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Press Release

Invitation Only: Monday, September 20

VIP Preview days: September 21 – 23
Public days: September 24 – 26

For his inaugural presentation at Art Basel Art Unlimited, Hall 1, Booth U40, Hugo McCloud will present his most monumental painting to date, a multi-panel work produced using single-use plastic bags. The Burden of Man: waiting to breathe, 2021, interweaves narratives, referencing recent international crises both obliquely and directly to address themes of migration, borders, hope, and loss; conditions internationally endemic during the Covid-19 crisis. In this work oxygen functions both as metaphor and a physical presence; a wall of oxygen tanks bisects the painting, referencing the harrowing tales of people dying for lack of oxygen globally during the pandemic and those who waited endlessly in line hoping to access some of the life-saving element; it also suggests other types of borders, particularly the one separating the United States and Mexico, where McCloud, who is American, currently lives and works. Epic in scale, the work offers the artist’s unique contemporary take on the rich historic traditions of history and mural painting.

For more information on Hugo McCloud, please visit

Image caption: Hugo McCloud, The Burden of Man: waiting to breathe, 2021, single use plastic mounted on panel, in four parts, overall: 90 x 282 inches (228.6 x 716.3 cm)

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