Art 42 Basel: Extraordinary quality & strong results

Fred Sandback│David Zwirner, New York; Annemarie Verna Galerie, Zürich

Art 42 Basel: Extraordinary quality & strong results

Galerie Urs Meile Beijing - Lucerne | Luzern

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Art     2011-06-19

Art 42 Basel: Extraordinary quality & strong results

The 42nd edition of Art Basel closed on Sunday, June 19, 2011. This year, the
annual reunion of the international artworld attracted more than 65,000 artists,
collectors, curators, and art lovers from around the globe, a new record for

The participating galleries, art lovers, and art journalists were
unanimous in pronouncing this a superb year for the show in terms of quality.
Collectors from all over the globe rewarded the excellent material and booth
presentations with strong sales throughout the week across all levels of the

A great many artists attended the event, among them John Baldessari, Pierre
Bismuth, Daniel Buren, Maurizio Cattelan, Janet Cardiff, Jimmie Durham, Liam
Gillick, Joan Jonas, Vera Lutter, Goshka Macuga, Sarah Morris, Mai-Thu Perret,
Tobias Rehberger, Allen Ruppersberg, Anri Sala, Thomas Schütte, Tino Sehgal,
Yinka Shonibare and Cathy Wilkes. And over 50 museum groups, representing
almost all the world’s major museums visited Art 42 Basel, as did major private
collectors from North and South America, all of Europe and every emerging
market of the artworld.

