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UBS marks 21-year partnership with Art Basel

Zürich / New York Media Releases Global


Swiss Artist John Armleder to create monumental installation for the UBS Lounge. UBS is also supporting ‘14 Rooms’, curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist and designed by Herzog & de Meuron, featuring live art by notable artists including Marina Abramović, Allora & Calzadilla, Ed Atkins, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Damien Hirst, Joan Jonas, Laura Lima, Bruce Nauman, Otobong Nkanga, Roman Ondák, Yoko Ono, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, and Xu Zhen.

Zurich, New York, 10 June 2014 – This month UBS -- a longstanding global patron of contemporary art -- marks its 21st year of support for Art Basel in Basel, the world’s premier international Modern and contemporary art show. This partnership has prospered and grown throughout the years with UBS assuming the role of global Lead Partner for all Art Basel shows in 2013, most recently including Art Basel in Hong Kong.  On the occasion of the 2014 edition of Art Basel, UBS has commissioned Swiss artist John Armleder to create a monumental installation for the UBS lounge to complement one of the artist’s Pour Paintings from the UBS Art Collection that will also be on view. UBS is also Lead Partner of ‘14 Rooms,’ a major exhibition organized by the Fondation Beyeler, Art Basel, and Theater Basel that will be on view in Basel from June 14 to 22, 2014.

"On the heels of our first year participating at Art Basel in Hong Kong, and as we embark on our 21st year here at Basel, we are reminded what makes UBS’s relationship with Art Basel such a very special one,” stated Jürg Zeltner, CEO UBS Wealth Management. “Collecting is at the heart of our longstanding, global support of contemporary art, and, as Art Basel has grown, so has our continuing commitment to the organization, making the partnership an ideal fit as it reflects the firm’s and our clients’ interests in the dynamic and ever-expanding art world."

UBS is home to one of the world’s most distinguished corporate art collections. It also serves as an active partner in global contemporary art projects and is a source of information and insight for investors and collectors through its UBS Arts Forum and UBS Art Competence Center.

For the UBS Lounge, John Armleder has created a large scale installation (approximately 30 feet by 10 feet) of custom designed wallpaper, which relates to the artist’s ongoing exploration of the limits of surface and support and the way contemporary art is displayed and perceived. In addition, Armleder’s Untitled (Pour Painting) (Mixed media on canvas, 300 x 450 cm), created in 1993 and part of the UBS Art Collection, will be prominently featured in the main area of the lounge. The artwork was initially commissioned for UBS’s office in Geneva and forms part of the artist’s ongoing series of Pour Paintings, in which Armleder recycles art historical impulses such as Abstract Expressionism and Color Field paintings. The metallic, rainbow colors of Untitled (Pour Painting) also served as an inspiration for the pattern of the wallpaper in the Lounge, featuring the iconic image of flint. The design has been printed first on traditional wall paper with a digital inkjet technique and then laminated on the surface with a decorative film to create an additional three dimensional effect.

The public will have access to the UBS Art Hub in Hall 1, where show visitors will be able to share their impressions of Art Basel on camera, and their comments will then be integrated with statements by art experts. The combined footage will later be on view in the UBS booth, as well as UBS’s newly built video portal ( and social media channels during the fair. Also on view at the UBS Art Hub will be projected video footage of select UBS & the Arts projects.

In addition to its role as global Lead Partner of Art Basel, UBS is providing support for ‘14 Rooms,’ a major exhibition curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist that features performative works by artists including Marina Abramović, Allora and Calzadilla, Ed Atkins, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Damien Hirst, Joan Jonas, Laura Lima, Bruce Nauman, Otobong Nkanga, Roman Ondák, Yoko Ono, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, and Xu Zhen. ‘14 Rooms’ is a collaboration among Fondation Beyeler, Art Basel, and Theater Basel, and will be accompanied by an education program conceived and run by Fondation Beyeler. The exhibition is designed by the renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron.

UBS is also arranging special behind-the-scenes video footage of the performances, including the castings, interviews with the artists, rehearsals, and the final performances. These videos will be available on set to launch on June 13.

‘14 Rooms’ will be staged from June 14 to 22, 2014 in Hall 3 of Messe Basel, walking distance from Messeplatz. The project was originally commissioned as ‘11 Rooms’ by Manchester International Festival in July 2011, as ‘12 Rooms’ at the International Arts Festival RUHRTRIENNALE 2012-2014 and as ‘13 Rooms‘ by Kaldor Public Art Projects at Pier 2/3 in Sydney’s Walsh Bay in April 2013. For each edition, the list of artists has partially changed. While the artists themselves are not present in these works, they instruct performers on how to act out their specifications, resulting in over 70 performers – primarily from the Basel region – taking part in the exhibition.

Art Basel in Basel, held at Halls 1 and 2 of Messe Basel at Messeplatz from June 19 to 22, 2014 is a premier art world destination and features 285 leading international galleries, drawn from countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, representing the work of more than 4,000 artists.

UBS & Contemporary Art

UBS has a long and substantial record of engagement in contemporary art, and actively enables clients and audiences to participate in the international conversation about art and the global art market through its contemporary art platform. At the core of UBS’s extensive art sponsorship portfolio is its long-term global support for the premier international Art Basel shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong, for which they serve as global Lead Partner, as well as a global partnership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. The UBS global art sponsorship activities are complemented by a number of regional partnerships including the Swiss Institute in New York, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. UBS is also active in the contemporary art world through the UBS Art Collection, through the expertise of the UBS Art Competence Center, and as a source of information and insight for investors and collectors through its UBS Arts Forum.

About UBS

UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland. Together with a client-focused Investment Bank and a strong, well-diversified Global Asset Management business, UBS will expand its premier wealth management franchise and drive further growth across the Group.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 countries, with about 35% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 17% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 12% in Asia Pacific. UBS employs about 61,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

About Art Basel

Art Basel stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the world, each show's singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration, and new contacts in the art world.






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