Germano Celant Crafts Exotic Baroque Style Booth for Gmurzynska at Art Basel in Miami Beach

The display will be chockablock with works by artists from Picasso to Freud.


Francis Bacon, Portrait of José Capelo (1987).
Image: Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska

Galerie Gmurzynksa aims to impress the crowds at next month’s Art Basel in Miami Beach fair with a salon-style presentation of works by historical masters such as Francis Bacon, Yves Klein, and Pablo Picasso. This year’s selection is curated by Italian art historian and critic Germano Celant.

It will feature more than 100 works from 50 artists, also including Kazimir Malevich, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, Jean Dubuffet, Wifredo Lam, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Sonia Delaunay, and Robert Delaunay.

The hard-working curator is also organizing Christo’s first large-scale project in a decade, to open next year; this past May, he co-curated, with Miuccia Prada, the inaugural exhibition at the Fondazione Prada, in Milan.


Rudolf Bauer Furioso XII (1918)
Image: Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

While paying tribute to the official exhibitions of the Académie des Beaux Arts at the Salon du Louvre, the dense installation of works also recognizes the signature hanging style of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as championed by Catherine the Great, according to the gallery, which adds that the booth is also inspired by exhibitions like Gertrude Stein’s 1907 Paris salon and the last Futurist exhibition of Painting, in Petrograd in 1915.

“This salon-style hanging goes back 200 years. At the beginning it was the British artistocracy that did that in their mansions,” Gmurzynska CEO and co-owner Mathias Rastorfer told artnet News in a phone interview. “Viewers were meant to go into these study galleries and to look at various works hanging side by side in several rows to actually get a feeling of an era.”



Joaquin Torres-Garcia Composicion Constructiva (1943) Image: Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska

“Galerie Gmurzynska has created a huge quantity of ideas over the course of its 50-year existence that has been stratifying into a one of a kind archaeological site,” Celant writes in a statement. “At Art Basel Miami, each work selected for this project therefore represents a small moment of this activity through which the booth becomes a site of excavation and rediscovery.”

Rastorfer continued: “I thought in this environment, in this [art fair] climate where you have the commercial aspect, the financial side, the buying, the investing the marketing of things, let’s go back to the roots of how you look at art as a collector.”

At last year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach fair, Gmurzynska, which has three locations in Switzerland, created a much-buzzed-about booth to celebrate its 50-year anniversary. “My Kid Could Do That,” designed by Baz Luhrmann, included artists like Kurt Schwitters, Wifredo Lam, Miró and Malevich.

Gmurzynska CEO Mathias Rastorfer recently spoke to artnet News about the current state of the art market.

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