At Art 42 Basel, more than 300 galleries from 35 countries exhibited works by over
2,500 artists. Many stands featured thematic exhibitions and one-person shows, and
many galleries presented large installations and sculptures. Paintings, works on paper,
and photography continued to be strongly represented. The overwhelming majority of
exhibitors reported excellent results and made valuable new contacts for the future of
their program.
Discussing their experience at Art 42 Basel, many gallerists offered positive reports,
such as these:
Lucy Mitchell-Innes, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
'This continues to be by far the best international fair in the world. I found the quality to
be stronger this year. Galleries really seemed to be trying to make thoughtful
presentations of their program and aesthetics. The attendance for this year's show seems
much broader, and we have experienced sales to buyers from all over the globe.'
Iwan Wirth, Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, London, New York
'This year has been exceptional, with a tremendous response to the works on show,
especially Paul McCarthy, leading up to our major show in both the London and New
York galleries this November. The buying has been intelligent, vibrant and inspired.
This may well be our best Art Basel ever.'
David Zwirner, Gallery David Zwirner, New York
'Collector confidence was definitely back this year, and there was a lot of positive
energy all around. In addition to seeing our dedicated clients from Europe, we were
excited to see that a number of the new collectors we met during recent travels to Asia
also made their way to Basel. And we were especially grateful that our presentations at
Art Unlimited for Jason Rhoades and Fred Sandback were so enthusiastically
Alex Logsdail, Lisson Gallery. London
'The fair this year has been a great success in terms of both volume of sales and the
diversity of artists that we have sold. By the end of the first day there were only five
works left unsold on the stand. People seem to have enormous confidence in the future
of both established and emerging artists, which is highly encouraging. Over all, another
great year in Basel.'
Friedrich Petzel, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York
'Art 42 Basel has again been proven to our most successful fair. This year, more contacts
and sales were made to newer collections and institutions. Art Basel is constantly
improving, as the audience is changing.'
Ciléne Andréhn, Andréhn-Sciptjenko, Stockholm
'The opening day was very intense. The solo show of Matts Leiderstam’s works, wellknown
by many but new to others, has received extremely positive feedback from
collectors and curators alike resulting in sales to Europe, Asia and the US.'
Nils Staerk, Staerk Gallery, Copenhagen
'We had an excellent opening, with sales to both public and private collectors. The
piece 'I Copy Therefore I Am' by Superflex was a huge magnet to the booth, and two
out of three editions sold to private collectors, in Europe and Latin America.'
Alison Jacques, Alison Jacques Gallery, London
'Our solo presentation of Lygia Clark has been an unqualified success. Art Basel is the
perfect context to show and promote this work. It has been extremely gratifying to see top
level collectors and, importantly, key international curators and museum directors
responding so enthusiastically to the work.'
Ola Gustafsson, Elastic Gallery, Stockholm
'Taking the step from Liste and selling out the booth in the first hour of the preview –
then recieving positive feedback from the most prominent museums, collectors and
curators is what Art Basel can deliver like no other fair.'
Jörg Maass, Kunsthandel Maass, Berlin
'We are thrilled about the show and recorded a strong demand for works by Otto Dix,
George Grosz, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Lyonel Feininger from Europe and
the United States. If the quality is right, the exchange rate doesn't matter.
Art Unlimited spotlighted 62 ambitious works and once again drew a huge audience.
Many of the exhibited pieces were created especially for Art 42 Basel. Highlights
included major works by legendary artists Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Daniel Buren,
Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dan Flavin, Mona Hatoum, Anish Kapoor, Robert
Rauschenberg, Thomas Schütte, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Cerith Wyn Evans, joined by
pieces from younger and emerging stars such as Jennifer Allora and Guillermo
Calzadilla, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Jacob Kassay, Robert Kusmirowski, Mark Leckey
and Sarah Morris. (
With its 27 single-artist projects from young galleries and artists from around the globe,
this year’s Art Statements had very strong presentations. The two Baloise Art Prizes
of CHF 30,000 per artist were awarded to Alejandro Cesarco and Ben Rivers. The
Baloise Group will also acquire works by both artists and once again donate them to
the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the MUMOK Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation
in Vienna (
The second edition of the Art Feature sector was of extraordinary quality and showed
a vibrant mix of carefully curated exhibitions ( The sector
evolved very well, featuring solo shows by artists Giorgio Morandi, Lygia Clark,
Alighiero Boetti, Jimmie Durham and Rirkrit Tiravanija among others.
Many art lovers crossed the Rhine to experience Art Parcours, where site-specific
artworks and performances by the artists Ai Weiwei, Janet Cardiff and George Bures
Miller, Anne Chu, Federico Herrero, Chris Johanson, Joan Jonas, Kris Martin, Yinka
Shonibare MBE, and Gabriel Sierra transformed a variety of locations throughout the
historic St. Alban Tal of Basel, including fishing houses along the river, a large cargo
ship, sections of the old city wall, the St. Alban church, an old water reservoir, as well
as various public sites throughout the area. This array of high-caliber pieces was
curated by San Francisco-based curator Jens Hoffmann, Director of the CCA Wattis
Institute, San Francisco. A true Highlight of the week was the Art Parcours Night, which
featured Chris Johanson's band 'Sun Foot' and was attended by 1700 people.
The Art Basel Conversations series again brought together prominent members of
the international art scene, including Allen Ruppersberg, Chris Dercon, Martin Roth,
Nancy Spector, Tariq Al Jaidah, Dana Farouki, Abdullah Al Turki, Hans Ulrich Obrist,
Luc Deleu, Anri Sala, Stephen Willats, Momoyo Kaijima, Julieta Aranda, Stefan
Kalmár, Marta Kuzma and Anton Vidokle. (Videos are available at Additionally, a daily program of artist conversations,
book signings, and discussion forums took place in the Art Salon forum every
afternoon, offering a total of 28 presentations (Videos are available at
Once again the Art Film program featured outstanding films, screened at the Stadtkino
Basel. Curator Marc Glöde's thematic program presented short films by artists while
film connoisseur This Brunner selected "A Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Werner
Herzog. Other highlights were the Swiss premiere of Lawrence Weiner's film 'Dirty
Eyes' (2010) and the European premiere of 'Hallucinations/Paradise' by Sam Samore.
On the weekend of June 16 to June 19, 2011, Art 42 Basel celebrated the
Art Basel Weekend, highlighting special activities (solo shows, performances,
book signings etc.) at the booths of 28 participating galleries. The museums and
institutions in Basel also featured special events such as guided tours, performances
and talks (
Shortly before the show, our visitors could download the Art Basel Smartphone app.
Using your iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or other smartphone, you can still explore Art 42
Basel's galleries, artists and exhibition sectors. The app's interactive 3D-map allows
you to virtually navigate through the halls, access information and images of artworks
that our galleries brought to the show, organize them as favourites, and forward them
to your friends and colleagues. (
Art Basel Catalogs
Art 42 Basel was accompanied by a lavish catalog published by Hatje Cantz. The richly
illustrated publication contains reproductions of approximately 400 works, from Modern
classics to the latest in cutting-edge art. Only a few hundred copies are still available
from Hatje Cantz Publishers in Germany (to order, visit A
few copies of the separate catalog for Art Unlimited and Art Public remain for sale via
Hatje Cantz as well.
Art Basel’s Sponsors
The international financial institution UBS has been Art Basel’s main sponsor since
1994. At the Associate Sponsor level, Cartier, NetJets and AXA Art continued their
significant partnership with Art Basel. Art 42 Basel was also supported by Baloise
Group, Arínzano, Bally, Davidoff, Ruinart and Vitra. The VIP car service was provided
by BMW.
Museums in Basel
The museum exhibitions in and around Basel were again exceptional this year. Both
daytime shows and evening special events attracted a high number of visitors. These
shows included: 'Francis Alÿs: Fabiola' presented by Schaulager at the Haus zum
Kirschgarten (through August 28, 2011); 'Konrad Witz - The Unique Exhibition' at the
Kunstmuseum Basel (through July 3, 2011); 'Constantin Brancusi and Richard Serra' at
the Fondation Beyeler (through August 21, 2011); 'Henrik Olesen' at the Museum für
Gegenwartskunst (through September 11, 2011); 'Car fetish: I drive therefore I am' at
the Tinguely Museum (through October 9, 2011); 'R.H. Quaytman: Spine, Chapter 20'
at the Kunsthalle Basel (through August 28, 2011); and at the Vitra Design Museum,
'Zoom: Italian Design and the Photography of Aldo and Marirosa Ballo.' (through
October 3, 2011). For a complete list of museum exhibitions, go to
Design Miami/Basel
Design Miami/Basel, the global forum for collecting, exhibiting, discussing, and creating
design this year returned to Hall 5 of the Basel fairgrounds again, drawing excellent
results in terms of both quality and sales under the new directorship of Marianne
Art Basel Miami Beach 2011, Art Basel’s sister event in the USA, takes place
December 1 – 4, 2011, in Miami Beach, Florida. Art 43 Basel will open its doors again
from June 13 to June 17, 2012.
Art Basel Survey
If you have visited Art 42 Basel we are interested in hearing your feedback. A group of
sociologists from the University of St.Gallen has teamed up with the Pierre Bourdieu
Foundation and the management of Art Basel to sketch the state of the art arena from
different perspectives. Art Basel was chosen to be the research ground for this study. If
you would like to participate you can find the survey at:
Your vote will be completely anonymous.
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