Art Basel’s – Highlights
Art Basel’s 45th edition held in Basel closed on Sunday, June 22, 2014, with galleries reporting exceptionally strong sales throughout the week and across all levels of the market.
Art Basel presented 285 galleries from 34 countries across the six sectors of the show, exhibiting the work of over 4,000 artists. A total of 24 galleries showed in Basel for the first time, coming from Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
A record crowd of 92,000 attended its six day show. Alongside major private collectors from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, representatives and groups from over 70 museums from across the world attended the show, including: The Art Institute Chicago; Centre Pompidou Paris & Metz; Cincinnati Art Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; Groeninge Museum, Bruges; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Louvre, Paris; Fondazione MAXXI, Rome; Museo de Arte de Lima; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; The New Museum, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate, London; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yuz Museum, Shanghai.
Basel redefined the visitors’ experience this year with a shift in urbanism whereby only artworks displayed in Hall 1 were the 78 artworks making up the Unlimited sector, as Statements returned to Hall 2 after nine years in Hall 1, giving the younger generation of artists and galleries a more prominent placement. Edition’s sector of the fair moved downstairs, creating a uniform layout on both floors. For the first time ever, part of the show was opened for free to the non-ticketed public by moving the auditorium and Magazine sector within Hall 1.
‘This new set-up pleased presenters like Laura Bartlett, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London stating, “We’ve found the changes to Statements to be a huge improvement: the smaller scale of it has made it more focused and its location in the context of Hall 2 and the Galleries sector has been really beneficial.”
Others exhibitors also expressed enthusiasm for the event, with Sadie Coles, Sadie Coles HQ, London remarking that, ‘Aside from the special addition of the richly rewarding ’14 Rooms’, improved architecture and layout added to the feeling of an upgrade in the 2014 edition of Art Basel. The spacious design of the fair delivers a feeling of calm and seriousness. We also witnessed the continuation of an important broadening of the market in geographical terms.’
It gets better though. Basel’s Unlimited which allows exhibiting galleries a unique opportunity to present works that transcend the normal art fair stand, Unlimited, curated for the third year by Gianni Jetzer, saw 78 ambitious works presented in Hall 1. Highlights included works by established names such as Carl Andre, Anthony Caro, Hanne Darboven, Tacita Dean, Lee Ufan, Ana Mendieta, Bruce Nauman and Michelangelo Pistoletto, alongside pieces from emerging artists including Alice Channer, Sam Falls, Gavin Kenyon, Nick Mauss and Mikhael Subotzky.
Statements is Art Basel’s sector for emerging galleries that gives the younger generation of artists and galleries a more prominent placement within the show. The solo artist presentations in Statements offered visitors and collectors an opportunity to discover the work of emerging artists from 14 galleries, nine of which were exhibiting at Art Basel for the first time. The Baloise Art Prize was this year awarded to Swedish artist John Skoog with Pilar Corrias. The artist received CHF 30,000 while a group of works by the award winner were acquired by Baloise and donated to the MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a.M. and the MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna.
Galleries exhibiting in the Feature sector presented precise curatorial projects, showing both historical and contemporary work. Highlights included a juxtapositioning of the late Henri Chopin with the British artist Michael Dean by Supportico Lopez, works from the ‘Time Memory’ (2012) series by Shinro Ohtake, one of the stars of the last Biennial in Venice, by Take Ninagawa, and Beryl Korot’s landmark multi-channel installation ‘Dachau’ (1974), currently on display at Tate Modern and timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the work at Bitforms Gallery. artbasel.com/basel/feature
2014 Parcours was curated for the second time by Florence Derieux, Director of FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, and was sited in various locations around the Rheingasse in Kleinbasel. Parcours featured a total of 15 site-specific art works by internationally recognized artists including Chris Burden, Eva Rothschild, Zeng Fanzhi and Ryan Gander. A highlight of the week was Parcours Night on Wednesday, June 18, when the project venues stayed open late, accompanied by a special one-off performance of Guido van der Werve’s 45 minute requiem, ‘home, a requiem’ (2011- 2012) at Clara Kirche and a screening of Mario García Torres’s lyrical essay film ‘The Schlieren Plot’ at Kino Cinema. Between Wednesday and Sunday over 4,500 people visited Parcours.
Art Basel Film held at Stadtkino Basel featured over 30 film and video works by and about artists. Highlights included the world premiere of ‘Sequenza’ by Manon de Boer and George van Dam, Aïda Ruilova’s new film ‘Head and Hands: My Black Angel’, a Short Film Program by Los Angeles filmmaker Pat O’Neill, a special screening curated by Vdrome as well as films by artists Maria Anwander, Harun Farocki, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Jan Peter Hammer, David Shrigley and Jane and Louise Wilson. Marc Glöde curated Film for the seventh and final time. As of next year, lecturer and film curator Maxa Zoller will curate Film in Basel, taking over from Marc Glöde.
Art Basel’s Conversations series featured reknowned speakers such as AA Bronson, RoseLee Goldberg, Isabel Lewis, Otobong Nkanga, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Beatrix Ruf, Alya Sebti, Pascale Marthine Tayou, and Wolfgang Tillmans. Conversations was presented in partnership with Absolut. High-quality videos of all Conversations are available shortly after the show at artbasel.com artbasel.com/basel/conversations
A partnership between Fondation Beyeler, Art Basel and Theater Basel, ‘14 Rooms’ was a major live-art exhibition staged in Basel from June 14 to 22, 2014 and curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
This year PanteraPantera from Basel created an architectural installation on Messeplatz. Inspired by ‘Zerzura’ – a mystical oasis and white town in the southern Sahara – the installation was designed to provide the public with a resting place, shelter and water for both drinking and cleansing. The installation on Messeplatz’s fountain featured white netting draped over poles to create a tent-like structure with eight organically shaped small water holes and four large seating platforms. Three of the pools were additionally equipped with drinking fountains.
Rounding things up, Design Miami/Basel, the global forum for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating design was once again held within the exhibition hall designed by Herzog & de Meuron on Messeplatz.
Special thanks to Myrta Holinger for images and Dorethee Dines for content.