“The fact that this structure is under threat undermines something very important about the British love of freewill and obstinate creative exuberance.”


British artist Bob & Roberta Smith,is showing work at Von Bartha, Basel from February 3 – March 24, 2018. Titled THE WHOLE WORLD IS AN ART SCHOOL! , the show transforms the gallery space into an art school and visitors into art students, asking them to confront the motives behind artistic practice and celebrate the often ‘nonsensical purposeless’ of the inspiration-finding process.

New works include artistic propositions and provocations designed as calls to action, instructing visitors to take part in several creative activities within the gallery space; these include making ‘pink on pink’ or ‘grey’ paintings, ‘build your own blob’ and ‘painting with both hands’. With artist tools, media and workspace provided by the gallery, including new benches painted with slogans by the artist, the exhibition is an organic, creative space that develops over time. Bob & Roberta’s own attempts at these challenges, as well as those created by visitors during the exhibition’s run, will be on display at the gallery.

Bob & Roberta Smith’s campaigns are extensions of his artistic practice. Also on display at von Bartha are a variety of brightly-colored text-based slogan works which deal specifically with the role of art in wider society, and brought together here for the first time.

A seminal piece This artist is deeply dangerous (2009), details verbatim an experimental art review included in  The Guardian newspaper in 2008. Written by the paper’s tennis correspondent – who had swapped places with their art critic for the day – the 9 part painting, measuring over 12 metres high, describes the sports writer’s experience encountering the work of Louise Bourgeois. The piece encapsulates the artist’s interest in broadening the parameters of art.  

Buy issue now
[x_subscribe form=”219″]