Tobias Spichtig — Everything No One Ever Wanted

© tobias spichtig

Kunsthalle Basel
Until April 28, 2024

Tobias Spichtig (*1982) presents his first major institutional solo show in Switzerland, “Everything No One Ever Wanted.” The Swiss artist draws inspiration from the world of fashion, music, and even 1950s existentialist painting to create an all-new body of works, including paintings, sculptures, and monumental installations. Characteristically haunting, they are at once slyly critical and tremoring with a kind of vampire-mystic angst.

In painting, drips are to be avoided. Generally considered blunders, they are thought to interrupt what a painter might otherwise be trying to represent: this is what painting tutorials will tell you. Except Tobias Spichtig doesn’t seem to agree. Conspicuous drips can be found on nearly all his canvases. They flow, without the Swiss artist wishing to tame them, from the peaks of his mountain abstractions, the feet of his nudes, and from sullen faces—each a portrait
of a friend, model, designer, or actor. To make the latter, he primarily works from photo- graphs, rarely from live models, often looking to several different images to create his composite vision. Frequently, there is enough of a
likeness that you might (just) recognize the subject. Still, with or without their eyes painted in, this is an eerie bunch, all cheekbones and contouring, as pale as vampires seen in raking light.