Wolfgang Beltracchi exhibition Ballets Russes in Basel

Ballets Russes

11 June-9 July, 2017
Galerie Lilian Andrée, Riehen Basel, Switzerland

About the Ballets Russes:
In an effort to introduce Russian art to Europe, the Russian impresario Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev founded the Ballets Russes. Their inaugural performance in Paris in 1909 was an instant success. Regardless of the prevailing political climate, the primary objective was to showcase art for art's sake. Diaghilev's provocative choreographies not only garnered enthusiastic praise but also occasionally ignited scandals.

The fascination of Parisian and London high society, which held a strong attraction for Oriental themes at the time, transformed the "Ballets Russes" into a significant cultural phenomenon. Diaghilev brought about a revolution in the world of ballet by introducing entirely novel choreographic and scenic forms. This innovative approach, combined with avant-garde music, unique costumes, and elaborate stage designs, culminated in a comprehensive work of art that greatly influenced 20th-century ballet. To this day, Diaghilev is recognized as a paramount figure in the realm of ballet.

The Ballets Russes are the hub and pivot point of the arts in the early 20th century. Painters of different origins and with varying styles gathered in Paris and participated in the movement. Wolfgang Beltracchi makes use of the wealth of inspiration from different artistic voices in his Ballets Russes series. 

"An artwork can serve as an objective foundation
for a completely different subjective artwork,
even if it only exists in the subconscious as material."

—Wolfgang Beltracchi