Surviving Art Basel: A Guide For Beginners
If you hadn’t noticed yet, last weekend from June 15th until 18th Switzerland was opening its doors to strangers from all over the world. Is my native country improving its immigration politics? No, it was the 48th edition of Art Basel, one of the leading fairs for modern and contemporary art in the world.
So, let’s get our facts straight:
Art Basel was founded by Swiss gallerists Ernest Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt in the 70s and takes its name from its place of origin; Basel, a ravishing little town set at the borders between Switzerland and Germany.
The show, recorded from the beginning as a great success, became in few years the Mecca for Modern and Contemporary art, being at the forefront of the best and newest artists and galleries as well as expanding internationally with shows in Miami Beach and Hong Kong. La crème de la crème in other words!
The fair is organised over 3 full days and offers a variety of events such as talks, films, performances, photography, but the actual core of Art Basel are the galleries, counting up to 291 spaces and featuring the artworks of more than 4,000 artists.
If you had as little time as I did to enjoy this wonderful concentration of culture and art, let’s say that you will probably get out looking like one of Picasso’s paintings (mine was probably similar to “La Femme qui Pleure” (1937)).