in 2020 at El Museo del Barrio after touring through the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC and the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico.
A large handprinted collage on paper Marlene (2002) by Nancy Spero sees the image of the pioneering actress Marlene Dietrich repeated in various colors; a chorus of the woman who dared to defy societal and gender norms. A dedicated presentation of works by the artist and her husband, the late Leon Golub, are currently on view at the Tate Modern. Spero’s scroll-like work Notes in Time (1979), part of the Museum of Modern Art‘s collection, is also currently on view in the Collection Gallery. Watch a recent video featuring Leah Dickerman, director of MoMA’s research programs, as she takes a close look at Spero’s scroll-like alternate history presented, and wonders how we “understand the mythological structures that support inequity in our culture.”
About Galerie Lelong & Co.
Galerie Lelong’s original founding by Aimé Maeght in 1945 saw the presentation of modernist icons including Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Antoni Tàpies, Francis Bacon and Eduardo Chillida. After Maeght’s death in 1981, the gallery adopted its current structure with directors and equal shareholders Jacques Dupin, Daniel Lelong, and Jean Frémon. From 1981, the gallery began a period of adding influential artists such as Pierre Alechinsky, Louise Bourgeois, Konrad Klapheck, and Jannis Kounellis, among others. The gallery in New York was founded in 1985 and has been directed by Mary Sabbatino since 1991. Under Sabbatino’s leadership, the gallery has been a leading proponent in the introduction of important figures from Latin America into critical discourse, including Alfredo Jaar, Cildo Meireles, Ana Mendieta, and Zilia Sánchez.
The gallery’s programming is noted for its political acuity and museum-quality exhibitions, as well as its work with artists to help develop large-scale public art commissions beyond the gallery’s walls. In tandem with the gallery’s artists who present works that examine the human condition and collective consciousness, Galerie Lelong demonstrates its commitment to social justice and good citizenship through charitable initiatives and collaborations. Galerie Lelong is a member of the Art Dealers’ Association of America, the most esteemed organization of art galleries in the United States.