“Volta, more flexibility for the system”

Rendezvous at Volta, a fair whose selection is both inventive and rigorous. Seventy galleries will be waiting for you, from 12 to 17 June, for the thirteenth edition of an event that is still high in the popularity stakes. A stroll through its alleys, in the company of Amanda Coulson. Prior to launching Volta New York in 2008, Amanda Coulson cofounded Volta Basel in 2005. Today, the art critic and exhibition curator is also Director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and resides in Nassau. So how does she approach the market? With a primarily curatorial vision and a gaze characterised by a critic’s eye… For its thirteenth edition, the artistic director is welcoming no less than 70 galleries from 43 different cities to Volta.   Can you tell us about this 2017 edition? What’s the atmosphere like? This is quite a difficult question because we see new things every year and that’s what’s interesting! Our galleries evolve, some take part in major fairs, others have different projects… But we work in a very organised manner. In New York, we only present solo shows whereas in Basel, we have more variety and we ask our galleries to change their programmes for every new edition. We’re not a fair that looks to gather as many people as possible, but our aim instead is to make Volta an attractive spot for curators and collectors who feel concerned. From the start, we thought that Volta would be held in a luxury hotel, a cheap youth hostel or else a boutique hotel… The idea was to create a well-groomed but human-sized concept because we always wanted to offer a break compared with the main fairs, a place where people also come to relax.   And have you tried to create links...

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Data: Franz Marc, in search of autonomy

A German Expressionist painter and a founding member of the Der Blaue Reiter group alongside Kandinsky, Franz Marc (1880-1916) has left behind a powerful body of paintings… A ride towards abstraction.   Franz Marc was born on 8 February 1880 in Munich in a protestant family. His father, Wilhelm Marc, was a painter and teacher. Before turning to the arts, Franz initially saw himself as a philosopher… or pastor. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, but quickly left the establishment, finding it overly strict. In 1950, he began encountering animal painters such as Jean-Bloé Niestlé, who led him to create his first horse sketches. At that time, he stopped all human representations in favour of animal forms, expressing an extreme type of naturalism which saw nature as an ultimate refuge for man’s sad social destiny. Paul Klee would write after his death: “He is more human, he loves more warmly, more strongly. He bends humanly towards animals. He lifts them towards himself.” In 1907, a trip to Paris led him to discover the works of Van Gogh and Gauguin. It was a shock for him… The encounter would transfigure his painting, and his palette grew lighter. His bestiary turned wilder. In 1909, his meeting with another Expressionist painter, August Macke, was enlightening. The two artists joined the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM or Munich New Artists Association), founded in January 1909, whose president was a certain Wassily Kandinsky. Franz Marc exhibited his paintings with the group’s other members at the Moderne Galerie Thannhauser. However, the innovative ideas shared by Kandinsky and Franz Marc — who quickly became friends — created a rift in the group, between radical and more moderate painters. Kandinsky resigned from the role in January 1911 after the organising committee of the NKVM rejected one of...

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“La poésie de la métropole. Les Affichistes” exhibition at the Musée Tinguely

Until 11 January, the Musée Tinguely is to host the exhibition entitled “La poésie de la métropole. Les Affichistes”. The “Affichistes” are a group of artists, most notably Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains and Jacques Villeglé, who worked together in the 1950s, and like Jean Tinguely, were also part of the “Nouveaux Réalistes”. The exhibition “Poésie de la métropole. Les Affichistes” is designed in collaboration between the Musée Tinguely and the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. It is the first time that the work of the “Affichistes” has been displayed all together in Switzerland. The exhibition shows their cinematic experiments, photographs and poetic works that were created between the years 1946 and 1968. This exhibition is being carried out thanks to some generous loans from professionals. In the context of this exhibition, an extensive programme of concerts, films and poetry readings will also be held in Basel. The curators of the exhibition are: Roland Wetzel, director of the Musée Tinguely, and Esther Schlicht, curator of the Schirn Kunsthalle...

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Popular Swiss museums

Paris, 22 November 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA). Swiss museums are particularly diverse, especially in Geneva, where every art specialty is mixed. Alongside museums, there are also several foundations that benefit from Swiss sponsorships and do not rely on grants loaned by the State. Institution’s collections are rich and varied, as are temporary exhibitions which aim to promote diversity and quality, rather than media coverage. In addition, each year there is an increasing number of visitors attending Swiss museums. According to the Link Institute in Lucerne, there has been an increase of 500,000 visitors within twelve years, whilst ’returning visitors’ — those who visit the museums more than seven times per year — saw an increase of 2.3%. According to the latest statistic survey of the Swiss Museums Association, the number of visits to cultural institutions increased by almost 2 million people — tourists included — between 2006 and 2009. Due to these positive results, Switzerland has created the Swiss Museums Passport. The most important Swiss museums and foundations will be presented: The museum Barbier Muller in Geneva opened in May 1977, three months after the collector Joseph Mueller’s death. It presents the richest primitive art collection in Switzerland, including over 5,000 pieces from tribal Asia, Africa, America, Oceania etc. The museum is currently hosting until 28 January 2012, the exhibition, “L’art ancestral du Gabon”. The MAMCO (Modern and Contemporary Art Museum) in Geneva, has been open since 1994. It is the largest Swiss Museum dedicated to contemporary art and plays a major role in the Swiss cultural scene, constantly displaying renewed and varied temporary exhibitions. The museum represents artists such as Oppenheim, Sarkis, Robert Filliou, Vito Acconci and Paul Devautoury, and a collection of almost 1,300 works, while over 300 exhibitions were organised within twelve years. The Musée d’art...

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“L’Horlogerie à Genève, Magie des métiers, trésors d’or et d’émail” in Geneva

Geneva, 15 November 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA). An exhibition devoted to horology will open on 15 December until 29 April 2012 at Musée Rath in Geneva. The Musée Rath hosts exclusively exhibitions since the creation of the Musée d’art et d’histoire, finished in 1910. “L’Horlogerie à Genève, Magie des métiers, trésors d’or et d’émail” strives to explore the pieces from the Musée d’art et d’histoire, as well as to present unpublished works never displayed in the last ten years. A corpus of 1,500 objects has been gathered and highlighted at the exhibition. Those works from the Musée d’art et d’histoire’s collections come from horology, enameling art, jewelery and miniature collections, which form a huge panel of 18,000 pieces. These objects including timepieces, jewels, objects of virtu, miniatures and ornaments present the manufacture professions in Geneva. Big scale works along with tiny pieces are to be displayed next to one another. These masterpieces gain the viewers’ admiration for the sheer artisan ability. Visitors will be able to see the evolution of the watchmakers’, etchers’, guillocheurs’, chiselers’ and enamelers’ work. The manufacture expertise will be presented through watches and enamel jewels. The public will see the details of innovative techniques through the history of horology. Even if Geneva is in the heart of the exhibition, the works are subsumed in an international context of the European horology from the 16th until the 21st century. The luxury show is sponsored by several important trademarks intending to display their collections at Musée Rath. Among them it is to remark the Patek Philippe...

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