Art 40 Basel Closeup

June 16th, 2009

Carsten Höller’s ‘Upside Down People’ in ‘Il Tempo del Postino’ via Artinfo

The 40th edition of Art Basel closed on Sunday, drawing over 60,000 visitors. General impressions of the fair, one of the most respected in the world, were that quality was high and sales surprisingly strong. Many dealers chose a single-artist or closely curated format, often bringing older, proven artists rather than emerging or trendy artists. After a hesitant spring auction season, the results from Basel seem to signal a leveling off of the market. While some of the satellite fairs received poor reviews, most accounts of Art Basel have been very positive. Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno’s ‘Il Tempo del Postino,’ a time-based exhibition featuring artists such as Matthew Barney, Carsten Höller, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Olafur Eliasson, was a particular highlight, selling out all three nights of the fair.  Few have declared the market downturn over, but the emphasis of quality over spectacle at Basel combined with brisk and steady sales has given a much needed confidence boost as galleries prepare for the summer down time.

Art 40 Basel: Extraordinary Quality; Surprisingly Strong Results [Artdaily]
Window Shoppers [Wall Street Journal]
A Thriftier Lot Comes to Basel This Year [NYTimes]
The art market: Buoyant Basel contrasts with Russian reluctance [FT]
Surprise Success – Art Basel dispels credit crunch blues [The Art Newspaper]
Billionaire Broad Says Art Market ‘Levels Out’ After Price Drop [Bloomberg]
Eli Broad’s Basel mission for LA Moca [The Art Newspaper]
Time is Money [Artforum]
The Postman Rings Twice [Artinfo]
Ruby Tuesday [Artforum]
Report from Basel: Art Unlimited [Art in America]
Scope Basel: Brash, but Humble [Artinfo]
Art Bargain-Hunters Trawl Basel as Hockney Fetches $1.8 Million
Jeff Koons: “If people say they don’t like my work, I feel like a failure.” [The Art Newspaper]
Previous AO coverage of Art Basel

Brad Pitt, movie star, cause a flurry of headlines after buying Neo Rauch’s painting ‘Etappe’ at Art Basel, via Daily Mail

Collector and philanthropist Eli Broad, who campaigned at Basel on behalf of the financially troubled Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, via Artinfo