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Art Basel Released the Expo Report

  • Art Basel, Expo Report
  • Art Basel, Expo Report
June 22, 2015
Web journalist, coffee junkie and art fanatic. Cares about the environment, writes for Widewalls. Alias of Milica Jovic

Another edition of Art Basel is behind us and one of the biggest art fairs has released its annual expo report containing the highlights of the fair. The 45th edition of Art Basel was marked by the change in organization, unusually strong sales in the Unlimited sector and the presentation of Art Basel | Year 45 publication marking the 45th birthday of the fair. In case you missed the Art Basel 2015, one of the most important art fair for Modern and Contemporary artworks, that closed on Sunday, June 21, 2015, in Basel here’s a short recap of the event.

Art Basel, Expo Report
Carrie Mae Weems – Color Real and Imagined HR, from the Art Basel 2015 Selection

Art Basel 2015 Overview

This year’s Art Basel presented galleries from 33 countries that were exhibiting the work of over 4,000 artists. Fourteen galleries were presented in Basel for the very first time and they were coming from all parts of the globe including China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The quality of the artworks presented at the fair and the precise organization of the booths were widely praised by both the visitors and the galleries presented. Even the Art Basel veterans such as Sidney Felsen, the founder of Gemini G.E.L. LLC, from Los Angeles that have exhibited at the fair 42 times in the past, agreed that Art Basel 2015 was ‘the best one yet’. Art Basel 2015 had the biggest organisational shift of the last decade. The Hall 2 downstairs floor was reconfigured in order to connect the galleries presenting the works from 1900 to 1970 by bringing them closer to each other which created a stronger focus for their material that included the pieces of Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso.

Art Basel, Expo Report
Los Carpinteros – Celosía Poliédrica Flotante Uno (díptico), 2015, From the Art Basel 2015 Selection,  courtesy of Sean Kelly

Art Basel 2015 by Sectors

Unique platform for artworks that transcend the normal art fair stand, Unlimited, has presented 74 ambitious works in Hall 1. It was curated for the fourth year by Gianni Jetzer, and galleries such as Fergus McCaffrey, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery and Hauser & Wirth reported particularly strong sales in this sector. As always, Art Basel’s Statement venue offered visitors and collectors the opportunity to discover new and promising artists and galleries. This year, eight of the 16 galleries exhibiting were new to the show. The jury of international experts have awarded The Baloise Art Prize to the British artist Beatrice Gibson and French artist Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc that were exhibiting their works within this sector. The 2015 edition of Parcours consisted of series of 23 site-specific sculptures, interventions and performances by renowned international artists and emerging talents. Special edition of Parcours Night held on Saturday, June 20, kept the visitors of Art Basel 2015 up late with special one-off performances by Rosa Barba, Julien Bismuth and Erkka Nissinen. The special treat for the visitors was a live set by Haroon Mirza and London-based band Factory Floor that was followed by the live performance by Edwin van der Heide at the HeK (House of electronic Arts Basel). Art Basel Film program that featured films by the artists and about the artists consisted of 19 films and video works with various themes. The Expo report states that film program had a great turnout and additional projections were established due to the visitors’ great demand. Art Basel program of conversations and discussion forums named Conversations and Salon, had gathered over 2700 visitors at over 20 panels that were dealing with topics such as ‘The Caribbean is the Future of Art,’ ‘Collecting Africa’ and ‘Residencies, Communities: Support Structures for Artists’.

The Feature sector presented galleries with precise curatorial projects, showing both historical and contemporary works. This section was expanded by 25 percent in order to host galleries from 13 countries, with six of them exhibiting at Art Basel for the first time. Highlights of Feature venue, according to the Expo report, include a presentation by Luxembourg & Dayan (New York, London) of two lesser-known bodies of works by Michelangelo Pistoletto. An interesting project DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY by conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, German architects Nikolaus Hirsch&Michel Müller and Finish chef Antto Melasniemi was installed on Messeplatz in Basel. After Art Basel 2015 DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY installation that includes a herbal garden, kitchen, communal dining and meeting area, will join The Land project in Chiang Mai, where it will form the basis for the foundation’s first permanent structure. Art Basel’s 45th birthday was celebrated with the issue of the Art Basel | Year 45 book, that includes the comprehensive outlook at all three Art Basel fairs: in Basel, Miami and Hong Kong.

Art Basel, Expo Report
Sara Nirrus – Strange Magic, displayed at Unlimited sector, Art Basel In Basel 2015

Art Basel 2015 Expo Report Summary

With over 98 000 visitors and almost 300 galleries this year’s edition of Art Basel was one of the biggest and most interesting yet. Once again, the fair connected the richest collectors on the planet with the art’s most valuable peaces. Apart from the major collectors from all over the globe, representatives and groups from over 80 museums and institutions attended the Art Basel 2015 fair. The visitors had plenty to see, including stands by fourteen new galleries that made it pass the rigorous jury into Art Basel 2015. The gallery owners were pleased with this year’s edition naming Art Basel 2015 ‘the gold-standard fair’. For Glenn Scott Wright, the director of Victoria Miro, London this year’s fair ‘has been our best to date with everything spoken for in the first hour of opening.’ Looks like Art Basel 2016 will have big shoes to fill in order to succeed this years event.

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Featured images: Art Basel 2015 and Art Basel | Year 45 Publication All images courtesy of Art Basel Facebook Page unless otherwise credited