At Art Basel, UBS presents artists as spokespeople of our time to help reimagine, connect and empower us to build a better world

UBS Art Collection presents artists who use their voices to address the essential issues of our time in the exhibition Reimagining: A Better World, including Pamela Rosenkranz, Olafur Eliasson, Julian Charrière and Catherine Opie. The works from the UBS Art Collection will be presented at the UBS Lounge as well as online in an expanded virtual exhibition.

• UBS Art Studio is dedicated to showcasing how art can tangibly contribute to building a better world, featuring art projects from Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun and BOTTLETOP.

• At Parcours, a large-scale installation by Augustas Serapinas addressing climate change is displayed at UBS branch Aeschenvorstadt.

As Lead Partner of Art Basel for more than 25 years, UBS presents a program that considers a more sustainable future at the 2021 edition of the Basel show from 24 to 26 September, along with an expanded digital offering. Featuring works from the UBS Art Collection, including significant recent acquisitions, the exhibition Reimagining: A Better World addresses some of today’s most pressing issues. For the first time, as part of UBS’s commitment to sharing its Collection with the public, an expanded version of the exhibition will be available online in the virtually recreated UBS Art Gallery from September 16 to  November 28, 2021. A selection of the works are being shown at the UBS Lounge at the fair.

 Christl Novakovic, CEO UBS Europe SE and Head Wealth Management Europe and Chair of the UBS Art Board said: It is exciting to see the return of Art Basel. At UBS, we see artists as spokespeople of our time. They play a crucial role in provoking conversations and challenging the status quo. Our lounge and virtual exhibition aligns with UBS’s core purpose to inspire, connect and empower people for a better world. As a global leader in sustainable investing and smart, scalable philanthropy, UBS is committed to supporting a sustainable future through its own and partner initiatives.”

In the UBS Art Collection exhibition, presented in the UBS Lounge and online, works by artists Pamela Rosenkranz, Julian Charrière, Richard Mosse and Catherine Opie highlight the consequences of humanity’s exploitation of natural resources, while the multi-layered film The Hikers, 2019, by Rashid Johnson, is an almost tactile exploration of nature, conveying the anxieties that result from racial discrimination. Compositions by Olafur Eliasson, Jeppe Hein and Tomás Saraceno offer moments of reflection and contemplative thought about the fragility of the physical world in which we live.

The UBS Art Studio, in Hall 1.0 of the public area of the fair, presents two artistic projects which offer a tangible contribution toward a more sustainable existence, demonstrating that art can have the power to help to build a better world. Little Sun, founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, is a nonprofit organization that works to deliver affordable clean energy and inspire climate action. At the UBS Art Studio, Little Sun will present three artworks on solar panels by the collective Ghost of a Dream, to raise funds and provide solar lamps to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa living without access to electricity. The artworks are based on stills from the Fast Forward short film series, which explores five artists’ dreams for a regenerative world. Featuring over 300 global voices, the films have been made by artists from Ethiopia, Senegal, and the United States, and will be screened on-site. BOTTLETOP will feature recycled ocean plastic flags designed by artist Morag Myerscough and inspired by renewable energy, to raise awareness of the critical importance of climate action and the 2050 Net Zero target.

As part of Art Basel Parcours (September 20-26), Mudmen, a large-scale installation by Lithuanian artist Augustas Serapinas (b.1990), will be on display at UBS Aeschenvorstadt branch (Aeschenvorstadt 1, 4051 Basel). More than fifty stacks in different sizes form a group of sculptures resembling snowmen. Initially planned as an installation made of snow for the 2020 Riga Biennial (RIBOCA), an unusually warm winter without snowfall in Latvia meant that they could only be constructed of hay, soil and mud. Serapinas’ Mudmen remind viewers to consider the effects of warmer global temperatures as a result of climate change and its impacts.

Taking place at the Fondation Beyeler, on September 21 at 6 pm CET, Artist Talks: Olafur Eliasson will see the artist in conversation about his diverse practice with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London. Renowned for works that challenge the way we perceive and co-create our environments, Eliasson’s art is driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self and community. The event will also be livestreamed online, and continues the Artist Talks program, organized by the Fondation Beyeler and UBS, in which internationally renowned contemporary artists speak about their work.

In conjunction with Art Basel activities, Art Basel and UBS presents new findings and insights into the behaviours of collectors over five markets in Resilience in the Dealer Sector: A Mid-Year Review 2021. This analysis examines the global dealer sector in the first half of 2021 amidst the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the employment structures and sales. The findings of the survey will be discussed in a panel as part of Art Basel’s Conversations on Thursday, September 23 at 3pm CET, which will also be livestreamed.

UBS has a long history of supporting contemporary art and artists. The firm has one of the world’s most important corporate art collections and seeks to advance the international conversation about the art market

through its global lead partnership with Art Basel and as co-publisher of the ‘Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report’. UBS also has partnerships with fine art institutions including the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Russia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia. UBS provides its clients with insight into the art market, collecting and legacy planning through its Collectors Circle and the UBS Art Advisory. For more information about UBS’s commitment to contemporary art, visit www.ubs.com/art

UBS Art Collection’s mission is to build and maintain a seminal body of work by artists of our time. Artworks are displayed in UBS offices globally, serving as an inspiration for employees and a platform for dialogue with clients and the public. The UBS Art Collection is considered one of the largest and most important corporate collections of contemporary art in the world. It incorporates key works from our former collections in both Europe and the US as well as new acquisitions – mirroring today’s global business.

Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. Art Basel’s engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through new digital platforms and a number of new initiatives such as the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, Intersections: The Art Basel Podcast and the BMW Art Journey. Art Basel’s Global Media Partner is The Financial Times. For further information, please visit www.artbasel.com 

Established in 2012, Little Sun is a nonprofit organization that distributes energy tools, designs and implements renewable energy programmes, and leads citizen engagement campaigns globally, partnering with solar experts, artists, companies, and governments. Little Sun has helped provide clean power and light to over 3.2 million people in Africa who would not otherwise have access to it. This has enabled 58 million additional study hours for children after dark, saved households USD 150 million in expenses, and reduced CO₂ emissions by 800000 metric tons. By working with local entrepreneurs, Little Sun has also helped create thousands of local jobs, and generated profits for rural communities in Sub-Saharan

Africa, particularly for women. www.littlesun.org 

BOTTLETOP is a luxury, sustainable accessories brand that began in 2002 through a handbag design collaboration with iconic British fashion house Mulberry supporting artisans in Africa and local health education projects. With the BOTTLETOP atelier in Brazil and workshops in Nepal, the brand continues to provide skills and livelihoods for artisans in disadvantaged parts of the world.

BOTTLETOP is also a technical innovator; working to develop and apply the most innovative waste and sustainably sourced materials to its collection including up-cycled metal, marine plastic, Humanium metal (recycled decommissioned firearms), Zero Deforestation leather and wild rubber. In November 2017 BOTTLETOP opened on Regent Street with the first ever 3D printed store created from waste plastic.

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