Michael Armitage showcases new paintings at Kunsthalle Basel from 20th May to 4th September 2022. You, Who Are Still Alive features an impressive new body of works, painted over the past three years, the artist’s most comprehensive presentation of recent work to date. It includes large-scale paintings, among them the largest Armitage has ever made, and a selection of delicate ink drawings that reveal his exquisite draftsmanship.
“Note the velvet lushness, the peculiar atmospheres, and the multiple, sometimes contradictory, perspectives. Note the highly textured surfaces from which emanates an unearthly glow, wrought from the layering of sumptuous but hard-to-name hues (salmon pink beneath a powdery purple-green, for example, might be one possible approximation). Note how viridian forest landscapes meet East African urban life; how recent events tangle with myth; how a 1970s Senegalese film, just like a street conversation, or a news story, or a music video, can inspire a depiction. Note the way the transparency of a face rendered in outline can call into question everything it is surrounded by. Note, as well, the sort of space and time travel that these images consistently perform. Note, perhaps most significantly, the singular aliveness that issues from this Kenyan-British artist’s paintbrush, turning fantastical juxtapositions into hauntingly incandescent paintings.” Curatorial statement.