Art Basel turns 46 this year. There’s little new to say about the original mega-fair, which had 90 exhibitors at its very first 1970 edition, and 281 exhibitors just three years later. With a maturing satellite scene—Liste celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, Design Miami hits double digits, and Volta enters its pre-teens—we know what to expect from much of the week’s establishment lineup.
But as the art world grows, so too does the number of fairs and events straddling Basel’s bend in the Rhine, tributaries of the commercial art world’s best known franchise. 2015 sees newcomers Photo Basel and Rhy Art Fair join June’s fair flow, and art spaces citywide time their exhibiton cycles to the rhythms of the Art Basel tide.
Luckily, the fairs open early during Basel Week—some as early as Monday or Tuesday—so there’s time to see it all. We try to be helpful around ArtSlant, so to help you navigate the host city and its flood of fairs, we’ve rounded them up, adding in some major art institutions, which have extended their opening hours this week. You'll find all the dates and details you need to know here.
Basel on a budget? Be sure to check out our guide to free art events across town this week!
Galleria Continua | Kader Attia, Arab Spring, 2014. Unlimited in Basel 2015 | Unlimited © Art Basel
Art Basel | Basel
Messeplatz 10, CH-4005
Vernissage: Wednesday, June 17, 3–8pm (invite only)
Public hours: June 18-21, 11am–7pm
Day Ticket: CHF 48; after 5 pm: CHF 25; Two-Day Ticket: CHF 80; Permanent Ticket: CHF 110
The Godfather of art fairs. Works by 4,000 different artists from five continents representing every artistic medium there is; curatorial projects; talks; two bookstores; special installations and restaurants serving cuisine from nine different nations. You could spend the week here, but you shouldn't—there's too much else to see.
Hall 1 Süd, Messe Basel, Messeplatz
Opening: Monday, June 15, Collectors Preview,noon–5pm, Vernissage 5–8pm (invite only)
Public hours: June 16-17, 10am–8pm; June 18-19, 10am–7pm; June 20-21, 11am–7pm
CHF 25 General admission; CHF 65 Combination ticket with Art Basel
Fuelling the marketplace for collectible design, high-end commerical exhibitors present alongside more cultural concerns, including talks on issues in contemporary design, and a new project, Curio, inviting experts from different areas of the field (including Artsy, MANIERA, and Dzek) to curate cabinets of curiosity, placed throughout the fair.
LISTE Performance Project. Photo: Daniel Spehr
Burgweg 15, CH-4058
Opening: Monday, June 15, 5–9pm (open to the public)
Public hours: June 16-20, 1–9pm; June 21, 1–6pm
CHF/EUR 20 General Admission (single entry)
LISTE hasn't really be able to claim it's "young art" epithet for a while—the fair was once an edgy foil to Art Basel—but it remains a commercial platform for some younger galleries and artists who are probably still cutting their teeth. One of our reporters attended Monday's preview and wasn't charmed by LISTE, but it's been going for 20 years, so something must be going right.
Krištof Kintera, Nervous Trees, 2013, Electromechanical sculpture, 320 x 185 x 150 cm. Image courtesy Ron Mandos (Amsterdam)
Markthalle | Viaduktstrasse 10, CH-4051
Vernissage: Monday, June 15, 2–5pm (free and open to the public)
Public hours: June 15, 2–7pm; June 16-20, 10am–7pm
Basel Nacht: Thursday, June 18, 5–7pm
CHF 17 General Admission
Also dedicated to younger art, Volta is aimed at those looking for art that occupies a kind of middle ground between Basel and LISTE. Their defining feature is a focus on international solo presentations, giving a balance between artist and gallery.
Hyun-Chae Lim, The Place Paradise, 2014, Acrylic on Canvas, 162 × 130.3 cm. Presented by Sheoshin Gallery in Feature Korea
Uferstrasse 40, CH-4057
June 16–21Public hours: June 16, 4–8pm; June 17-21, 11am–8pm
CHF 30 General Admission
Scope's trump card is their Juxtapoz Presents series. The influential San Francisco-based visual culture magazine brings in galleries and artworks that are still widely excluded from other art fairs around the world. The magazine will also be publishing a special edition newspaper available at the event. Meanwhile, this year's Focus section is dedicated to Korean art trends.
Ackermannshof Basel | St. Johanns-Vorstadt 19-21, CH-4056
Public hours: June 17-19, 11am–10pm; June 20, 11am–6pmGeneral Admission: Day pass: CHF 12; Multi-day pass: CHF 18
Inside a complex of medieval building, budding Photo Basel does exactly what it says on the tin: it reasserts the imporance of an autonomous space for art photography while also highlighting the city of Basel as hub of world culture.
Anna Leonhardt, Untitled (1), 2015, oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm. Exhibited by Emmanuel Post, Berlin
St. Jakobshalle | Brüglingerstrasse 19-21
Opening: Wednesday, June 17, 10am–noon (invite only)
Public hours: June 17, noon–8pm; June 18-20, 10am–7pm; June 21, 10am–5pm
Paul Kusseneers gallery from Brussels thinks there a certain kind of art missing from the international market, so they set up this fair to address that. Emphasis is on the spatial organization of this fair: expect a more gallery-like experience, where art works have "room to breathe."
