Audemars Piguet & Art
Since its 1875 founding Le Brassus, Switzerland, Audemars Piguet has explored connections between the worlds of arts and crafts in an ongoing quest to combine artistic excellence and technical mastery. There are countless parallels between contemporary art and the artistry that lies at the heart of Audemars Piguet's timepieces. The brand has long shared these affinities along with its interest in creativity and innovation with the art world.
Proud Partner of Art Basel
Since 2014, Audemars Piguet has explored connections between superior artistry and technical mastery as Associate Partner and "Time of Art Basel", the world's first premier modern and contemporary art shows, held annually in Hong Kong, Basel, and Miami. As a pioneer of the art of watchmaking, the manufacture organizes exhibitions showcasing exceptional timepieces in an exclusive lounge at the heart of the Art Basel show and support various activities featuring contemporary artists, in particular the Audemars Piguet Art Commission.
Inaugural Audemars Piguet Art Commission
Synchronicity: Fireflies, Crickets, and Machines
By Robin Meier | Curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler
Robin Meier has created an intricately fragile and evocative work in which seemingly unrelated living biological entities and technological objects coexist in seemingly harmonious synchronization. It is presented to the public at the Volkshaus, in Basel, during the Art Basel 2015 show, as the first annual Audemars Piguet Art Commission. Organized by the commission's first annual guest curator, Marc-Olivier Wahler, and developed with the help of international experts and researchers, the work brings to life an uncanny self-contained unvierse while raising scientific and philosophical questions with far-reaching implications.
Meier's blend of artistic vision and scientific inquiry manages to both look ahead to the future and hark back to earlier moments in history, when artists were at once humanists and technologists, thinkers and inventors.
A key element of Audemars Piguet's expanding activities in the sphere of contemporary art is the Audemars Piguet Art Commission, launched in 2014.
The Audemars Piguet Art Commission supports artists in the creation of works of exceptional complexity, precision, and experiential impact on an ongoing, annual basis. The newly commissioned art works, overseen by an annual guest curator and selected by an international advisory board, are presented to the public to coincide with Art Basel's editions in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. Audemars Piguet provides the necessary resources to the invited artists and secures access to advanced tools, craft expertise, or sophisticated technology to realize important new creative projects.
Following Marc-Olivier Wahler in the role of guest curator, Ruijun Shen will serve as Audemars Piguet Art Commission curator for 2016, bringing her experience and expertise in Asian art to the Commission's second project. She will guide the selection and development of a new major artwork by an emerging or midcareer artist, to be unveiled at the Art Basel shown in Hong Kong in 2016.
Over the years, Audemars Piguet has engaged artists in an ongoing series of explorations about its home and origins in the Swiss Jura mountains. The works, which have been presented in the Audemars Piguet lounge in Art Basel's VIP area, have ranged in form from photography and video to sculptural installations and sound art. Beyond seeking to convey impressions and inspirations gained during visits to Le Brasseus on the invitation of the manufacturer, in each project undertaken in collaboration with Audemars Piguet, artists have sought to give expressions to their impressions of the Vallée de Joux as well as extreme complexity, precision, and virtuosic mastery over materials in their varied creative practices.
Alexandre Joly's practice is tied to the creation of sounds. Producing site-specific installations and performances, he combines visual and phonic elements. For Art Basel 2015, in Hong Kong, Basel, and Miami, the artist creates a new sound piece, which operates interspersed with an eco-living wall. The artist recorded natural and industrial sounds in the Valée de Joux and in the Audemars Piguet manufacture and museum, such as the wind in the trees, the ice cracking, and the ticking of a watch movement.
British photographer Dan Holdsworth has been engaged in a lifelong quest to explore remote geographic locations and the weather.
Also known as Little Siberia for its extreme weather conditions, the Vallée de Joux, cradle of watchmaking and of Audemars Piguet, not only gave Holdsworth the freedom to witness the interaction between time and light, but also provided an opportunity to explore a different sense of time. Learn more
Theo Jansen works on the evolution and survival of the astonishing kinetic sculptures he has invented, which are known as Strandbeests (beach animals). They were a highlight of Audemars Piguet's activities during Art Basel Miami Beach 2014, where they astonished and delighted thousands of visitors.
Jansen’s explorations extend a centuries-long human quest to come to terms with the complexity of the universe through mastery of physical tools and materials. At the same time, they are a meditation on the fragility of human will in the face of the inexorable forces of nature. Learn more
For the artist duo known as Kolkoz, art is meant to be a tool to conquer new territories.
In collaboration with Audemars Piguet at Art Basel Miami Beach 2013, The artists built a Swiss Chalet in the Miami Marine Stadium. In the center of this “lake” was a structure that at first sight appeared to be roundly out of place in this context: a chalet composed not of wooden logs and a shingle roof in the traditional style, but of an inflatable structure. Audemars Piguet's first major project collaboration during Art Basel provided visitors with a witty allusion to the brand's Swiss origins, in a distinctive Miami setting.
The Chicago-based Austrian artist works predominantly with time-based media, light and sound, often on an architectural scale. For Art Basel 2014, Kurt Hentschläger shot an atmospheric film in the Vallée de Joux for Audemars Piguet. The film depicts the co-existence of nature and technology, exploring how each can inspire and affect the another. He offers a new perspective of the landscape that has played an influential role in shaping the story of Audemars Piguet.
Beyond its affiliation with Art Basel in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. Audemars Piguet has shared its affinities with the art world via long-term partnerships with prominent contemporary art fairs worldwide.
Further broadening its engagement with contemporary art internationally, Audemars Piguet has since 2012 served as a lead sponsor of ARCO Madrid.
The collaboration with the prominent international art fair inclues the "Audemars Piguet Prize," which is offered in recognition of a single exceptional art work at ARCO. Selected by an expert jury, the work is displayed in the Audemars Piguet VIP Lounge inside the show. Winning artists have included Juan Luis Moraza (2013), Guillermo Mora (2014) and Pablo Valbuena (2015). The manufacture’s savoir-faire is exhibited in the Audemars Piguet lounge area, in close proximity to art works, allowing visitors to explore the manifold connections between visual art and the refined craftsmanship of luxury watchmaking. Learn more
Over the past decade, Gallery Weekend Berlin has established itself as a prominent destination for collectors, curators and art expert from across Europe and around the world. Participating galleries present works by established artists as well as promising newcomers.