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At the world's premier show for Modern and contemporary works, exceptional sales across all sectors
South African artist and writer Sue Williamson poses at the Unlimited show during the preview day of Art Basel, the world's premier modern and contemporary art fair on June 13, 2017 in Basel. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP.

BASEL.- The 48th edition of Art Basel in Basel closed on Sunday, June 18, 2017, with galleries throughout the show reporting exceptional sales, pointing to Art Basel's ability to convene leading galleries and collectors from around the world. Running simultaneously with the Venice Biennale, documenta 14 and Skulptur Projekte Münster, Art Basel drew a particularly strong turnout of both established and new collectors from over 100 countries, with strong attendance from the Americas and Asia. The show attracted an attendance of 95,000 and once again proved itself to be a pivotal meeting point for the international art world.

The show, whose Lead Partner is UBS, brought together 291 premier galleries from 35 countries, presenting extraordinary contemporary and Modern works by over 4,000 artists. Leading private collectors from Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa attended this year, as well as representatives from over 300 museums and institutions, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; M+, Hong Kong; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Serpentine Galleries, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate, London; and The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing.

Galleries exhibiting in all sectors of Art Basel expressed their delight at this year’s show:

‘It’s hard to imagine that Art Basel could grow stronger every year, but it does just that.’ Thaddaeus Ropac, Founder & Director, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Salzburg, Paris, London)

‘Art Basel is the most important fair for the gallery. We placed our artists’ works in excellent international collections. Again, this year, Unlimited gave us a fantastic opportunity to exhibit four historical and significant works by Otto Piene, John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer. Unlimited and its focus on museum-quality pieces is very unique to this fair. It was great to see the response that these presentations received throughout the week.’ Philomene Magers, Co-owner, Sprüth Magers (Berlin, London, Los Angeles).

This year, Galleries, the fair's main sector, presented 226 exhibitors showing the highest quality painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography, video and editioned works – with many galleries exhibiting work by artists from the summers' three other major art events. Overall, the gallery sector of the show was rejuvenated by 12 galleries showing within the sector for the very first time. On the ground floor, four secondary market dealers were brought in: Di Donna, Tornabuoni Art, Luxembourg & Dayan and Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois. On the first floor, new exhibitors included Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Pilar Corrias, dépendance, Freymond-Guth Fine Arts Ltd., Salon 94, Campoli Presti, Kraupa Tuskany Zeidler and Canada. Additionally, Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art returned to Basel following a brief hiatus.

Solo presentations in Statements offered visitors and collectors the opportunity to discover quality work by emerging artists, brought to Art Basel by 18 of the most exciting young international galleries. The sector welcomed eight galleries exhibiting at the Basel show for the first time: Galerie Emanuel Layr from Vienna; Chapter NY and Real Fine Arts from New York, as well as galleries from places traditionally seen as far from the core art world: Galeria Dawid Radziszewski from Warsaw; Hopkinson Mossman from Auckland; and Gypsum Gallery from Cairo.

The 19th Baloise Art Prize was awarded to Martha Atienza (b. 1981) at Silverlens from Manila and Sam Pulitzer (b. 1984) exhibited by Real Fine Arts from New York. The prize of CHF 30,000 each was presented to the two artists by a jury of international experts, and works by the award winners were acquired by The Baloise Group and donated to the MUDAM Luxembourg and the Nationalgalerie Berlin.

32 galleries took part in the Feature sector, showcasing exceptionally high quality curatorial projects, with seven galleries completely new to the show. Encompassing both historical and contemporary work, highlights from the sector included: Lea Lublin (19291999) at Deborah Schamoni, Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984) at The Box, a selection of Vlassis Caniaris' (1928-2011) political works at Kalfayan Galleries and Jenkins Johnson Gallery’s spotlight on Gordon Parks (1912-2006).

