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Art Basel #3: The "Olympics" of the Art World, Impressions of Basel
by ArtSlant Team


Diversity rules at 45th edition of art market’s Olympics

Edo Dijksterhuis reports on trends from Art Basel including the best of the Galleries, Feature, Statement, and Unlimited sectors

Art fair participants complain, what’s new? But instead of the usual lamentations about hesitant collectors keeping their pocket books closed, this year dealers’ biggest worry was overly aggressive buyers. They just waltzed into a booth, pointed out a work and did not take no for an answer, even if the work had already been sold. This marks the cautious upswing in the art market which has been getting back up on its feet after being hit by the global financial crisis.

Although Art Basel—the self-proclaimed art market’s Olympic Games—typically attracts the type of high net worth individuals who have not been heavily and lastingly affected by the recession, a general sense of relief prevails at the 45th edition. Quite a few galleries had already sold out on Monday and Tuesday, the first two days of the preview. The renewed optimism shines through in the supply. Of course, for the hedge fund manager or industrialist seeking a safe investment there is still a lot to choose from. As usual, blue chip artists with proven track records in the secondary market can be found on the ground floor of Hall 1. These are works with six figure price tags at least: There’s a Warhol at Gagosian, an Yves Klein/Jean Tinguely sculpture at Hauser & Wirth, Schwitters collages at Nahmad, and lots of Picassos in the dimly lit booth of Landau.

On the traditionally more adventurous second floor the offerings are extremely diverse. Art in every thinkable medium is on sale, video art being the exception. Unlike other years, there is not one or a few specific artists flooding the fair, although there are a couple of obvious stars...

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LAX -----> BASEL

Impressions of the city with A. Moret

The utterance of “Basel” rolls off the tongue like a whisper. No matter the inflection or language in which it’s spoken, the name of the small city in Switzerland is synonymous with one of the most influential art fairs of the calendar year. For a single week in the middle of June nearly all hotels are booked. The quaint and picturesque city in Northern Switzerland that straddles France and Germany, measuring a mere 9.2 square miles, becomes an international hub where hundreds of galleries from over 30 continents make their annual pilgrimage. Basel—the mecca, the Holy Grail, with a population of approximately 165,000 inhabitants welcomes 86,000 and counting visitors from all corners of the globe in just six days.

Upon landing in the terminal the first piece of signage one encounters is a massive blue and gold poster boasting only two words: “Art Basel.” It is the first indication that you have truly arrived...

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...Check out our full Basel Art Week Guide here...


Performing Bodies in Basel: 14 Rooms of Living Art

Keren Goldberg on this year's much anticipated performance component to Art Basel.


Art Basel on the Side

Teodora Kotseva tours the satellites and provides your fair week guide.

Parcours: Taking Art Basel to the Streets

Federico Florian talks Parcours, Art Basel's site-specific sector that takes the city as its backdrop.


A Young Fair with a Lot of Experience

Olga Stefan interviews LISTE Director Peter Bläuer

Anna Betbeze, Installation view at Art Basel in Basel 2014, Kate Werble Gallery;  Photo: Robert Glowacki; Courtesy of the artist and Kate Werble Gallery, New York; At Art Basel, Statements

Lucas BlalockBlue Bottles, 2013; Courtesy of the artist and Ramiken Crucible, New York; At Art Basel, Statements

Sam Falls, Installation view at Art Basel in Basel 2014 | Unlimited; Courtesy of Sam Falls and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich; Photo: MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG

Otobong Nkanga, Diaspore, 2014, Presented at 14 Rooms in Basel by Fondation Beyeler, Art Basel, Theater Basel in 2014; Photo: MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG

Ermias Kifleyesus, Corners with Life, 2014, mixed media on paper, 32 x 46 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels; At The Solo Project

Faig Ahmed, Equalizer, 2014, Rugs and carpets; Courtesy of AB Gallery, Lucerne; At Scope




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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 6/23/14

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