Joey Schmidt-Muller, Installation Frau Schweizer, Basel 2015. Pesented by Contemporary Fine Arts
Rhy Art Fair
Saalbau Rhypark am Rhein | Muelhauserstrasse 17, CH-4056
Opening: Wednesday, June 17, 5–10pm (CHF 30 entrance fee)
Public hours: June 18-21, 11am–8pm
CHF/EUR 15 General Admission; Free Admission for ticket holders of Art Basel, LISTE, Scope and Volta, and pass holders for Swiss museums
Complementing other Basel events, the new Rhy Art wants to bring artists and audiences closer together. It's an international affair, but with a strong representation of galleries from South Korea and Switzerland.
Selection Art Fair
Basel Art Center | Riehentorstrasse 31 / Corner Claragraben CH-4058
Public hours: June 15–20, noon–9pm; June 21, noon–7pm
CHF 7 General Admission
Selection (en route to LISTE, if you're headed there) presents a manageable eight galleries mainly from Poland and Germany, but they are also partnered with Beijing's Museum of Contemporary Art, who bring the relaxed atmosphere for experiencing art they promote in China.
I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel
Kaserne Basel | Klybeckstrasse 1b, CH-4057
Opening: Wednesday, June 17, 6–10pm
Public hours: June 17, 6–10pm; June 18-19, 4–10pm; June 20, 4–6pm
Hooray! Something that is not pictures on walls. I Never Read is Basel's art publishing fair gathering all kinds of printed matter from the international scene. You can also give your eyes a rest and listen in to their radio station, broadcast from the spot.
Museums and Art Spaces:
FUTURE PRESENT: Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, Contemporary Art from Classic Modernism to the Present Day, June 13, 2015–January 31, 2016
Ruchfeldstrasse 19, CH-4142
Opening hours during Art Basel: June 15-16, 10am– 8pm; June 17, 12– 8pm; June 18-20, 10am–8pm; June 21, 10am–6pm
CHF 18 General Admission
While you're in town, Schaulager's 5000-square meter space will be taken over by works from the Emanuel Hoffman Foundation (founded in 1933) that will also spill out into Basel.
Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Frank Stella: Paintings & Drawings, May 9–August 30, 2015
Martin Boyce, April 25–August 16, 2015
Cézanne to Richter: Masterpieces of the Kunstmuseum Basel, February 14, 2015–February 21, 2016
Joseph Beuys: Installationen, Aktionen & Vitrinen, December 19, 2014–January 31, 2016
St. Alban-Rheinweg 60, CH-4010
Opening hours during Art Basel: June 15, 10am–6pm; June 16, 10am–5pm; June 17, 10am–8pm (public reception for Martin Boyce starting at 6pm); June 18, 11am–6pm; June 19–21, 10am–6pm
Admission is free
Though the main building is currently closed for renovations (check back in April 2016), you could still visit Cézanne to Richter–Masterpieces from the Kunstmuseum Basel, works from the permanent collection, giving a Swiss perspective on the major developments of European art from the '70s onwards.
Vincent Fecteau, Untitled, 2015. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Buchholz, greengrassi, Matthew Marks Gallery
Anicka Yi: 7,070,430K of Digital Spit, June 12–August 16, 2015
Nevin Aladağ: Marsch, June 15–21, 2015
Vincent Fecteau: You Have Did the Right Thing When You Put That Skylight In, June 18–August 23, 2015 (Opening Wednesday, June 17, 7pm)
Steinenberg 7, CH-4051
Opening hours during Art Basel: June 15–21, 10am–8pm; Wednesday, June 17, 10am–10pm
CHF 12 General Admission
Two new shows are up at the Kunsthalle Basel: check out "techno-sensual" Anicka Yi's exhibition, with works made out of potato chips, deep-fried flowers, recalled powdered milk and... snail poo.
Marlene Dumas, The Teacher (Sub A), 1987, private collection, © Marlene Dumas, Photo: Peter Cox, © 2015, ProLitteris, Zürich
Marlene Dumas, May 31–September 6, 2014
Paul Gauguin, February 8–June 28, 2015
Alexander Calder Gallery III, September 27, 2014–September 6, 2015
Baselstrasse 101, CH-4125
Opening hours during Art Basel: June 13–21, 9am–7pm
CHF/EUR 28 General Admission
Listen to playlists by art world personalities compiled to accompany your viewing of Fondation Beyeler's current exhibition of Paul Gaugin, or else, you could see a Marlene Dumas retrospective or a presentation of Alexander Calder, arranged into an 'Alexander Calder Gallery' concentrating on the artist's lesser known early paintings.
Vitra Design Museum
Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, March 14–September 13, 2015
Charles-Eames-Str. 2, D-79576 Weil am Rhein, Germany
Opening hours: Daily, 10am–6pm
10 euro General Admission
Across the Swiss border into Germany you'll find the Vitra Design Museum. To round off Art Basel Salon talks about collecting contemporary African art, check out Making Africa, an expansive show celebrating fine arts, graphic design, illustration, film, photography, architecture, and urban planning from across the African continent.
Christopher Baker, HELLO WORLD! OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP LISTENING AND LOVE THE NOISE, 2008
House of Electronic Arts (HeK)
Poetics and Politics of Data, May 29–August 30, 2015
Freilager-Platz 9, CH–4142
Opening hours during Art Basel: June 16, noon–8pm; June 17, 10am–8pm; June 17-21, noon–8pmCHF 9 General Admission
HeK is the spot for digital age art, displaying work that responds to and encompasses new media technologies and electronic art forms. On show during Basel is a group exhibition, Poetics and Politics of Data, approaching the phenomena of Big Data.
—The ArtSlant Team
(Image at top: Galleria dello Scudo | Emilio Vedova | … in continuum, 1987/88. Unlimited in Basel 2015 © Art Basel)