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Epic drama: six of the best works in Art Basel's Unlimited section for large-scale art

Curator Giovanni Carmine walks us through some of his favourites for this edition

Choosing the highlights from the 76 large-scale works that make up Art Basel’s Unlimited section is “particularly difficult this year”, says the curator Giovanni Carmine, “because I think we have amazing pieces”. It helps that this is the first year since Carmine was appointed in 2019 that has been free from Covid-related logistical complications.

Rather than being defined by a theme, Unlimited’s power lies in the freewheeling mixture it offers, he says—for instance, between the Minimalist sculpture of Land art pioneer Nancy Holt and a performative installation by the emerging artist Augustas Serapinas. Above all, Unlimited is a place of artistic contrasts that “generate tension, dynamism and a kind of dramaturgy”, Carmine says. “It’s also what makes this platform interesting for a curator.”

“This is an historical piece from 1986, which was visionary at that time, dealing with art history, starting from a Hogarth painting and reshaping it, reforming it, putting a Black woman in the centre of it. Lubaina Himid was also dealing with Thatcherism, what was going on in England in the middle of the 1980s. It looks like a theatre set, but it’s also full of details if you go closer and read what’s written in the newspaper clips, with references to art history, gender, but also Margaret Thatcher. There’s anger in it; it’s an amazing piece.”

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