AO Preview – Basel, Switzerland: Art Basel Art Fair, June 18th-21st, 2015

June 15th, 2015

Outside Art Basel, via Art Basel
Outside Art Basel, via Art Basel

The doors are set to open at Messeplatz in Basel, Switzerland this week, for the 46th edition of the Art Basel art fair, the massive fair exhibition that has come to define the early summer months in Europe.  Bringing the massively international scope of the world’s elite galleries, this year’s Art Basel promises another strong outing. 


Zander Blom at Galerie Hans Mayer

As expected, the world’s top galleries will return to the sprawling floor plans of the exhibition center for another dizzyingly large exhibition, bringing world-class collections of work with them.  Skarstedt will be presenting a series of works from Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger and Richard Prince, among others, while Team Gallery will bring a selection of works by Cory Arcangel, Alex Bag, Andrew Gbur, Ryan McGinley, and Tabor Robak.  Gagosian will also present a strong group booth, featuring works by John Currin, Richard Prince and Georg Baselitz.  At Metro Pictures, works by Nina BeierOlaf Breuning, and a score of other artists should also prove a strong booth.

Kader Attia Untitled (Detail) (2014), via Lehmann Maupin
Kader Attia, Untitled (Detail) (2014), via Lehmann Maupin

The fair’s Parcours section will continue its exploration of the capital’s urban landscapes, bringing works by Nate LowmanAlicja Kwade and Jonathan Monk to contend with the history and architecture of Basel itself.  Also popular is Basel’s massive Unlimited section, where a number of large-scale projects, installations and sculptural works will take over one of the Messe Basel’s massive exhibition halls.  Early highlights include an installation of Robert Irwin’s Black, a series of overlapping scrims focusing pale grey squares into a zone of absolute blackness.  In a more audience-focused installation, David Shrigley is presenting Life Model, a figure drawing class in which visitors are welcome to draw a bizarrely proportioned animatronic figure.

Teresa Burga at Galerie Barbara Thumm

Gerhard Richter at Dominique Levy

The fair will also feature a new performance installation by Rikrit Tiravanija, architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller, and chef Antto Melasniemi, titled DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY, a site-based work where visitors are invited to enjoy a meal prepared in the space, with compensation determined by labor within the site, or contributions to the functioning of the work (washing dishes, etc.).

David Shrigley, Life Model, via Anton Kern
David Shrigley, Life Model, via Anton Kern

Art Basel ‘s satellite fair, Liste, also returns this year, bringing a group of smaller galleries and project spaces to offer a more grounded counterpoint to Art Basel’s blue-chip firepower.  This year, 47 Canal will take part, bringing a series of new works by Stewart Uoo and Anicka Yi.  Clearing Gallery will also be on site, presenting new works by Calvin Marcus.

Anicka Yi, Best Friend's Arm (2015), via 47 Canal
Anicka Yi, Best Friend’s Arm (2015), via 47 Canal

Other exhibitions will also be taking place throughout the city, with particular attention paid to Fondation Beyeler, where a major Paul Gauguin exhibition is underway, prominently featuring the work When Will You Marry? now the world’s most expensive work of art following its reported $300 million sale.  The touring Marlene Dumas retrospective, which has commanded attention and critical praise in Europe these past months, is also on view currently at the Fondation.

The events kick off this week, with the fair opening its doors on June 18th.


Constant at Borzo Gallery

Alicja Kwade at 303 Gallery

Wwi-Liu-via-Aye-GalleryWei Liu at Aye Gallery

Atul-Dodiya-via-Chemould-Prescott-RoadAtul Dodiva at Chemould Prescott Road

A.R.-Penck-via-Daniel-BlauA.R. Penck at Daniel Blau

Lesley-Vance-via-David-KordanskyLesley Vance at David Kordansky

Oscar-Murillo-via-David-ZwirnerOscar Murillo at David Zwirner

George-Grosz-Galerie-St.-EtienneGeorge Grosz at Galerie St. Etienne

Joan-Miro-Galerie-ThomasJoan Miro at Galerie Thomas

Michelangelo-Pistoletto-Galleria-ContinuaMichelangelo Pistoletto at Galleria Continua

Magnus-Plessen-Gerhardsen-GernerMagnus Plessen at Gerhardsen Gerner

Pail-McCarthy-Hauser-&-WirthPaul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth

Sarah-Lucas-Sadie-ColesSarah Lucas at Sadie Coles

Shinro-Ohtake-Take-NinagawaShinro Ohtake at Take Ninagawa

Caio-Reisewitz-Luciana-Brito-GaleriaCaio Reisewitz at Luciano Brito Galeria

Ai Weiwei at Galerie Urs Meile

Olafur Eliasson, Your solar nebula (2015), via Neugerriemschneider
Olafur Eliasson, Your solar nebula (2015), via Neugerriemschneider

Robert Irwin, Black (2008), via White Cube
Robert Irwin, Black (2008), via White Cube

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Art Basel [Exhibition Site]
Art Basel: sound and fury [Financial Times]
At Art Basel, a Powerful Jury Controls the Market [NYT]