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Art Basel | Ana Amorim

Messe Basel, Basel, Switzerland

June 15 – 18, 2023

Art Basel | Ana Amorim
Art Basel | Ana Amorim
Art Basel | Ana Amorim
Art Basel | Ana Amorim

Press Release


For Art Basel 2023, Basel, Switzerland, Millan presents a single emblematic work by the artist Ana Amorim (1956, São Paulo, Brazil), entitled Large Canvas 4. Curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, the project aims to contextualize and showcase Amorim's singular practice to a global audience.

The work consists of 318 strips of cloth, of daily registers during the year 1991, when it was produced. In each of these strips, she drew her daily trajectory in two colors: black for the everyday routes and red for the new ones. Each strip of cloth also contains a piece of fabric, cut out from personal items and a Counting Seconds performance  of the 3,600 seconds that make up an hour, in the artist's own time. 

"Halfway through the year, I started questioning my production of annual Large Canvases. Slowly and reluctantly, the registering started to fade and eventually, the final pieces were left blank," she explains about the work that covers all three walls of booth D15.

With a conceptual artistic practice focused on her being alive, Amorim works with different forms of registers: her movements, time, and life itself. Since 1987, she has been making long-term performances involving the register of mental maps. But her artistic trajectory is guided by the decisions presented in two fundamental texts for her career.

In 1988, she drafted Conceptual Decisions, a manifesto that would guide her production for the next ten years — which she named Ten-Year Performance Project —, with very strict definitions such as "I would use inexpensive materials" or "I would not sell my work". Large Canvas 4 is part of the Ten-Year Performance Project.

In 2001, she elaborated the ideas of that first manifesto into an Art Contract, in which she stated that "no organization/individual or any of its sponsors can use their corporate logos when any of my concepts and/or images are exhibited". The terms were purposely so strict that she effectively self-isolated from the commercial and not-for-profit art world. Although the circulation of her work remained restricted, the artist continued to produce daily over the 15-year period of the contract.

In the essay accompanying the project at Art Basel, Pérez-Barreiro states that "Amorim's work crosses two important traditions in contemporary art practice. On the one hand is the idea of art produced by instruction and contract (...) in which the artist takes control of the distribution and circulation of his or her work. The other tradition is that of breaking down the barriers between the art world and everyday life", referring to the avant-garde, Fluxus, and Situationist movements.

Art Basel 2023 takes place from June 13-18, 2023, at Messe Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Visit Millan at Booth D15.