The 42nd edition of Art Basel
closed on Sunday, June 19, 2011. This year, the annual reunion of the international artworld attracted more than 65,000 artists, collectors, curators, and art lovers from around the globe, a new record for attendance. The participating galleries, art lovers, and art journalists were unanimous in pronouncing this a superb year for the show in terms of quality. Collectors from all over the globe rewarded the excellent material and booth presentations with strong sales throughout the week across all levels of the market.
A great many artists attended the event, among them John Baldessari, Pierre Bismuth, Daniel Buren, Maurizio Cattelan, Janet Cardiff, Jimmie Durham, Liam Gillick, Joan Jonas, Vera Lutter, Goshka Macuga, Sarah Morris, Mai-Thu Perret, Tobias Rehberger, Allen Ruppersberg, Anri Sala, Thomas Schütte, Tino Sehgal, Yinka Shonibare and Cathy Wilkes. And over 50 museum groups, representing almost all the worlds major museums visited Art 42 Basel, as did major private collectors from North and South America, all of Europe and every emerging market of the artworld.
At Art 42 Basel, more than 300 galleries from 35 countries exhibited works by over 2,500 artists. Many stands featured thematic exhibitions and one-person shows, and many galleries presented large installations and sculptures. Paintings, works on paper, and photography continued to be strongly represented. The overwhelming majority of exhibitors reported excellent results and made valuable new contacts for the future of their program.
Discussing their experience at Art 42 Basel, many gallerists offered positive reports, such as these:
Lucy Mitchell-Innes, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
'This continues to be by far the best international fair in the world. I found the quality to be stronger this year. Galleries really seemed to be trying to make thoughtful presentations of their program and aesthetics. The attendance for this year's show seems much broader, and we have experienced sales to buyers from all over the globe.'
Iwan Wirth, Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, London, New York
'This year has been exceptional, with a tremendous response to the works on show, especially Paul McCarthy, leading up to our major show in both the London and New York galleries this November. The buying has been intelligent, vibrant and inspired. This may well be our best Art Basel ever.'
David Zwirner, Gallery David Zwirner, New York
'Collector confidence was definitely back this year, and there was a lot of positive energy all around. In addition to seeing our dedicated clients from Europe, we were excited to see that a number of the new collectors we met during recent travels to Asia also made their way to Basel. And we were especially grateful that our presentations at Art Unlimited for Jason Rhoades and Fred Sandback were so enthusiastically received.'
Alex Logsdail, Lisson Gallery. London
'The fair this year has been a great success in terms of both volume of sales and the diversity of artists that we have sold. By the end of the first day there were only five works left unsold on the stand. People seem to have enormous confidence in the future of both established and emerging artists, which is highly encouraging. Over all, another great year in Basel.'
Friedrich Petzel, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York
'Art 42 Basel has again been proven to our most successful fair. This year, more contacts and sales were made to newer collections and institutions. Art Basel is constantly improving, as the audience is changing.'
Ciléne Andréhn, Andréhn-Sciptjenko, Stockholm
'The opening day was very intense. The solo show of Matts Leiderstams works, well-known by many but new to others, has received extremely positive feedback from collectors and curators alike resulting in sales to Europe, Asia and the US.'
Nils Staerk, Staerk Gallery, Copenhagen
'We had an excellent opening, with sales to both public and private collectors. The piece 'I Copy Therefore I Am' by Superflex was a huge magnet to the booth, and two out of three editions sold to private collectors, in Europe and Latin America.'
Alison Jacques, Alison Jacques Gallery, London
'Our solo presentation of Lygia Clark has been an unqualified success. Art Basel is the perfect context to show and promote this work. It has been extremely gratifying to see top level collectors and, importantly, key international curators and museum directors responding so enthusiastically to the work.'
Ola Gustafsson, Elastic Gallery, Stockholm
'Taking the step from Liste and selling out the booth in the first hour of the preview then recieving positive feedback from the most prominent museums, collectors and curators is what Art Basel can deliver like no other fair.'
Jörg Maass, Kunsthandel Maass, Berlin
'We are thrilled about the show and recorded a strong demand for works by Otto Dix, George Grosz, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Lyonel Feininger from Europe and the United States. If the quality is right, the exchange rate doesn't matter.'
Art Unlimited spotlighted 62 ambitious works and once again drew a huge audience. Many of the exhibited pieces were created especially for Art 42 Basel. Highlights included major works by legendary artists Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Daniel Buren, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dan Flavin, Mona Hatoum, Anish Kapoor, Robert Rauschenberg, Thomas Schütte, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Cerith Wyn Evans, joined by pieces from younger and emerging stars such as Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Jacob Kassay, Robert Kusmirowski, Mark Leckey and Sarah Morris.
With its 27 single-artist projects from young galleries and artists from around the globe, this years Art Statements had very strong presentations. The two Baloise Art Prizes of CHF 30,000 per artist were awarded to Alejandro Cesarco and Ben Rivers. The Baloise Group will also acquire works by both artists and once again donate them to the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the MUMOK Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation in Vienna.
The second edition of the Art Feature sector was of extraordinary quality and showed a vibrant mix of carefully curated exhibitions. The sector evolved very well, featuring solo shows by artists Giorgio Morandi, Lygia Clark, Alighiero Boetti, Jimmie Durham and Rirkrit Tiravanija among others.
Many art lovers crossed the Rhine to experience Art Parcours, where site-specific artworks and performances by the artists Ai Weiwei, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Anne Chu, Federico Herrero, Chris Johanson, Joan Jonas, Kris Martin, Yinka Shonibare MBE, and Gabriel Sierra transformed a variety of locations throughout the historic St. Alban Tal of Basel, including fishing houses along the river, a large cargo ship, sections of the old city wall, the St. Alban church, an old water reservoir, as well as various public sites throughout the area. This array of high-caliber pieces was curated by San Francisco-based curator Jens Hoffmann, Director of the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco. A true Highlight of the week was the Art Parcours Night, which featured Chris Johanson's band 'Sun Foot' and was attended by 1700 people.
The Art Basel Conversations series again brought together prominent members of the international art scene, including Allen Ruppersberg, Chris Dercon, Martin Roth, Nancy Spector, Tariq Al Jaidah, Dana Farouki, Abdullah Al Turki, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Luc Deleu, Anri Sala, Stephen Willats, Momoyo Kaijima, Julieta Aranda, Stefan Kalmár, Marta Kuzma and Anton Vidokle. Additionally, a daily program of artist conversations, book signings, and discussion forums took place in the Art Salon forum every afternoon, offering a total of 28 presentations.
Once again the Art Film program featured outstanding films, screened at the Stadtkino Basel. Curator Marc Glöde's thematic program presented short films by artists while film connoisseur This Brunner selected "A Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Werner Herzog. Other highlights were the Swiss premiere of Lawrence Weiner's film 'Dirty Eyes' (2010) and the European premiere of 'Hallucinations/Paradise' by Sam Samore.
On the weekend of June 16 to June 19, 2011, Art 42 Basel celebrated the Art Basel Weekend, highlighting special activities (solo shows, performances, book signings etc.) at the booths of 28 participating galleries. The museums and institutions in Basel also featured special events such as guided tours, performances and talks.
Shortly before the show, our visitors could download the Art Basel Smartphone app. Using your iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or other smartphone, you can still explore Art 42 Basel's galleries, artists and exhibition sectors. The app's interactive 3D-map allows you to virtually navigate through the halls, access information and images of artworks that our galleries brought to the show, organize them as favourites, and forward them to your friends and colleagues.