Presented across 16,000 square meters of exhibition space, Unlimited offered artists and galleries an exciting platform to create and present ambitious large-scale works that transcend the traditional art-fair stand. Unlimited consisted of 76 works and was curated for the sixth year by Gianni Jetzer, curator-at-large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. Once again galleries reported particularly strong sales from the sector. Both historical and contemporary works were featured, celebrating renowned masters as well as emerging artists, including: Mac Adams (b.1943), Doug Aitken (b. 1968), John Baldessari (b. 1931), Phyllida Barlow (b. 1944), Andrea Bowers (b. 1965), Chris Burden (1946-2015), LaToya Ruby Frazier (b. 1982), Carlos Garaicoa (b. 1967), Subodh Gupta (b. 1964), Donna Huanca (b. 1980), Arthur Jafa (b. 1960), Mike Kelley (1954-2012), Barbara Kruger (b. 1945), Park Chan-kyong (b. 1965), Marwan Rechmaoui (b. 1964), Mickalene Thomas (b. 1971), Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984), Sue Williamson (b. 1941) and Anicka Yi (b. 1971).

The medieval center of Basel around Münsterplatz was once again brought to life by Parcours, with artistic interventions engaging with Basel’s past and present. This year's edition was curated for the second year by Samuel Leuenberger, Director and Curator of SALTS in Birsfelden, Switzerland, and consisted of 22 elaborate site-specific artworks, with artists addressing the truths that concern their daily experiences, including: Ai Weiwei (b. 1957), Katinka Bock (b. 1976), Pedro Cabrita Reis (b. 1956), Miriam Cahn (b. 1949), Berlinde de Bruyckere (b. 1964), Nathalie Djurberg (b. 1978) and Hans Berg (b. 1978), Latifa Echakhch (b. 1974), GCC (est. 2013), Amanda Ross-Ho (b. 1975), Cally Spooner (b. 1983), Rirkrit Tiravanija (b. 1961) and Wu Tsang (b. 1982). Over the seven days, over 12,000 people attended Parcours.

During Parcours Night on Saturday, June 17, all project venues stayed open late with special live performances. Supported by MGM Resorts Art and Culture, Than Hussein Clark (b. 1981) transformed Otto Rudolf Salvisberg’s 'Erste Kirche Christi' into his own version of a Broadway theatre with 'Yes, Yes, All the News that’s Fit To Print' (2017). Further performances on Parcours Night included works by: Itziar Okariz (b. 1965), Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (b. 1973), Shana Moulton (b. 1976), Moved by the Motion (Wu Tsang, boychild, Patrick Belaga, Bendik Giske and Josh Johnson), Eric Hattan (b. 1955), Julian Sartorius (b. 1981) and Hans Berg (b. 1978).

Consisting of 34 film and video works, presented by the show’s participating galleries, Art Basel’s Film program was curated for the third year by Cairo-based film curator Maxa Zoller. Heavily influenced by today’s political events, highlights from this year’s program included: ‘Also Known As Jihadi’ (2017), the latest feature-length film by FrenchAmerican artist Eric Baudelaire (b. 1973), the European premiere of He Xiangyu’s (b. 1986) new film ‘The Swim’ (2017) and a special screening of Stanley Tucci's (b. 1960) 'Final Portrait' (2017), selected by New York-based film curator Marian Masone. As part of Art Basel’s third year collaboration with the Locarno Festival, Filipa César’s (b. 1975) new feature length film ‘Spell Reel’ (2017) was also presented. A key feature of the short film program included ‘Little Films to Smile to: Focus on Breda Beban’, offering visitors a rare opportunity to see multiple works by the late Yugoslavian-born filmmaker Breda Beban (1952-2012). Further works by Kader Attia (b. 1970), Edgardo Aragón (b. 1985), François Bucher (b. 1972), William E. Jones (b. 1962), Maha Maamoun (b. 1972), Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), Mohau Modisakeng (b. 1986), Carlos Javier Ortiz (b. 1975), Robin Rhode (b. 1976), La Ribot (b. 1962), Ugo Rondinone (b. 1964), Zineb Sedira (b. 1963), Anton Vidokle (b. 1965), Andy Warhol (1928-1987) and Carrie Mae Weems (b. 1953) were also presented as part of the short film program. The Art Basel Film program was shown at the Stadtkino Basel and attended by over 700 visitors.

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June 19, 2017

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At the world's premier show for Modern and contemporary works, exceptional sales across all sectors

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