Major Art Patron
The 47th edition of the world’s most important and prestigious art fair, Art Basel 2016, displayed the work of 4,000 artists from all over the world with an estimated value of $3,4 billion represented by 287 galleries from 33 countries. The exhibition concerned on migration crisis, political turmoil, identity, environment and anxiety through concrete form of arts in seven sectors, which were Unlimited, Edition, Feature, Magazines, Statement, Parcour, Film and Gallery. On the opening day, the rain didn’t really discourage VVIP guests who patiently queued for the preview of Art Basel on the 13th and 14th of June. First to open on Monday (by invitation) was the Unlimited sector where New York based Gianni Jetzer, curated 88 massive installations, sculptures, videos and artworks. This was an absolute must see sector featuring the top artists which included Ai Weiwei, Tracey Emin, Anish Kapoor, Frank Stella, El Anatsui, James Turrell and Ding Yi.
Next was the Feature sector, which hosted 32 galleries featuring precisely curated projects of solo presentation by individual artists, juxtapositions of two artists and thematic exhibits. Among the eight newcomers, young gallery Waldburger Wouters featured the Roberta Breitmore Series by Lynn Hershman Leeson. This photography series was a result of 40 years of complex investigation on the question of gender, identity politics and selfhood through the creation of a fictional persona, alter ego Roberta Breitmore. Although fictional, the actual existence of Roberta Breitmore could be proven through physical evidence like her driving license, credit card or letters from her psychiatrist.
Furthermore, 18 new solo projects by young emerging artists were featured at the Statements sector. Each year two outstanding artists in this sector are awarded the Baloise Art Prize. This year the prizes were awarded to Canadian artist Sara Cwyrnar and American Mary Reid Kelley. In addition to the CHF 30.000, the prize includes an acquisition of a group of works by the award winners by Baloise which will be donated to Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a.m and the MUDAM, Luxembourg.
Art Basel is a must visit event for serious collectors of contemporary art, where art is celebrated in a special
way through various disciplines.
At the Collectors Lounge, global associate partner of Art Basel, Audemars Piquet featured the photography series of Vallée de Joux by Dan Holdsworth. On the other side of the lounge, Davidoff, another global associate partner of the fair showcased their limited edition cigars in boxes with images captured from the video work of Mathilde Rosier, who participated as a Davidoff Art Initiative Artist-in Residence at the Altos De Chavon School of Art and Design in the Dominican Republic in 2015.
According to Tefaf Art Market Report, art fairs accounted for about 40% of gallery sales by value. Some of the 220 galleries were making six to seven digits sales during Art Basel. To name a few were the sale of Brice Marden's First Window Painting (1981), a sculpture with painted and chromium plated steel sold by New York's Mnuchin Gallery, and works of Robert Indiana, Yves Klein, Kurt Schwitters and Joan Miro sold by Gmurzynska gallery. And for the highlight, a large work of Gerhard Richter was sold at eight digits figure. Even after five full days of going through the 4,000 artworks, it was not easy to select the main feature. One thing is sure, the quality was sublime and it was visually satisfying.
Clockwise (from above): The Collector’s House by hans op de beeck; Femme aux mains croisees II by picasso; an artwork by allan Mccollum presented bygalerie thomas schulte.