Art Basel introduces participants in its Basel show: Bergamin & Gomide (São Paulo), Madragoa (Lisbon), White Space Beijing (Beijing), Galerie Max Mayer (Düsseldorf), and Jan Kaps (Cologne). This week, meet Alex Mor and Philippe Charpentier, co-founders of mor charpentier in Paris and Bogotà.

mor charpentier

We want to promote art that is part of the zeitgeistPhilippe Charpentier, co-founder of mor charpentier

Parisian gallerists Alex Mor and Philippe Charpentier have a clear vision. From the start, their program has championed art tackling political and social issues, a focus that they call the DNA of the gallery. Located in Paris’s Marais district since 2010, mor charpentier has always maintained an international outlook, opening its Bogotà office in 2013. The gallery artists, including Teresa Margolles, Julieta Aranda, and Lara Almarcegui – who is participating in this year’s Art Basel Messeplatz project, Basilea – have received widespread critical acclaim, while never shying away from challenging their audience.

At Art Basel, mor charpentier will be exhibiting a video installation by Lawrence Abu Hamdan in the Statements sector. The British-Lebanese artist mostly works with the politics of sound. For this project, he has focused on the Golan Heights, and the way families communicate across the Syrian-Israeli border.

Jan Kaps

‘What is fascinating about art? It’s probably like being in love. Is it possible to describe that feeling in your stomach?’Jan Kaps, founder and owner, Jan Kaps

Over the last five years, Jan Kaps has established one of the Rhineland’s most exciting contemporary art spaces. Taken by Cologne’s good spirit and cultural wealth, the young gallerist set up shop in 2013, a stone’s throw from the legendary Chelsea Hotel, Martin Kippenberger’s former haunt. Kaps’ daring program and easygoing approach have contributed to shaking up the local scene, which has seen significant growth in recent years. In this exclusive interview, the gallerist stresses the importance of working with artists of his own generation, including Violet Dennison, Jean-Marie Appriou, and Peppi Bottrop. Diversity is also key to Kaps’ vision, centered on fostering exchange between German and international artistic positions.

For his first participation in Art Basel, Kaps will present pink marble sculptures by British-French artist duo Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel in the Statements sector. The monumental artworks, using body parts as bathroom accessories, are characteristic of the gallery’s signature blend of incisive conceptualism and subtle sensuousness.

Galerie Max Mayer

'A gallery should always translate between local and international discourses.' – Max Mayer, Director of Galerie Max Mayer

Düsseldorf boasts several world-class museums and was home to Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter. This made it the perfect location for Max Mayer to set up his exhibition space in 2011, not far from where his father, Hans Mayer, also runs a gallery. Despite the family connection, Max Mayer is keen to pursue his own path which draws from a specifically local as well as a global context. The young gallerist works with artists such as Ei Arakawa, Melanie Gilligan, and Klaus Merkel.

For the 2018 Basel edition of Art Basel, the gallery will be showing three works by the Belgian artist Jef Geys, from his contribution to the influential 1986, Jan Hoet-curated exhibition ‘Chambres d’Amis’, in the Features section.

Casas Riegner

‘I'm looking for innovation, a new language.’—Catalina Casas, Director of Casas Riegner

In 2004, Catalina Casas shuttered her Miami gallery to relocate to her home country, Colombia. Casas Riegner opened in Bogotá in 2005 with a specific mission: to promote contemporary Colombian art. Since then, the gallery has become a stalwart champion of artists from all generations, from Beatriz González (b.1938) to Angélica Teuta (b.1985). International artists and curators are also often invited to join in the program, broadening the scope of a gallery, which has privileged research and discourse since its early days.

For its first participation in the Galleries sector of Art Basel in Basel, Casas Riegner will present ‘TIMELINE’, a display combining works by Colombian art pioneers Beatriz González, José Antonio Suárez Londoño, Rosemberg Sandoval, and Antonio Caro, and younger artists Leyla Cárdenas, Bernardo Ortiz, and Mateo López. Starting with works from the 1970s to the present day, ‘TIMELINE’ will both capture the gallery’s core project and function as a guide to the recent history of Colombia’s contemporary art. 

White Space Beijing

‘Beijing is like a friend with a very bad attitude, but he’s so funny and interesting, you just love him.’ —Zhang Di, Managing Director of White Space Beijing

White Space Beijing invites artists to engage with their vast space in the heart of the Caochangdi Art District. The gallery has been conceived as a place for experimentation. With a strong focus on non-traditional media, it collaborates with artists at all stages of their career.

White Space Beijing will debut at Art Basel in Basel with a solo presentation by Christine Sun Kim in the Statements sector. Informed by her experience as a deaf person, the Berlin-based artist unpacks the relationship between visual, written, and spoken languages in a body of work combining performance, drawing, and installation. Sound Diet (2018) was inspired by the birth of Kim’s hearing daughter and by a desire to instill in her a love for sign language, understood by the artist as a unique way to experience a world catering almost exclusively to the hearing. 


‘Lisbon is a European capital: it has everything to offer you, but in a slower way.’—Matteo Consonni, owner and director of Madragoa

Madragoa opened in 2016 in one of Lisbon’s celebrated historic neighborhoods, from which it borrows its name. The bijou azulejos-clad space is now firmly on the map of the Portuguese capital, which, in recent years, has become a real magnet for artists. Madragoa straddles traditional and conceptual approaches by championing artists who favor what director Matteo Consonni describes as a ‘poetic attitude’, anchored in materiality. The gallery works mainly with artists from Portugal and Latin America, often encouraging collaboration with local craftsmen.

At Art Basel’s 2018 show in Basel, Madragoa will present a monumental frieze composed of hand-hammered brass panels by Rodrigo Hernández. In this short video portrait, gallerist Consonni discusses Madragoa’s singular artistic position, and the rise of Lisbon as Europe’s new contemporary art hub.

Bergamin & Gomide

‘São Paulo is the sort of city in which anything can happen. And for art and culture, it’s the place to be.’—Antonia Bergamin, Co-Director of Bergamin & Gomide

Nestled in the Jardins district of São Paulo, Bergamin & Gomide has built its reputation exhibiting Brazil’s Modernist giants such as Lygia Pape and Hélio Oiticica. Art is a family affair for Antonia Bergamin. She took over the gallery from her father, Jones Bergamin, in 2012, joining forces with Thiago Gomide. With four shows a year, the partners have opened up the gallery program to a host of international artists – including Joseph Beuys and Martin Kippenberger – teasing out artistic affinities across geographies and generations.

At Art Basel’s 2018 show in Basel, Bergamin & Gomide will present a historical display, gathering key pieces by Brazilian modernists Lygia Clark, Mira Schendel, Sérgio Camargo, and Alfredo Volpi. In this exclusive interview, Bergamin & Gomide explain the secret of their partnership.