Art Basel’s 43rd edition commenced today with the first of two VIP Preview days. The VIP Vernissage, however, drew a private audience yesterday evening, where the Art Unlimited and Art Standard programs were unveiled, revealing a collection of artwork impressive in both size and scope. Today was also the preview and opening receptions for Basel’s companion fairs, like LISTE 17 and Design Miami/Basel. Fair and section specific photosets for collective Basel happenings will be posted throughout the upcoming days.
Art Observed was onsite for the Main Fair Preview along with many other guests and invitees hoping to get a early perspective on what Basel will soon publicly offer. Among the more widely noted appearances were New York collector Alberto Mugrabi, British artist Tracey Emin, and US hedge fund principal Steve Cohen as well as real New York estate developer Jerry Speyer.
Lehmann Maupin displays Teresita Fernandez
Gallerist Thaddaeus Ropac at the preview
Juan Munoz‘ “Piggyback with Knife” (2001)
Thomas Schutte‘s “Berengo Heads” (2011) from Donald Young Gallery
Gillian Wearing‘s “Me at Three Years Old” (2005)
303 Gallery exhibits “Blackeyes” (2011) by Eva Rothschild
Erwin Wurm‘s “Psychos” (2010) from Lehmann Maupin
Damien Hirst at White Cube’s stand
Los Angeles based gallery, Blum & Poe‘s space
An Anish Kapoor work from Lisson Gallery
A Doug Aitken work
Philippe Parreno‘s “No More Reality” (1933) at the Air de Paris booth
Massimo De Carlo‘s booth
Rob Pruitt‘s red “Kill Me” (2012) with “Dinosaur Dropping, Styrofoam varnished in cosmi-chrome” (2012) in the foreground, from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
Alex Katz series, also at Gavin Brown’s booth
Iwan Wirth from Hauser & Wirth
Marlborough Gallery’s exhibition spot, featuring Mark Rothko‘s heated piece, estimated to sell for around $78 million
Gallerist Paula Cooper, right
Heimo Zobernig‘s untitled installation from Galerie Chantal Crousel
Only 1 1/2 days in, collectors are already consuming works from the $2 billion worth on display. Among the sales so far made are a Philip Guston canvas for $6 million and a Louise Bourgeois sculpture “Arched Figure” for $2 million from Hauser & Wirth. According to GalleristNY, the gallery also sold Paul McCarthy’s wooden “White Snow and Prince on Horse (working title)” for $1.8 million.
Bloomberg reports Per Skarstedt sold Albert Oehlen’s 1984 self-portrait for $1.5-2 million. Rosemarie Trockel’s 1987 knitted painting “Made in Western Germany” was bought for $1 million.
For the first time, the VIP Preview of Basel “was extended to two days to meet growing demand from both established collectors and new buyers looking to art as an alternative to the turbulent financial markets” (Bloomberg).
Chantal Crousel at her booth
Tate Modern Director, Chris Dercon
Untitled work by Anish Kapoor from Gladstone Gallery
Robert Indiana‘s “One Through Zero (The ten numbers)” from Waddington Custom Galleries
Helly Nahmad booth
Hans Bellmer‘s “La demie poupée” (1972), also featured by Galerie 1900-2000
More of the Michael Werner booth
A Takashi Murakami from Gagosian Gallery
Left, Wim Delvoye‘s “Deux Bacchantes Counterclockwise (scale model 2:3)” (2011)
Right, Farhad Moshiri‘s “Natural” (2012), from Galerie Perrotin
Ai Weiwei‘s “Marble Toy Car” (2010) from Lisson Gallery
The artistic pairing, Eva and Adele
Amid controversy, one of the works that will not be joining the fair this year is UK artist David Shrigley’s image of the late terrorist Osama bin Laden . The piece was pulled from the fair. An image of the original tweet can be found here.
Art Basel’s main fair features 300 gallery headliners from across the globe, represented locally at numerous booths and venues throughout the city. The fair officially starts this Thursday, June 14 and continues through June 17. Art Observed will remain onsite with photo updates throughout Basel’s duration.
Exhibition Site [Art Basel]
Art Basel 2012: the future’s orange [The Telegraph]
Art Unlimited / VIP Opening [VernissageTV]
See the Art-World VIPs and the Monster-Sized Sculptures of Basel’s Art Unlimited Kick-Off Event [Artinfo]
Art Basel Report: Dealers Trot Out Trophies and Collectors Splurge in the Opening Hours of the Fair [Artinfo]
Gagosian Gallery to present a single sculpture by Franz West at Art Basel’s Art Unlimited [Art Daily]
Hedge Funder Cohen, Basel VIPs Eye $78 Million Rothko [Bloomberg]