Art Basel in Basel is, without any doubt, one of the most important art fairs in the world. This art fair is also an event that every art collector has to have in mind – some of the most renowned galleries, curators, artists, dealers and collectors are attending. During these four days of Art Basel, the city of Basel becomes a global center of contemporary art. And this year nothing has changed – Art Basel in Basel 2015 will gather 284 leading international galleries, from 33 countries, that will present works ranging from the Modern period of the early 20th century to the most contemporary artists of today. This is 46th edition of Art Basel taking place in Basel, Switzerland (apart from Basel, Art Basel also takes place at Hong Kong and Miami – click the links to read our previews of the latest editions of these art fairs). Art Basel in Basel 2015 has an absolutely amazing program. The number of participating galleries and artists is huge, while the list of art market actors that will be present in Basel is simply astonishing.
The rich program of Art Basel in Basel 2015 is divided into eight sectors. The most important one is the Galleries – the main sector of the fair. This sector will feature 223 galleries presenting the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography, video and editioned works. The Feature sector presents galleries with precise curatorial projects, showing both historical and contemporary works. This year's edition will feature 30 galleries from 13 countries. The Statements sector offers to visitors and collectors the opportunity to discover the work of emerging artists and young galleries. This year, eight of the 16 galleries exhibiting within Statements will be new to the show. Unlimited is Art Basel's unique platform for projects that transcend the limitations of a traditional art-fair stand. It will be curated for the fourth year by Gianni Jetzer. Parcours, a series of site-specific sculptures, interventions and performances by renowned international artists and emerging talents, will be curated by Florence Derieux. Art Basel's Film program, which features films by and about artists, will be curated for the first time by Cairo-based film curator and art lecturer Maxa Zoller. Editions sector features 15 galleries from 8 different countries, including Europe, Asia, US, that will be showcasing the results of their collaboration with renowned artists. Finally, for this year’s edition, 25 single magazine booths and one collective magazine booth will display a total of 94 individual magazines from 20 different countries – all within the Magazines sector.
With so many galleries participating at Art Basel in Basel 2015 art fair, it is quite difficult to stress out any highlights. Let us just take a look at some galleries that will participate in the Galleries section. Among 233 galleries participating in this sector are: David Zwirner, White Cube, Pace, David Kordansky Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Gagosian Gallery, Acquavella Galleries, and dozens others. Highlights of Feature include a presentation by Luxembourg & Dayan (New York, London) of two lesser-known bodies of works by Michelangelo Pistoletto, La Gabbia and Mobili Capovolti, which are critical within the development of the artist’s oeuvre and significant given the political and historical context in which they were created. James Cohan Gallery (New York, Shanghai) will show a selection of iconic works by John Cage, a leading figure of the post-war Avant Garde, including his very first visual art project, Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, as well as later watercolors and smoke drawings. Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois (Paris) will show a series of important art historical pieces from Nouveau Réalisme and the French Avant Gardes of the 1960s, including works by François Dufrêne, Daniel Spoerri, Jacques Villeglé, Jean Tinguely, Martial Raysse, Alain Jacquet, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein and Arman. Salon 94 (New York) will present an installation of David Hammons’ rarely seen dung sculptures, alongside ‘Body Prints’ from the late 1970s – direct imprints of the artist’s body made on paper with grease then powdered with pigment.
This year, eight of the 16 galleries exhibiting within Statements section will be new to the show. Statements will include a presentation by Laura Bartlett Gallery (London) of a major new two-part film by British artist Beatrice Gibson. Société (Berlin) will show an installation by the New York-based artist Bunny Rogers, a series of objects relating to the idea of mourning the death of a fictional character, and homage to Michael Scofield from the TV series Prison Break. Many other amazing artists participate at Statements section. Unlimited will showcase a strong selection of works by renowned international artists including Ai Weiwei, Kenneth Anger, John M. Armleder, Ed Atkins, Kader Attia, Julius von Bismarck, Martin Boyce, Martin Creed, Olafur Eliasson, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dan Flavin, Gilbert & George, John Gerrard, Shilpa Gupta, Jeppe Hein, Pierre Huyghe, Robert Irwin, Jannis Kounellis, Ryan McGinley, Bruce Nauman, Roman Ondák, Pedro Reyes, David Shrigley, Gary Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Sturtevant and Zhang Enli.
The Parcours sector will take place in the historical center of Basel. 23 site-specific artworks by internationally renowned as well as emerging artists will be featured, the biggest selection to date, including works by Alexandra Bachzetsis, Davide Balula, Adriano Costa, Alicia Framis, Piero Golia, Tobias Kaspar, Alicja Kwade, Nate Lowman, Michaela Meise, Jonathan Monk, Vik Muniz, Ciprian Mureşan, Peter Regli, David Renggli, Ugo Rondinone, Yves Scherer, Lara Schnitger, Alyson Shotz, Daniel Silver, Philippe Thom as, Blair Thurman and Francisco Tropa.
The program will present the long-awaited European premier of Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, an insight into the life of Peggy Guggenheim by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, selected for the program by film connoisseur This Brunner. In addition, Art Basel art fair will collaborate for the first time with the Festival del film Locarno on a special screening. The Film program will also include works by Julieta Aranda, Katie Armstrong, Will Benedict & David Leonard, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Kimsooja, Oliver Laric, Karolin Meunier, Laure Prouvost, Michael Snow, Mounira Al Solh, Agnès Varda and Kan Xuan. Art Basel’s Film sector will open with the screening of Takashi Murakami’s debut feature film Jellyfish Eyes. When it comes to awards, Art Basel and BMW announced Samson Young as the first BMW Art Journey winner. The BMW Art Journey will allow Young to embark on a creative journey across five continents. Young will undertake a worldwide tour of iconic bells, documenting them and creating works of visual art and music composition in response to them. During Art Basel in Basel 2015 art fair, special talks will be organized. Amazing speakers are announced (curators, art experts), while for the audience, the most interesting will be the morning Conversations series, offering a platform for discussions that allows audiences access to an insider’s point of view.
Tickets to Art Basel in Basel 2015 can be purchased at the show venue, online or at Basel Tourismus Infopavillions. Permanent ticket costs CHF 110. Admission is free for children up to 16, when accompanied by a parent. Guided tours by gcc gmbh (Gerber Culture Consulting) are available Thursday through Sunday during show hours. Private views will be held on June 16th and June 17th (by invitation only), while the art fair will be open for public from June 18th until June 21st. For additional information, you can visit Art Basel in Basel 2015 official website, by clicking here.
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Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille - Landscape and Purple and Yellow, 2014. Almine Rech Gallery
Oskar Kokoschka - Elza Temary, 1926-27 (detail). Galerie Michael Haas
Fabrice Hyber.Galerie Nathalie Obadia
Image in slider: George Grosz - Wine Bar, 1925 (detail). Galerie St. Etienne
All Images courtesy of Art Basel in Basel 2015.