Basel

Markus Raetz

Kunsthalle Basel

The careful selection and mounting of this exhibition, which includes work from the last ten years, provides a fascinating survey of the diversity of artistic means used by Markus Raetz. If Marshall McLuhan’s notorious thesis, the medium is the message, has ever hit the mark, then it does here. In Raetz’s work means and end form a constantly pulsating, dialectical unity whose source lies in the artist’s daily life.

Il conto per favore (The bill, please) is the title of a 1980 work. A column of five different, carefully applied brushstrokes above a line, which initially seem coincidental, when superimposed below the line resolve into an image of a loving couple. The piece demonstrates on the one hand the specific possibilities of using a gooey paint, which lends itself to layering and is splendidly suited to a sculpting brushstroke; but it also makes clear that ultimately the painting is

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