20. September – 29. November 2018

APE collected by Brasilea - Abroad at home - I Anniversary Exhibition 15 years

The collection APE – Arte Perpetual Establishment is the second collection of the Brasilea which documents the newer exhibition history of the art institution since its opening in the year 2003 besides the existing collection Walter Wüthrich. By purchasing art objects from the ongoing exhibitions of the Brasilea, the chronology and history of exhibitions becomes comprehensible to the viewer.

Many artists represented in the APE collection have in common to know the original impulse of the founder Walter Wüthrich and to feel similar: to have a country of choice and a home. Two hearts beating in one breast. To know the courage or the despair, to emigrate and to have new experiences in the midst of a foreign culture, being cosmopolitan and in dialogue with global issues at the same time. Just like Walter Wüthrich went abroad in 1939 and found in Franz Josef Franz Widmar an artist and friend with whom he shared the same connection he felt with his home country and whose works later laid the foundation for the Brasilea Foundation.

The present-day Brasilea art institution builds on this history, yet since its opening in 2003 has focused on new contemporary art that often deals critically with political issues and social trends from artists who have also left their comfort zone at home and went abroad.

The distance allows for a different view of the homeland, which can be romantic at times or maybe neutral but this view certainly moves in a global context. Distance and proximity, territory and space – these two major themes of many exile artists are noticeably present in some works of the APE Collection.

Another focus are the works by artists who have been specially invited to Basel for their exhibition in Brasilea as artists in residency. On site at the Brasilea they had a platform for their art and could be creative in a temporary studio in an international context. The result are numerous impressive works, some of which can be found in the APE collection.

It goes without saying that works by contemporary Brazilian artists who live and work in Brazil are also part of the collection and whose membership in the collection becomes clear through their significance for the development of Brazilian art.

The collection represents all media genres of contemporary art such as paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, objects and media art, created exclusively in the last 54 years. 87 artists are already present in the collection and the majority, apart from artists from Switzerland, come from the Latin American continent.

Currently, it contains 228 works that impressively reflect how living abroad shapes your personality. The missing of the homeland, the rejection and condemnation of socio-political developments, the idealizing and deifying of the beautiful gigantic nature of the fifth largest country in the world. Rio and its world-famous trademarks as well as the Amazon, the jungle or their inhabitants are popular motifs of well-traveled artists. Very rarely do the works represent circumstances from the home of choice.

The growing collection is like an exciting journey through Brazil‘s contemporary art. It reveals controversy, shows recurring similarities, enables new perspectives and offers interesting approaches in contrast to Walter Wüthrich‘s existing, self-contained original collection.

 

Daniel Faust

Director