Exhibitions and Events at Fondation Beyeler during Art Basel

In 2021 the Fondation Beyeler is honoring its founder, Ernst Beyeler (1921-2010), who would have turned 100 this year. During the art fair, the Fondation Beyeler offers a varied program with the exhibitions “CLOSE-UP” and “Natureculture”, as well as a variety of events and activities. “CLOSE-UP” presents nine women artists from Impressionism to the present day, all of whom have a focus on the depiction of people in common, in the form of portraits and self-portraits. The current collection presentation “Natureculture,” on view until September 21st, explores the relationship between nature and culture in art and features masterpieces by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Ferdinand Hodler, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Louise Bourgeois, Mark Rothko, Sigmar Polke, Roni Horn, Philippe Parreno and Tacita Dean, among others. Other programming ranges from an artist talk with Olafur Eliasson, to a virtual reality installation by Dixon x Transmoderna, to a “sun.set” with Tale Of Us und Shiffer in the Berower Park.


Exhibitions at the Fondation Beyeler during Art Basel 2021

“CLOSE-UP. Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Lotte Laserstein, Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel, Marlene Dumas, Cindy Sherman, Elizabeth Peyton”
19 September 2021 – 2 January 2022
The exhibition centres on artists united in their emphasis on the depiction of the human figure – in the form
of the portrait and the self-portrait. Its focus is on nine female artists whose respective bodies of work
represent prominent and clearly marked positions within the history of modern art from 1870 to the present.

CLOSE-UP focusses on the artists’ gaze on its surroundings, finding expression in the portraits of
themselves and others. In its synoptic perspective, it becomes possible to experience how the artists’ view
of their subject shifts between 1870 and the present day, and what makes this significant.

Last days: until 21 September 2021
The Fondation Beyeler’s collection display explores the relationship between nature and culture in art. Landscapes, still lifes and portraits uncover a dense web of relationships with the environment. The exhibition brings together 170 works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including masterpieces and major groups of works by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Ferdinand Hodler, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Louise Bourgeois, Mark Rothko, Sigmar Polke, Roni Horn, Peter Doig, Philippe Parreno, Tacita Dean and Wolfgang Tillmans, as well as rarely displayed works and recent acquisitions. Using a vast range of media – painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and multimedia installations – the modern and contemporary works on display chart the rich and layered complexity of the relationship between nature and culture.

Snowman by Fischli/Weiss in the park of the Fondation Beyeler
The sculpture Snowman, 2016 by Swiss artists Fischli/Weiss shows the friendly and familiar figure of a snowman, consisting of three stacked snowballs, the top and smallest one displaying two holes for eyes and a dash for a mouth. It stands in a refrigerator with a glass door, allowing it to exist throughout the year. Snowman illustrates the contradiction between nature and artificiality, displaying the penchant for the absurd typical of the work of Fischli/Weiss. This edition (one of four) is the only one in Europe and in Switzerland, and the first one operated by solar power.

The Fondation Beyeler at Art Basel 2021

The Fondation Beyeler presentation at this year’s Art Basel, taking place under pandemic conditions, is devoted to two outstanding artists—Francis Bacon (1909–1992) and Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957–1996)—whose work was particularly concerned with the themes of love, loss, and pain. In his powerful triptych In Memory of George Dyer (1971), the British artist Francis Bacon addressed the tragic suicide of his partner George Dyer. The three panels enact the transition from presence to absence in the passing of his lover from life to death. Questions of human existence were also of central interest to the Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who devoted many of his works to the life and death of his lover, a victim of AIDS. In “Untitled” (Beginning), from 1994, the shimmering plastic-bead curtain has an air of solemn ritual that points to a deeper, symbolic significance. The curtain denotes the transition from one sphere to another, from a space that is public and familiar to one that is private and unknown; and, as the work’s title suggests, the existential passage to a beginning that may be new.

