until 28.10.| #4054ARTatBerlin | Galerie Judin shows since 12. September 2023 the exhibition Tidings from the Orbit by the artist Alexander Basil.
This fall, Galerie Judin will present its first solo exhibition of Alexander Basil, who was born in Russia in 1997 and subsequently raised in Germany. The 25 paintings in this group of works depict scenes and still lifes that are consistently set in an interior – that of the artist’s Berlin apartment. This interior world is dominated by a kind of clone or prototype – perhaps even an alter ego? It is a bald man with rosy skin, curvy limbs, and an ornate beard. The man is often unclothed, revealing delicate scars on his nipples that testify to a gender reassignment having taken place. We accompany this prototype during seemingly everyday activities: making phone calls, working on a laptop, lying in bed, drinking coffee, and ironing. The objects found in these tableaux are appropriately commonplace. But Basil’s narrational arrangements are by no means mundane or banal – they exaggerate the everyday into the surreal. Irons and sockets are set on fire, one of the prototypes melts, another sheds his skin.
In attempting to peer through this compositional complexity, we ourselves become the observed. For Basil’s images look back. The face of the prototype is found on many of the objects. Banana plants, headache pills, pillows, candle stumps, spilled coffee, electrical outlets, and cigarettes look back at us with a skeptical, almost oppositional gaze. Everything is brought to life. Or, as Rainer Maria Rilke puts it in the 1908 poem Archaic Torso of Apollo, in which the observer of a statue missing its head becomes the observed: “… for there is no place that does not see you.”
Often, several of the humoristic aggregate states of Basil’s archetype – which seem to make eye contact with us – cavort within the same composition. This gives the impression that a person has been fanned out into all of the facets of its character. They are alter egos that seem to bear witness to self-reflection and self-realization – as well as to the discrepancy between self-perception and the perception by others. It is the artist – and at the same time it is not. For, although Basil always paints himself, we can’t consider the paintings as self-portraits. Basil’s uniform color planes and reduced palette more than generously brush aside snapshot moments, realisms, and details. Rather, the paintings generalize and abstract. They explore possibilities in the past, present, and future. Through a nesting of spaces and pictorial narratives that cite, above all, the artist’s own present and past work, the compositions sometimes even address everything all at once. They negotiate transformations, transit zones, and aggregate states. It is hardly a matter of specificity: just as the prototype barely shows any facial expression, the artist has decided not to give titles to any of his works.
To accompany the exhibition, a first publication on the artist will be published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, featuring an essay by art historian Sebastian Preuss.
Opening: Friday, 15 September 2023 – 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Tuesday, 12 September 2023 – Saturday, 28 October 2023To the gallery
Image caption: Alexander Basil, Untitled, 2023, Oil on canvas, 170 × 120 cm, Copyright (c), 2023, Judin GmbH. All rights reserved
Exhibition Alexander Basil – Galerie Judin | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin