Kunsthaus Baselland External Project 2016

7th March – 31st December 2016, extended till 12thMarch 2017

Events: See Events for the event and education programme


Anstelle von «Gelb» muss es richtig heissen «Schwarz»
(Instead of ‘yellow’ it should really be called ‘black’)

For a long time, Matthias Huber has engaged with questions of how images are sourced, as well as the collection and ordering of images or image archives. His collections – mostly found objects in paper form – often end up, newly arranged, in volumes which he publishes, among other outlets. But his interest in collections is also reflected in his painting. For him, painting is the arrangement of a multi-layered archive of images, forms and colours that he develops carefully over time.

For the Kunsthaus Baselland’s annual exterior project 2016 Matthias Huber has, first of all, designed the front of the current annual programme flier. On the 6th March 2016 we now reveal the Kunsthaus’ large exterior banner which covers the front façade of the building and has a significant impact on the view from the main road, St. Jakob-Strasse. This large-dimension work (8 x 6 metres) will function as an intriguing eye-catcher over the course of the year. Previous artists for the Kunsthaus Baselland’s annual project have been Bianca Pedrina (Cloud Atlas, 2014) and Kilian Rüthemann (Run, 2015).


Matthias Huber on his work

‘Anstelle von «Gelb» muss es richtig heissen «Schwarz»’ (Instead of ‘yellow’ it should really be called ‘black’) is a direct quote of an error I found in an art publication. I have been collecting these errata from books and magazines for several years now. The phrase caught my attention for several reasons. It refers to a grotesque colour error in a quite matter of fact manner, and at the same time it seems to have a peculiar, clunky poetry. It unconsciously niggles at the popular, emblematic idea of black and white, in so far as the customary ‘white’ is replaced, at will, by ‘yellow’. Then the word order is such that the verb is placed before the noun in order to avoid any possible mistake. […]

I find it very interesting that the phrase can be read in two very different ways, particularly in the context of the Kunsthaus banner project. Firstly, what it is, i.e. the rectification of an error made in a text, which the ‘heissen’ (called) refers to. Yet because mixing up these two colours seems scarcely possible, it could also be an exaggeratedly self-confidently proclaimed suggestion for a renaming. The slogan would be “’Yellow’ will now be called ‘black’!” It is an impractical proposal to change the way we have learned for centuries to identify colours, or maybe – think of it – the long overdue correction of a mistake made in past times. […]

The Kunsthaus Baselland banner is an exception in the neighbourhood, enjoying the privilege of not having to use a highly valuable advertising space for an explicitly commercial purpose. This was an important starting point in the approach to the commission and work on the banner. I understand ‹Anstelle von «Gelb» muss es richtig heissen «Schwarz»› as a self-evident, matter of fact contribution from art to the surroundings. The project offers a piece of information that cannot be applied in everyday life. The phrase did not end up in this location for any practical or economic reason. I see its role – if it has one – in rebuffing the search for its purpose.


Short Biography

Matthias Huber (b. 1980, Bottmingen, lives in Basel). Foundation Course at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel. Studied Visual Communication at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Bern. Works as a book and poster designer. Subsequent Masters in Art at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel.

2015: Swiss Art Awards, Basel; Nimm’s mal easy, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel; Hochparterre, Kunstmuseum Olten; New! New Too!, Regionale 16, Kunstraum Riehen; 2014: All I ever see is matchstick men and you, Kunsthalle Bern; Formsache, Kunstmuseum Thun; Painting causes Paintings, Schwarzwaldallee, Basel; Union, Union Pacific Gallery, London (UK); Werkbeiträge Kanton Basel-Stadt, Kunsthalle Basel; 2013: Out of the Blue, Kaus Australis, Rotterdam (NL); Swiss Art Awards, Basel; Plattform 13, EWZ Selnau, Zürich; Impression National, Kunsthaus Grenchen; 2012: Under Construction, Regionale 13, Kunstraum Riehen; Master of Fine Arts diploma exhibition, Kunsthalle Basel; 12 noon, HKB Master of Fine Arts, Centre PasquArt, Biel (Basel MA invited guest)


Matthias Huber, weiss, rot, 2016.

Matthias Huber
Jahresausenprojekt Kunsthaus Baselland 2016

Matthias Huber, Jahresaussenprojekt 2016.