Events at the Fondation Beyeler during Art Basel 2021

“Machine Concrète”, a Dixon x Transmoderna virtual reality installation
20 – 24 September 2021
For Art Basel, the Fondation Beyeler presents “Machine Concrète,” a continuation of the collaboration with Dixon, one of the most renowned artists in electronic music, the creative collective Transmoderna, and Nordstern Basel. In the park of the Fondation Beyeler, the virtual reality installation allows visitors to walk through a multidimensional digital version of the museum. By putting on a pair of VR glasses, the usual environment is blanked out and visitors are immersed in a hyper-realistic Gesamtkunstwerk. For the installation, the museum building designed by Renzo Piano, artworks from the Fondation Beyeler collection, and the park were modeled and reinterpreted in 3D. Unlike a DJ set in the real space of a club, the music played by Dixon’s avatar triggers audio-reactive changes in the virtual exhibition spaces: ruptures, shifts and complete inversions of what is recognises as a museum. In addition to the on-site experience on futuristic consoles, the original can be accessed online as a new “Director’s Cut” at:

Artist Talks: Olafur Eliasson
24 September 2021, 6pm
Olafur Eliasson will speak about his work in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London. For over 25 years, Olafur Eliasson’s work has explored perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. For his solo show at the Fondation Beyeler, the artist immersed the museum in a border-crossing investigation of our preconceptions of nature and culture. Artist Talks is a program organized by the Fondation Beyeler and UBS in which internationally renowned contemporary artists speak about their work. The conversation will be held in English and is also available via live stream at
Admission: CHF 25 (incl. admission to museum),

sun.set – Electronic Music in the Park
25 September 2021, 3pm – 9.30pm
This summer, the sixth edition of our “sun.set” series will take place in the park of the Fondation Beyeler in collaboration with Basel’s Club Nordstern.
DJs: Tale Of Us (Afterlife), Shiffer (Innervisions)

In accordance with the COVID-19 Special Situation Ordinance of .13.9.2021, a Covid certificate admission restriction applies at this event. Admission will only be granted if a valid certificate (CH, EU/EFTA) and an official ID are presented.
Admission: CHF 20 (incl. admission to “CLOSE-UP”).
Further information and tickets are available online at:
No box office

Museum tickets
Tickets are available online at

Covid-19 Safety Concept
The Fondation Beyeler has developed a comprehensive Covid-19 health and safety concept for visitors and employees in the museum, art shop and restaurant. Those measures are being updated constantly in accordance with the official guidance requirements. Museum visitors will be required to show a Covid-19 certificate (from the age of 16), i.e. you will need a valid Swiss or EU/EFTA Covid-19 certificate (vaccinated, recovered, tested) and an official proof of identity. For more information, please visit

Upcoming shows at the Fondation Beyeler – Preview 2021/2022

10 October 2021 – 23 January 2022

New film by Philippe Parreno
10 October 2021 – 23 January 2022

Georgia O’Keeffe
23 January – 22 May 2022

5 June – 9 October 2022

Fondation Beyeler
The Fondation Beyeler in Riehen/Basel is an international success story and has established itself as the most visited art museum in Switzerland. Since opening its doors in 1997, it has welcomed over 8 million visitors from around the globe. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the multi-award-winning museum building set in the idyllic grounds of Berower Park is considered one of the most beautiful art spaces worldwide. Its famed collection of modern and contemporary art has doubled in size since it was started by Ernst and Hildy Beyeler, having expanded through acquisitions as well as valuable gifts and long-term loans from private collections and renowned artists.

Illustration: The Fondation Beyeler in late summer. Photo: Mark Niedermann
Press images available at

Media Contact Italy:
Francesco Gattuso + 39 335 678 6974
Fondation Beyeler, Beyeler Museum AG, Baselstrasse 77, CH-4125 Riehen, Switzerland

Opening hours of the Fondation Beyeler during Art Basel (19 to 26 September): daily from 9am to 7pm


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