The Fondation Beyeler is playing a growing role as an organizer and producer of cultural events. Alongside the loan of works from its own collection, its activities outside its own four walls include exhibition projects and cultural productions in the sphere of contemporary art. In 2009, during Art 40 Basel, the artists’ opera Il Tempo del postino (‘Postman Time’) was staged to great acclaim by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Philippe Parreno, with the participation of a number of leading contemporary visual artists. The opera was co-produced by the Fondation Beyeler in collaboration with Basel Theatre and Art Basel.
The joint organization of exhibition projects and the transfer of its own exhibitions to other venues represent increasingly important facets of the Fondation Beyeler’s activities, both from an artistic and a financial point of view. Other museums regularly ask permission to take over the themed exhibitions mounted by the Fondation Beyeler and to host them on their own premises. Sadly this is not always possible, due to the complexities of loan agreements. But sometimes such initiatives succeed. Thus the Jenny Holzer exhibition was conceived as a joint production with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and made a stop at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. The Rousseau exhibition was shown in the Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao, and the Basquiat retrospective travelled on to the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris. The exhibition ‘Vienna 1900 – Klimt, Schiele and their times’ sees the Fondation Beyeler collaborating with the Leopold Museum in Vienna. In exchange for important masterpieces from the Leopold collection, some of which have never been lent out for exhibitions before and which are featured in the ‘Vienna 1900’ exhibition, the Leopold Museum has shown a representative selection of the Beyeler Collection for the first time in Austria.
International co-operation lies behind a number of the Fondation Beyeler’s exhibition projects in the sphere of contemporary art, too. A large travelling retrospective of the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres was organized by the Wiels Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels in conjunction with the Fondation Beyeler, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main and the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation in New York. The show encompassed works that have rarely been shown before, together with more well-known paintings, sculptures, photographic works and projects in public spaces.
To mark the 100th birthday of Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), the Fondation Beyeler presents an homage to one of the most significant and influential women artists of our times. Bourgeois’s paintings and sculptures, focusing on being a woman and sexuality, are visual narratives that cast an irresistible spell over the viewer. A l’infini, 2008, a late cycle of works on paper, will be on public view in our exhibition for the first time, alongside the renowned Spider sculptures and legendary Cells, masterful and compellling translations of emotions into objects of art.