What I saw..

7 Jul

by Nadia Gerazouni//

Francis Alys:  Fabiola
Schaulager at Haus zum Kirschgarten, Basel, Switzerland
12 March to 28 August 2011


Saint Fabiola is the patron of the deceived, the mistreated, the divorced and of widows. She lived in Rome on the 4th Century. In 1885 Jean-Jacques Henner painted her profile and although the original painting was lost in 1912, numerous artists have either copied it or made their own versions of it.

Francis Alys is a renowned Belgian artist (Antwerp 1959) that now lives and works in Mexico. Alys has been collecting portraits of Saint Fabiola from flea markets and thrift stores around the world. He owns a collection of 370 of them, executed in various media, from oil on canvas and ceramics to embroidery, enamel and more.

Haus zum Kirschgarten, a former townhouse in Basel, is now a museum that introduces the 19th century bourgeois lifestyle. It is within its 25 rooms that Francis Alys presents his extraordinary collection of portraits of Fabiola.

Schaulager never ceases to amaze us with its creativity, freshness and open-mindness. It is the perfect example of how an institution can be alive and ahead of its time.

CREDITS: Text: Nadia//Photography: Schaulager® at the Haus zum Kirschgarten, Basel
„Francis Alys: Fabiola“, 12 March – 28 August 2011
Installation view, photo: Tom Bisig, Basel

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