Since the 70s artists, collectors, art dealers and galleries of contemporary art gathered in Basel, Switzerland for the biggest art fair – Art Basel. This annual event was seen as a driving force in supporting the role galleries play in nurturing artistic careers. Today, Art Basel is an international art fair held once a year in three host cities – Basel as the main show, Miami Beach (Florida) and Hong-Kong (China).
In June, as every year, the art scene and art lovers migrate from Venice Biennale to Basel, Switzerland to see what is new on the art market, who is trendy and which artists are setting the golden standard.
This year, the works of icons in the art world like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paula Rego, Germaine Richier and Alberto Giacometti were showcased.
The New York gallery Van de Weghe Fine Art had three major works by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) on offer. © Art Basel
Also on view at the fair were impressive sculptures of Alberto Giacometti. © Art Basel
At the main entrance of Art Basel was one of this year’s highlights – performance by the Bucharest-born artist and choreographer Alexandra Pirici titled ‘Aggregate’ (2017-2019).
“Conceived as a time capsule, in which fragments from nature, vernacular culture, art history, and everyday life are given new embodiments, the work was presented on Messeplatz in a purpose-built pavilion designed by Andrei Dinu, a frequent collaborator of Pirici’s.”
Another booth we loved is kurimanzutto’s booth where Danh Vō exhibited an installation “Jardín con Palomas al vuelo (2018)” The installation has over 1,000 pink candles hanging from the wall by thread wicks. The gallery kept a few lighted candles at all times for the fair’s duration. Vō initially this conceptual work in 2018, for installation at Mexico City’s Casa Luis Barragán.
He employed Oaxacan artisans to make the candles from beeswax and natural dye from the cochineal insect (the material, once scarce, was a symbol of power and wealth in prehispanic tradition).
Art Basel Feature
Like last year Art Basel’s “Feature” sector presented 24 ambitiously curated projects by both historical and contemporary artists. Some of the highlights and artists we loved were: Elke Silvia Krystufek, a focus on Cameron Rowland‘s ‘Rental Project’ at Essex Street, and Karl Haendel‘s hand-drawn works on paper at Sommer Contemporary Art.
© Art Basel
Art Basel Unlimited
At the fair’s booth we are usually constrained within a certain space, and the Unlimited sector is there to break the boundaries of space and offer artists and galleries the opportunity to showcase their monumental installations, sculptures, video projections, wall paintings etc. – in general everything that goes beyond the traditional art fair stand.
This year, renowned masters as well as emerging artists were featured with names such as: Larry Bell, Huma Bhabha, Andrea Bowers, Jonathas de Andrade, VALIE EXPORT, Alicia Framis, Abdulnasser Gharem, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Kapwani Kiwanga, Daniel Knorr, Jannis Kounellis, Lawrence Lek, Zoe Leonard, Sarah Lucas, Kerry James Marshall, Rivane Neuenschwander, Hélio Oiticica, Jacolby Satterwhite, Joan Semmel, Do Ho Suh, Fiona Tan, Franz West, and Pae White.
All images are Courtesy of Art Basel.
Many years in a row now, Art Basel has proved itself as a high-caliber fair that provides a stellar platform to showcase works from world-acclaimed artists. Unique for its diverse and ardent visitors, it not only opens and bridges new audience segments, but also presents fruitful opportunities for conversations, collegiality and collaborations within the global art community.