A new artist residency and incubator launches in East Detroit
June 12, 2024
Mika Rottenberg: ‘Giant things are often triggered by tiny reactions’
June 12, 2024
A new artist residency and incubator launches in East Detroit
June 12, 2024
Mika Rottenberg: ‘Giant things are often triggered by tiny reactions’
June 12, 2024

Few artists address consumer culture quite as directly, or seductively, as Sylvie Fleury. Since the late 1980s, the Swiss artist has wielded her brand of feminist Pop art to discuss capitalism and the construction of self-image in the modern age, in ways that playfully skew norms of gender and commercial value while eschewing an outright rejection of them.

One of Fleury’s first shows, at Galerie Rivolta in Lausanne in 1990, saw her place ten shopping bags full of luxury clothes and shoes in the middle of the exhibition space, declaring herself in one swoop a lover, victim and critic of the fashion industry. More recently she has opened institutional shows at the Pinacoteca Agnelli in Turin and currently has a solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Rotterdam, her first ever show in the Netherlands. Yes to all (until 8 September) surveys Fleury’s career and includes a number of her signature works, including sculptures of rockets, neon signs evoking the language of punchy advertising slogans, and images borrowed from luxury brands.

Campanula VII (2022), by Alfredo Aceto, whose work Fleury recently bought

As both an inveterate consumer and keen observer of other artists, it is only natural that Fleury should be asked not only about the work that she makes, but that she buys too.

The Art Newspaper: What was the first work you ever bought?

Sylvie Fleury: It was a stunning red swimsuit by [French fashion designer] Claude Montana in the mid-1980s with pieces of gold metal, epaulettes and rhinestones. But in a serious gallery, it was a painting by Austrian artist Martin Walde.

What was the most recent work you bought?

I just bought a sculpture by Alfredo Aceto and also recently a painting by Emily Sundblad.

Who are some new artists you have discovered that most excite you?

Shuang Li, Maggie Lee, Reba Maybury, Jan Vorisek.

Videos, detached limbs and supersized text in Fleury’s 2019 exhibition Joy

Do you have a favourite work of art in your collection?

Half of my collection is about cats. I have a very cute Leonor Fini watercolour. For my birthday, I received from Karma gallery a wonderful drawing by Meret Oppenheim. [German gallerist] Paul Maenz offered me a colour Xerox print by Elaine Sturtevant. I could name many more. They’re all favourites.

What do you regret not buying when you had the chance?

Jackson Pollock’s ladder was up for auction in the early 90s. I hesitated.

If you could have any work from any museum in the world, what would it be?

The Gucci Cadillac limited edition. [A car made in collaboration between Gucci and the American luxury car maker Cadillac in 1970—only around 300 were produced].

What are you looking out for at Art Basel this year?

Stefanie Hessler’s Parcours.

What tip would you give to someone visiting Basel for the first time?

A swim in the river. [Unfortunately, swimming in the Rhine is not allowed at the time of writing.]

Where do you like to eat and drink in Basel?

Damatti and Donati. [A bar/bistro five minute’s walk from the Messeplatz, and an Italian restaurant on the river.]

Do you have a favourite memory from Art Basel?

The Totentanz [“dance of death”, a famous memento mori painting that once stood outside Basel’s Preacher Church] and the pastries from Beschle.

What’s your least favourite thing about art fairs?

Looking for parking spaces.

First appeared on…

Comments are closed.