art room9 will present artworks by Wolfgang Beltracchi to an international audience in Basel for the first time from 13 to 17 June 2016 – parallel to the renowned art fair Art Basel.
After the overwhelming success of Wolfgang Beltracchi’s exhibition “FREIHEIT” (FREEDOM) last year, “Free Method Painting” presents new works by the artist as well as the new genre which Beltracchi has created through his artworks.
“Free Method Painting”
The term “Free Method Painting” was created by Wolfgang Beltracchi and gallery owner Curtis Briggs (art room9), in reflection of Lee Strasberg’s teachings on acting known as “Method Acting”.
According to this method, the actor becomes united with the capabilities and soul of the character and uses his skills and knowledge to embody the character’s emotions, thoughts and actions so perfectly that he becomes one with the character.
Wolfgang Beltracchi has virtuoso, complete mastery of this method as a painter. Thanks to his extensive knowledge of various artists he is able to grasp their essence and creativity in full and to internalise their style. Beltracchi is not only a painter of great technical skill; he is also a wonderful illusionist. He is one of the most versatile artists and talented painters of our time.
As a “Free Method Painter” he understands how to use his skills and creativity to merge the different styles and techniques used by major artists from different centuries. He thereby creates completely new compositions, telling his own stories and producing genuine works of art.
Throughout his life, Beltracchi has painted in opposition to the reality of the modern art market and the commercial one-sidedness of art. The aesthetic value of a work is often no longer important; in many cases it is the opinion-makers who determine what is trendy, who dictate what art should be – whose aim is to sell whatever promises to increase in value as a commodity and who are in a position to conjure up art works from random original ideas in order to turn them into an investment.
Beltracchi’s refusal to restrict himself to the relentless repetition of a so-called recognisable style demanded by the market gives him the freedom which is often denied to established artists.
It contradicts the basic principle of “Free Method Painting”.
We have Beltracchi to thank for our ongoing discussion on “real reality” – on the theme of art and the observation of art, the art market and authenticity.
“What is art?” and “What is authentic?” – These questions have today taken on new significance.
Today’s assessment of a work of art is often no longer based on its quality. Frequently it is no longer the painting and its motif, not the execution and its interplay of colours that is crucial but the style and with this the classification of supply and demand on the market. Time and again this reality forms the basis for the significance of art as a scarce commodity and as a tradable share in today’s art world. At the same time Beltracchi’s earlier works as well as the newly created paintings with Beltracchi’s own signature have become an integral part of this reality. Works of art are like children, they are alive – when they are brought into the world, they take on a life of their own. They exist and will not simply disappear because they are not wanted.
Art should not stagnate into a product, but should have an independent existence. It should remain free and alive.
Wolfgang Beltracchi is a painter, sculptor, author and filmmaker. He was awarded the prestigious Television Award of EBU (European Broadcasting Union) for the 3Sat series named after him in 2015.
Beltracchi’s multiplicity of ideas and the high quality of his artworks have been widely acclaimed by international art enthusiasts and collectors.
Exhibition’s key facts
Conference Center • 3rd floor
4058 Basel / Switzerland
13 to 17 June 2016
10 am to 8 pm
Download the catalogue: Catalogue Wolfgang Beltracchi_ Free Method Painting
Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2015, Götter IV, oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm
Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2015, Quatre Fauves á Collioure, oil on canvas, 120 x 140 cm
Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2016, Tanz im Raum, oil on canvas, 140 x 170,5 cm
Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2016, l’après-midi d’un faune, oil on canvas, 90 x 80 cm
All Images Courtesy of the Artist