Showcasing the art of more than 4,000 artists and bringing together nearly 300 of the world’s foremost art galleries, Art Basel is an annual international art fair of the highest repute. The annual shows, held in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida; and Hong Kong. Each show is organized into sectors which showcase contemporary artworks by established and newly emerging artists.
Located in northwest Switzerland, Basel is situated on the Rhine River near the borders of France and Germany. It is not only home to Art Basel, but also to countless museums and galleries, modern architecture, and a lovely Old Town. Lonely Planet has explored Basel, as well as all of Switzerland, and has a host of information about this beautifully historic city.
Art for All
The region-wide art week takes place all through the city as well as the area. It delivers on the promise to not only transport visitors, but also instigate thought, discussion, and debate. Eileen Kinsella and Hili Perlson with Artnet News noted that “Once inside the fair, visitors were greeted with one of the better editions of the European fair in memory. In particular, the Gianni Jetzer-curated Unlimited sector, dedicated to institution-sized works, offered a thoughtful array of strong and at-times difficult and political works.”
The Art Basel art fair isn’t just about looking at works of art in galleries, it’s about interaction and interconnection with the art and experiencing the art, as well. Art Basel includes conversations on topics concerning the global art scene as well as art magazines from around the world. There is actually an entire film program and specialty programs like Edition, Unlimited, and Parcours. Art Basel transcends what most of us think of when we think of an art fair.
What makes the specialty programs of Art Basel most compelling is the content. Edition is all about published works. Many of those exhibiting their publications have made collaborative efforts with renowned artists which make them significant and rare. Unlimited is an exhibition platform for – according to Art Basel – “projects that transcend the classical art-show stand, including massive sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances.” As visitors wander the streets of Basel, they’ll encounter works that are part of Parcours as this sector places site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances throughout the city’s neighborhoods.
With a group of curators who’ve made art their life’s work, Art Basel will continue to deliver on the promise of showcasing the best and most progressive art in the world. A visit to the Art Basel website will inform you on how to attend in the future (pro tip: book early!). You’ll also learn about Art Basel’s other shows in Miami Beach and Hong Kong – both of the fairs in these locations are equally as rewarding and are worth a visit as well.
So will you venture to a future Art Basel fair? Will it be the original in Basel, Switzerland or one in Miami Beach or Hong Kong?
Prefer more fashion in your art? You’ll want to read Rei Kawakubo’s Most Iconic Looks.