Highlights of Artgenève

The latest publication about the artworld

Artgenève 2024

The 12th edition of artgenève was held at Palexpo from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 January 2024. After ten years of growth and consolidation, artgenève has succeeded in establishing a premium modern and contemporary art exhibition in the Lake Geneva region that draws in visitors from all over the world. Artgenève welcomes international galleries and also devotes considerable space to institutional and private collections, as well as independent curators, confident of the dynamism created by the interaction between galleries and institutions.

From granite to resin, from leather to glass, Valentin Carron pays homage with humour and casualness to sculptures from the past and images of the present. ​​In his relatively recent series of works, the artist forms little characters alone or in pairs, in a repeated attempt to create a connection.
At a time of ‘divided families’, fathers have learned to take their children by the hand, and the new artworks seem to complete a forgotten section in the history of representations of the family. It is no surprise, that in the contemporary turbulent times common values are reflected through connection in the work of L'homme et L'Enfant.
Carron has developed an oeuvre which combines central traditions of contemporary art making, while questioning them in terms of their current meaning. In this way, he includes approaches to appropriation in his work as well as Pop Art traditions, the sociological search for clues and post-studio production.

Multidimensional sculptures, obscure objects, and installations that question the universe and what it means to be human, that is what Alicja Kwade is best known for. Time, space and the concept of reality are notions inseparably linked to the author’s universe since she began a career characterised by the disposition of elements either simple or lending themselves to greater complexities.
Her mixed media works manipulate perception and physical experience. Time and space are summoned up in Kwade's sculptures, which combine improbable funnels with interlocking geometrical modules. The copper funnels trace vectors defining a three-dimensional reality and, of course, evoke instruments which are creating music through the vibration of their resonant bodies. “I’m simply interested in the different approaches to solving questions,” states the artist.

Wim Delvoye, who celebrates his solo show at the MAH in Geneve until 16 June 2024, appropriates and diverts art-historical styles and motifs to sublimate trivial yet unconventional objects, and sometimes even living subjects. The deformed twisted sculpture Nu Debout in golden bronze revisits the presence of the past: here appear baroque anamorphoses and torsions of often forgotten masterpieces of classical or academic sculpture.
Constantly oscillating between antagonistic realms, such as the sacred and the profane or the local and the global, he sarcastically confronts the various myths that feed our contemporary society, from religion to science and capitalism, via unexpected hybridizations.

In his work Return to the Cave, JR transformed the scaffolding covering on the facade of the Palais Garnier into Plato's cave, a place of knowledge and transmission. The artist invited the public to discover an interpretation of the monumental facade of the temple of music and dance revealing the entrance to an immense cavern opening onto a perspective of rock and light.
This project is part of the sequence of the work of the artist who has notably installed monumental works by taking possession of the surroundings of the Louvre museum, the Trocadéro esplanade, the facades of the Palazzo Farnese in Rome and even the Strozzi Palace in Florence, inviting the viewer to change perspective. Like an opera libretto, the artist proposes to viewers a metamorphosis of the façade.

Stephan Balkenhol is a contemporary German artist known for his painted statues of the human form. The artist’s totem-like sculptures of everyday people are reminiscent of both folk art as well as medieval sculpture. Balkenhol uses a variety of woods, including poplar and Douglas fir, and crafting each work from single blocks using hammers, power saws, and chisels.

Best known for her hazy depictions of dreamlike landscapes and disintegrated faces, Leiko Ikemura’s work strives to put the viewer in a place of uncertainty, where they are not sure what exactly they are looking at, yet still accept it as real. Since the mid-1990s, the Japanese artist’s works have depicted mainly female figures.
“I think the female figure, as imagined by male artists, is frequently an idealized version of the female form and is always seductive in some way. The way females naturally accept being modelled by conventions and social norms does not interest me.”

Swiss artist Miriam Cahn is a figurative painter but has associated her artistic projects with performance and installations. Reflecting the influence of the feminist movements and ideas of the 1970s and 1980s, her work places the body and its expression in an aura of profoundly emotive, subjective colours. Responding affectively to the past and present genocidal wars, destruction of human habitat and displacement of entire populations, Cahn depicts bodies in extreme states: torn by violence, forced into exile, guided by hope, experiencing pain and open to pleasure.

In her projects, Paris-born artist Prune Nourry raises ethical questions related to the notion of balance in the broadest sense: the body and healing, the ecosystem and interdependence between living species, demographic imbalance due to sex selection and scientific aberrations.
Her practice combines sculpture, installation, performance and video. She collaborates with artisans, works with diverse materials and explores new techniques. Her projects are based on meetings with specialists, psychoanalysts, geneticists, anthropologists and researchers.

Austrian-born artist Franz West was known primarily as a sculptor, though his body of work incorporated drawing, collage, video, and installation, using papier-mâché, furniture, cardboard, plaster, found imagery, and other diverse materials. By playfully manipulating everyday materials and imagery in novel ways, he created objects that serve to redefine art as a social experience, calling attention to how art is presented to the public, and how viewers interact with works of art and with each other.

Czech artist Adéla Janská is a figurative painter with a sense of colour who manages to update the traditional format of the painting and infuse it with the atmosphere of the present, an ambivalent feeling. With her convincing works, Janská thus naturally fits into the contemporary tendencies of figurative painting and enriches its Central European reference register and expressive potential.

The London-based painter Oli Epp has described his work as “post-digital Pop,” a term that acknowledges his debt to artists of the 1950s and ’60s who appropriated popular culture. For this enormous slide, the artist has chosen a black cat, an animal he has depicted in the past (and a perennial subject of viral videos), arching gracefully and seductively. His title acknowledges the myth that cats live multiple lives, born from cats’ ability to land safely even after flying or falling from considerable heights, and this one is the final life in the row.