Gallery Contemporary Fine Arts, Basel: 25 August - 07 October 2023

"In 1962, Ulrike Ottinger, just 20 years old, packed everything she could fit into her little Isetta and moved from her hometown of Constance to Paris. It can be revealed here that the little car didn’t quite
make the trip and the young woman had to continue the journey by hitchhiking.

After arriving in the French capital, Ottinger trained in etching techniques in the print workshop of Johnny Friedlaender. Her spiritual home became the antiquarian bookshop Paris Calligrammes, which she memorialized in her 2019 film of the same name, an autobiographical cinematic account of her time in Paris. Run by Fritz Picard, the bookstore was frequented by the leading French and exiled intellectuals and artists of the time. Here the young artist was, as she herself says, „provided a stairway to the world.“ She begins to work as a freelance artist – drawing, etching and painting. She also regularly attends the lectures of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Louis Althusser and Pierre Bourdieu at the Collège de France.

We are pleased to present rarely shown works from Ottinger’s early years in Paris in our new gallery space in Basel. These are not only stunning works of her own pictorial language, they also foreshadow Ottinger’s later cinematic idiom, which launched her on an impressive worldwide career as a
film artist (...). "

Extract from the CFA Basel press release

Apéro: 26 August 2023, 5 pm - 7 pm


Totengässlein 5

4051 Basel

Exhibition views / photos: Moritz Schermbach

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