Stoffraum Art Basel (Canvas Room Art Basel), 1996
Fabric covering of the art-fair walls, cut out, 434 clip frames in 6 different DIN formats and 4 square formats, each signed and numbered
302 x 612 x 559
installation view Art Basel, 1996 © Martin Lauffer, 1996
photos © Andrea Rossetti, 2017

Pieces of canvas in six different DIN formats are cut from the kind of sheeting used to divide stands at trade fairs. The pieces are placed in frameless picture holders, which are then hung over the holes made by cutting out the pieces. Using a computer program to calculate the spacing, 464 different-sized picture holders are placed exactly 5 cm apart on the canvas wall. The canvas thus becomes both material for pictures and a consumer product. The framed pieces of wall are gradually sold off to visitors, each one leaving behind a patch of naked wall.

Text: Karin Sander

In 1996, Karin Sander realized the work Stoffraum Art Basel (Canvas Room Art Basel) for the newly introduced “Statements” section at the 27th Art Basel. In the approximately 6 x 6 m booth, sections in various DIN and square formats were cut from the canvas wall coverings then commonly used at the Basel art fair and placed in clip frames which were hung on top of the now blank sections of wall. 434 clip frames were placed on the wall’s surface, according to computer calculations, with approx. 5 cm distance between them. In this presentation, the canvas became both picture and consumer product. Signed and numbered on the back, these white tableaus were for sale and could be taken away immediately. Each sold work left an exposed section on the booth’s wall, revealing the wall’s raw wooden backing. While this process made visible the continual emptying of the booth as the art fair continued and works were sold, the end of the 1996 Art Basel marked the final condition of the work – the remaining framed works as well as the empty sections were fixed. At the end of the fair, the booth walls were preserved in that state, documented and stored as a whole.

From the press release: "Karin Sander", Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2017