|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Monday, January 23, 2017
|Art Basel, the biggest contemporary art fair on the planet, takes art world by storm|
A visitor has a close look on June 11, 2013 of an artwork by British artist Darren Lago during a preview day for the Art Basel 2013, the world's premiere modern and contemporary art fair, which will take place from June 13 to 16 in Basel. More than 60,000 art collectors, art dealers, artists, curators and art lovers are expected to attend the annual meeting. AFP PHOTO/ FABRICE COFFRINI.
By: Nina Larson
BASEL (AFP).- With private jets filling the air and lines of luxury limousines on the ready, deep-pocketed collectors from around the world have flocked to Switzerland this week for Art Basel, the biggest contemporary art fair on the planet.
The 44th edition of the show opens to the public on Thursday, but the doors were nudged open already on Tuesday for special VIPs wanting an advance peek at the wide range of artwork displayed across a whopping 31,000 square metres (334,000 square feet) of exhibition space.
On Wednesday, an estimated 110 private jets landed and took off from the Basel-Mulhouse airport, after 83 flew through there on Tuesday despite a strike that reduced the airport's capacity and forced some wealthy patrons of the arts to change their travel plans.
It was important to be among the first to squeeze through the doors, Annka Kultys, a Swiss art collector based in London, told AFP.
"The rule in Basel is that you cannot put (artwork) on hold before the art fair, so we need to be here the first day, and just run to the booths that we are interested in," she said.
"I know exactly where I want to go when I come here, which gallery I want to see, which artist," she added.
Some 65,000 visitors are expected to come to Art Basel this year to see exhibits by a lucky 304 galleries, picked from more than 1,000 that vied for a spot at the lucrative fair.
"There's been a buzz immediately," Tim Marlow, director of exhibitions at the London-based White Cube Gallery told AFP, just a few hours after the buying frenzy began.
"We've sold two Sergei Jensen paintings, a Tracey Emin, we sold this Mark Bradford work for $725,000," he said, pointing to the large abstract canvas behind him.
"And there is serious interest in the Damien Hirst pill cabinet, at four million pounds," he added with a broad smile, nodding to a large mirror wall lined with tightly spaced, narrow metal shelves covered with pills in different colours and shapes.
Art Basel's impact on a gallery's bottom line does not stop with what is sold at the fair, he said.
"It's about connections made and clients made, and museums. A lot of museums come... and then conversations are hatched, work is bought... exhibitions are planned."
The art world appears to have bucked the global economic crisis, with income from global auction sales more than doubling since it hit bottom in 2009, passing eight billion euros last year, according to French specialised website Artprice.com.
"I think the art market is actually in a very strong position," Art Basel director Marc Spiegler told AFP.
Case in point: a few hours after the opening Tuesday he said he was noticing "a lot of frustration among collectors because the things that they want to buy are already sold."
-- 'From five percent of world's rich to 40 percent' --
Amid all the stock market turmoil in recent years, the world's wealthy are increasingly turning to art as a good and safe investment, experts say.
"I reckon that in the next 10 years we'll see the market going from about five percent of the world's rich having art to around 40 percent," said Philip Hoffman, the head of the Fine Art Fund Group, which advises wealthy clients on what pieces to add to their collections.
But Art Basel is not only about investment; it is also about the enjoyment of seeing a wide range of work by the great artists of the 20th century, such as Picasso, Kandinsky and Warhol, mixed in with the cutting edge of today, Spiegler said.
For those more interested in looking than buying, a whole hall has been reserved for the "Unlimited" collection of large and sometimes astonishing works that are not for sale at the fair.
Unlike in the crowded section next door, there is plenty of space to stroll through the 11,500-square-metre exhibit, admiring works by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, British sculptor Antony Gormley, or Japanese Chiharu Shiota, who has covered chairs and a grand piano in a massive web of black string.
There are also less well-known artists on display, like Chinese He An.
"This is my first time here," he says through a translator, as he shields his eyes to gaze through his piece, "Hubble", a massive metal tube made from billboards with the powerful light usually used in advertising shooting out at the observer "as if from a cannon."
Swiss art collector Marco Stoffel, who has been coming to Art Basel for the past 20 years, says he likes starting in the Unlimited section before heading to the buying frenzy next door.
"I start here, where I can remain calm, and then, afterwards, it's off to the circus," he told AFP.
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
June 14, 2013
Man arrested for defacing Queen Elizabeth II's portrait at London's Westminster Abbey
United States recovers The Rosenberg Diary, kept by Alfred Rosenberg, a confidant of Adolf Hitler
The Stones and their Scene: Eric Swayne's recently discovered archive on view at Proud Chelsea
First major exhibition to explore the life of Ringo Starr opens at the Grammy Museum
Art Basel, the biggest contemporary art fair on the planet, takes art world by storm
Frick Director Ian Wardropper receives Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters
Qing Dynasty porcelain vase sells for $1,279,824 at Sotheby's Asian Art Sale in Paris
Nationalmuseum opens temporary exhibition venue at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts
Giant crane lifts Henry Moore's Large Reclining Figure into Rijksmuseum gardens
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows at Auschwitz exhibition to prevent new Holocaust
Cheekwood presents acclaimed artist Bruce Munro for second-ever U.S. exhibit
Valencian Institute for Modern Art exhibits more personal and unpublished work of Jorge Oteiza
Jeu de Paume presents first retrospective exhibition of the artist Ahlam Shibli
Gatsby's world comes to Bonhams
Puss in Boots Fortune-Teller fulfills its prophecy of success, sells for $21,000 at Morphy's
Important 20th Century Design Sale totals $4.7 million
Captivating exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum explores identity in contemporary America
Smithsonian announces $12 million gift from Oprah Winfrey
Revolutionary 3D scanning and 3D printing project to make ancient sculptures available to public
Tennessee collector steals show at Captain Kangaroo auction
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- After decades of slights, Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera tastes fame at 101
2.- Gallery 19C rediscovers a lost Realist treasure by Alphonse Legros
3.- France blocks sale of rare Leonardo Da Vinci painting 'Saint Sebastian'
4.- New exhibition at the National Museum puts select works of art under a microscope
5.- Getty Museum presents first major exhibition on 18th century artist Edme Bouchardon
6.- Rarely seen silkscreen prints by Jacob Lawrence on view at the Phillips Collection
7.- Fraenkel Gallery debuts of new, large-scale photographs by British artist Richard Learoyd
8.- Kurdish-Arab forces seize strategic Syria citadel from IS
9.- Paris show of masterpieces unseen in West is smash hit
10.- Award-winning Indian actor Om Puri dies of heart attack
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.