Top 5 | Artgenève 2019

FRANZ GERTSCH | SKOPIA

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Franz Gertsch, Dominique, 1988, Skopia

Franz Gertsch, born in 1930 in the Swiss town of Mörigen, is numbered among the most significant contemporary artists in Switzerland. From the time of his international breakthrough at the documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972 until the present day, he has created a wide range of paintings and graphic works, which attempt a very special approach to reality. For Franz Gertsch, reality means both a pictorial and a conceptual challenge. Although he uses photos or slide projections as his points of departure, the paintings follow a logic all of their own, which aims for a rightness among all the elements.

Woodcuts assume a special position in the works of Franz Gertsch. In a heretofore virtually unknown precision of execution and in monumental formats reaching the limits of the possible in the production of the paper alone, Gertsch has opened up new dimensions in this traditional medium. With the opening of the Museum Franz Gertsch in Burgdorf, not far from his residence and workshop in Rüschegg, his outstanding life’s work will now be given appropriate recognition.

PHILIPPE RAMETTE| XIPPAS GALLERIES

Philippe Ramette

Philippe Ramette, Untitled, 2015, Xippas

Philippe Ramette was born in 1961. He lives and works in Paris. Among the solo exhibitions highlights: Xippas Gallery, Paris, France (2012), Regional Center for Contemporary Art, Sète, France (2011), French Institute of Hong Kong, International Theatre of the City, Paris (2011). Philippe Ramette’s photographic works have been exhibited, from 2006 to 2007, at Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), Martin Gropius Bau (Berlin), Bratislava Castle (Bratislava), Casino Luxembourg, Forum d’art contemporain (Luxembourg). Collective exhibitions: Oeuvres du Frac Nord Pas de Calais à Maastricht, Timmerfabriek, Maastricht, Netherlands.

His works are in public collections: National Assembly, Paris; Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Paris; Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Château de Oiron, France; Domaine départemental de Chamarande, France; European Patent Office (Munich, Germany); Fondation Neuflize (Paris); National Collection of Contemporary Art (FNAC), Paris, Regional Collection of Contemporary Art (FRAC); Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, among others.

HASSAN HAJJAJ | TAYMOUR GRAHNE GALLERY

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Hassan Hajjaj, Alo Wala, 2015, Taymour Grahne

Born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961, Hassan Hajjaj left Morocco for London at an early age. Heavily influence by the club, hip-hop, and reggae scenes of London as well as by his North African heritage, Hajjaj is a self-taught and thoroughly versatile artist whose work includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and interior design, including furniture made from recycled utilitarian objects from North Africa, such as upturned Coca-Cola crates as stools and aluminum cans turned into lamps.

Turning to photography in the late 80s, Hajjaj is a master portraitist, taking studio portraits of friends, musicians, and artists, as well as strangers from the streets of Marrakech, often wearing clothes designed by the artist. These colorful and engaging portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art, as well as the studio photography of African artist Malick Sidibe, in an intelligent commentary on the influences of tradition in the interpretations of high and low branding and the effects of global capitalism.

Hassan’s work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC; the Newark Museum, New Jersey; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Farjam Collection, Dubai; Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunisia; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA, and more. He lives and works between London, UK and Marrakech, Morocco.

PAOLO PELLEGRIN | MAGNUM

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Paolo Pellegrin, Olympic Silhouette, 2008, Magnum

Paolo Pellegrin was born in 1964 in Rome. He studied architecture at L’Università la Sapienza, Rome, Italy before studying photography at l’istituto Italiano di Fotografia, in Rome. Between 1991 and 2001 Pellegrin was represented by Agence VU in Paris. In 2001 he became a Magnum Photos nominee and a full member in 2005. He was a contract photographer for Newsweek for ten years.

Pellegrin is winner of many awards, including ten World Press Photo awards and numerous Photographer of the Year awards, a Leica Medal of Excellence, an Olivier Rebbot Award, the Hansel-Meith Preis, and the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award. In 2006, he was assigned the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. He lives in London. His books include: 100 Photos of Paolo Pellegrin for Press Freedom (Reporters Sans Frontières, France, 2013); Paolo Pellegrin (Kunstfoyer der Versicherungskammer Bayern 2012); Dies Irae (Contrasto, Italy, 2011); Photo Poche (Actes Sud, France, 2010); As I Was Dying (Actes Sud, France, 2007); Double Blind (Trolley, 2007); Kosovo 1999-2000: The Flight of Reason (Trolley, USA, 2002); L’au delà est là (Le Point du Jour, France, 2001); Cambogia (Federico Motta Editore, Italy, 1998) and Bambini (Sinnos, Italy, 1997).

GENIEVE FIGGIS | ALMINE RECH

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Genieve Figgis at Artgenève 2019, Almine Rech

Genieve Figgis (born 1972) is an Ireland artist who got her start off the use of social media. Figgis is known for her vibrant colors and ghoulish or macabre imagery.

Genieve Figgis’ paintings share a similar dramatic bent as some Irish-English literature subjects from Edgar Allan Poe to Oscar Wilde, as well as acknowledged Old Masters such as Goya. Her scenes depicting bourgeois homes, traditional portraits, or landscapes are often haunted by spectral figures and leering creatures with canes and top hats. A sense of the charmingly macabre emerges from Figgis’ combination of an apparent pictorial banality with dreamlike qualities. Represented by Almine Rech Gallery.