Kendell Geers: The Oculist Witness

Kendell Geers: The Oculist Witness

Wilde Gallery

From left: Kendell Geers, Stripped Bare, 2009. Bulletproof glass, steel and lead bullets, 277 x 175 x 79 cm. KEndell Geers, Duchamp’s Endgame.

April 12, 2024
Kendell Geers
The Oculist Witness
Accompanied by the book release of ‘Duchamp’s Endgame’ by Kendell Geers
June 10–August 17, 2024
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Press preview: June 10, 2–6pm
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Public opening: June 10, 6–9pm
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Wilde Gallery Basel
Angensteinerstrasse 37
4052 Basel
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Wilde is delighted to announce the upcoming book release and exhibition by South African artist Kendell Geers during the week of Art Basel.

Titled Duchamp’s Endgame and accompanied by the exhibition The Oculist Witness, Geers offers a provocative and groundbreaking reevaluation of Marcel Duchamp’s influence on conceptual art. Throughout his illustrious career, Geers has engaged with Duchamp’s enduring legacy on multiple levels, and this new book and exhibition delve into the enigmatic year of 1912 in Munich—a period often hailed as a watershed in art history when Duchamp controversially abandoned painting.

In Duchamp’s Endgame, Geers undertakes a scholarly yet intensely personal investigation that sheds new light on this critical year in Duchamp’s career. The book meticulously examines the logic and structure of two paintings and three drawings Duchamp created in Munich that year, works that Geers argues cast an entirely new perspective on the renowned artist.

Through rigorous research and artistic intuition, Geers uncovers the intricate web of influences and ideas that shaped Duchamp’s oeuvre, inviting readers to discard preconceived notions and mainstream art historical discourse about Duchamp and engage with his art in a more direct, unmediated manner. Serving as both the conceptual heart and thematic guide of the exhibition at Wilde, Duchamp’s Endgame navigates visitors through Geers’s intellectual and artistic terrain.

The accompanying exhibition, The Oculist Witness, acts as a visual and conceptual extension of the book’s arguments.  Each artwork serves as a counterpart to the themes explored within Duchamp’s Endgame, creating a dynamic space where Duchamp’s legacy is reexamined and reinterpreted through Geers’s lens. Serving as both the conceptual heart and thematic guide, the book navigates visitors through Geers’s intellectual and artistic terrain.

Duchamp’s Endgame will be published by Wilde in partnership with Fonds Mercator and Yale University Press in June 2024. For that month, it will be exclusively available through Wilde, offering readers a rare opportunity to delve into this groundbreaking reevaluation of one of the most influential figures in modern art.

About Kendell Geers
Kendell Geers is a pivotal figure in contemporary African art, whose powerful works explore themes of identity, resistance, and the complex legacies of history. Born in apartheid-era South Africa, Geers’ journey from a working-class family to an artist in exile has profoundly shaped his unique artistic language, defying simple categorization.

With a practice rooted in a deep engagement with his identity as a white African, Geers’ oeuvre stands as a testament to his enduring commitment to grappling with the intricacies of race, power, and social justice. His works challenge viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and question preconceived notions, offering a nuanced and thought-provoking exploration of the human experience.

Geers gained international recognition early in his career, with notable participation in the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale and Documenta 11 in 2002, curated by the esteemed Okwui Enwezor. In 2013, Enwezor further cemented Geers’ significance by curating his retrospective at the prestigious Haus der Kunst in Munich. Now based in Brussels, Geers continues to push artistic boundaries, creating works that resonate globally while remaining firmly rooted in his African identity and experiences.

Contact us
Press inquiries: Natalia Blanco, natalia [​at​] / General inquiries: basel [​at​], + 41 61 311 70 51.

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Wilde Gallery
April 12, 2024

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