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Art Basel: Outstanding quality attracts private collectors and museum groups from around the world
Art Basel in Basel 2014 | Parcours Night | Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Stuart Shave, Modern Art | This and This and This, 2013 | Eva Rothschild. MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG.

BASEL.- The 45th edition of Art Basel in Basel closed on Sunday, June 22, 2014, with galleries reporting exceptionally strong sales throughout the week and across all levels of the market, as Art Basel once again confirmed its position as one of the most important annual art events, and as the central meeting point for the international art world.

Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, presented 285 galleries from 34 countries across the six sectors of the show, exhibiting the work of over 4,000 artists. A total of 24 galleries showed in Basel for the first time, coming from Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The show attracted a record attendance of 92,000 over the six show days – 6,000 more than last year. Alongside major private collectors from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, representatives and groups from over 70 museums from across the world attended the show, including: The Art Institute Chicago; Centre Pompidou Paris & Metz; Cincinnati Art Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; Groeninge Museum, Bruges; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Louvre, Paris; Fondazione MAXXI, Rome; Museo de Arte de Lima; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; The New Museum, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate, London; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yuz Museum, Shanghai.

This year's edition saw significant changes to the urbanism of the show, redefining the visitors' experience: The only artworks displayed in Hall 1 were the 78 artworks making up the Unlimited sector, as Statements returned to Hall 2 after nine years in Hall 1, giving the younger generation of artists and galleries a more prominent placement. The Edition sector of the fair moved downstairs, creating a uniform layout on both floors. The auditorium and Magazine sector were moved within Hall 1, making this area accessible not only to ticket holders but also to the public. Therefore, for the first time, the entire Basel talks program of over 30 panels was free and open to the public. A total of over 2,400 people attended this year's talks program.

Galleries exhibiting within all sectors of Art Basel expressed their enthusiasm about this year's show:

‘Art Basel remains the most important week in the art world’s calendar. We were thrilled to place several works in museum collections, including the Bruce Nauman video installation we presented at Unlimited and a painting by Mark Bradford that went to the MAXXI in Rome. We can report equally incredible sales across the board – in fact, this has been our greatest Basel ever!’ --Iwan Wirth, President, Hauser & Wirth, Zrich, London & New York

'Art Basel in Basel has a long history as the quintessential art fair, and the success this year has only reinforced its dominance. We brought contemporary masterpieces of the highest quality and placed them into important collections in both Europe and the United States. Art Basel is the place where the greatest collectors congregate and blue chip artworks find a home.' --Per Skarstedt, Skarstedt Gallery, New York & London

‘We saw once again this year that Art Basel is the artworld equivalent to the World Economic Forum, where key decision makers fly in from the four corners of the globe and the future of the art market is determined.’ --Glenn Scott Wright, Director, Victoria Miro, London

Providing exhibiting galleries with a unique opportunity to present works that transcend the normal art fair stand, Unlimited, curated for the third year by Gianni Jetzer, saw 78 ambitious works presented in Hall 1. Highlights included works by established names such as Carl Andre, Anthony Caro, Hanne Darboven, Tacita Dean, Lee Ufan, Ana Mendieta, Bruce Nauman and Michelangelo Pistoletto, alongside pieces from emerging artists including Alice Channer, Sam Falls, Gavin Kenyon, Nick Mauss and Mikhael Subotzky.

This year Statements, Art Basel's sector for emerging galleries, moved into Hall 2 alongside the Galleries sector, giving this younger generation a more prominent placement within the show. The solo artist presentations in Statements offered visitors and collectors an opportunity to discover the work of emerging artists from 14 galleries, nine of which were exhibiting at Art Basel for the first time. The Baloise Art Prize was this year awarded to Swedish artist John Skoog with Pilar Corrias. The artist received CHF 30,000 while a group of works by the award winner were acquired by Baloise and donated to the MMK, Museum fr Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a.M. and the MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna.

Galleries exhibiting in the Feature sector presented precise curatorial projects, showing both historical and contemporary work. This year's edition saw 24 galleries from 12 countries, with 15 of the galleries exhibiting at Art Basel for the first time. Highlights included a juxtapositioning of the late Henri Chopin with the British artist Michael Dean by Supportico Lopez, works from the ‘Time Memory’ (2012) series by Shinro Ohtake, one of the stars of the last Biennial in Venice, by Take Ninagawa, and Beryl Korot’s landmark multi-channel installation ‘Dachau’ (1974), currently on display at Tate Modern and timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the work at Bitforms Gallery.

The 2014 edition of Parcours was curated for the second time by Florence Derieux, Director of FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, and was sited in various locations around the Rheingasse in Kleinbasel. Parcours featured a total of 15 site-specific art works by internationally recognized artists including Chris Burden, Eva Rothschild, Zeng Fanzhi and Ryan Gander. A highlight of the week was Parcours Night on Wednesday, June 18, when the project venues stayed open late, accompanied by a special one-off performance of Guido van der Werve’s 45 minute requiem, ‘home, a requiem’ (2011-2012) at Clara Kirche and a screening of Mario Garca Torres’s lyrical essay film ‘The Schlieren Plot’ at Kino Cinema. Between Wednesday and Sunday over 4,500 people visited Parcours.

Screened at Stadtkino Basel over six nights, the Art Basel Film program featured over 30 film and video works by and about artists. Highlights included the world premiere of ‘Sequenza’ by Manon de Boer and George van Dam, Ada Ruilova’s new film ‘Head and Hands: My Black Angel’, a Short Film Program by Los Angeles filmmaker Pat O’Neill, a special screening curated by Vdrome as well as films by artists Maria Anwander, Harun Farocki, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Jan Peter Hammer, David Shrigley and Jane and Louise Wilson. Marc Glde curated Film for the seventh and final time. As of next year, lecturer and film curator Maxa Zoller will curate Film in Basel, taking over from Marc Glde. This Brunner will continue in his role, working alongside Zoller.

Conversations and Salon
Art Basel's Conversations series brought together prominent voices from the international art world, including AA Bronson, RoseLee Goldberg, Isabel Lewis, Otobong Nkanga, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Beatrix Ruf, Alya Sebti, Pascale Marthine Tayou, and Wolfgang Tillmans. Conversations was presented in partnership with Absolut.

The daily program of artist conversations and discussion forums took place each afternoon with a number of timely themes covered, including ‘100 Years of Readymade’, ‘Curating at the Periphery’ and ‘Le Mouvement: An Exploration of Performance in Public, Urban Space’.

14 Rooms
A partnership between Fondation Beyeler, Art Basel and Theater Basel, ‘14 Rooms’ was a major live-art exhibition staged in Basel from June 14 to 22, 2014. The exhibition proved hugely popular, attracting over 13,000 visitors. Curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the exhibition featured performative works by artists Marina Abramović, Allora & Calzadilla, Ed Atkins, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Damien Hirst, Joan Jonas, Laura Lima, Bruce Nauman, Otobong Nkanga, Roman Ondk, Yoko Ono, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, and Xu Zhen. Two more works joined the architectural environment conceived by Herzog & de Meuron, Jordan Wolfson’s acting as an epilogue, and John Baldessari’s as an archival documentation.

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