Saturday 20. June and Sunday 21. June 2015 it’s Art Basel weekend – the VNP weekend, i.e. the Very Normal People weekend, those not into the Art scene, behind the scene, the specialists, the Hollywood stars, the Art curators, Art critics and so on and so forth.
This is the folks’ weekend, when you are allowed to stroll around and do not feel judged because you do not have 50+ million (USD/EUR/CHF… Zimbabwe dollars unfortunately do not count!) in your bank account.
This is the weekend VNP enjoy the most and hate the most, as the weather this year basically compels you to stay indoor and your cultural guilt forces you to do something a bit more ‘intellectual’ than grilling bratwurst at the lake (when the sun is shining). Hence, all seem to go in that direction: Basel SBB. A Zoll-Frei paradise at the border with France and Germany, easily accessible by all means of transportation.
If you are only visiting for the weekend, and only for one day, then there are some things you would not like to miss. Obviously Art Basel is full of outstanding works of Art and galleries, but I must say not all the works (and galleries) are equally worth. So here you will find some highlights of works and galleries you should not miss.
Marlborough Gallery (H11)
Helly Nahmad Gallery (H5)
Gladstone Gallery (G4)
Galerie Hopkins (G10)
Kicken Berlin (F4)
Newton: so eternal! An absolute master.
Gagosian Gallery (B11)
Larry Gagosian is almost more legend than human and his business artsy activities have now turned into a franchise spread across continents. However, Mr. Gagosian does not like name tags on the walls – therefore no titles! But it was not hard to recognise this gigantic Jeff Koons. What I was shocked about was the Mark Rothko hanging in a little separate room… with its private guard! I rhetorically asked in disbelief whether that was a Rothko and with a big smile the guard nodded. Wow Larry!!
Hauser & Wirth (D10)
My fav Züri-based gallery. There is also a nice Paul McCarthy at the fair, but for the real-deal go directly to the gallery in Zurich.
White Cube (D13)
Kukje / Tina Kim (D9)
There are plenty of work by Ms. Kapoor around Art Basel – this (including selfie!) was my favourite.
Metro Pictures Gallery (B5)
Anthony Meier Fine Arts (A7)
Sadie Cole (L20)
Gallery Koyanagi (K2)
If you you are a fan of Marlene, then you should definitely go to Fondation Beyeler now!
Foksal Gallery Foundation (K9)
Together with Hauser & Wirth, this is the only other gallery which represents Jakub Julian Ziolkowski… pure love – for Art of course!
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (K17)
Surely what caught my attention was the pink reference. However, what should have struck me is the fact that this young female artist (b. 1978) won the Turner Prize in 2013. She said at that time, after winning the prestigious prize, she felt strange… I think she is simply awesome.
Kaufmann Repetto (K12)
Gallery based in Milano and New York, has a very interesting selection of works and very nice staff 🙂
But most importantly, they have some of the latest works of Latifa Echakhch, an artist I am particularly attached to, as I wrote my very first *artemporary post about her!
Almine Rech Gallery (K11)
Poetic Julian Schnable’s works and irreverent Richard Prince works here. If you can never get enough of Prince, check out his IG-account… he is flooding everyone’s feed with his pics.
Antony Reynolds Gallery (K14)
Some of the most remarkable YBA artists can be found in this London-based gallery. Mr. Billingham historically comes from a very average working-class environment and used to picture his parents in extremely realistic situations… you can go see him if you need a reality check! I do!!
Cabinet London (K19)
Ed Atkins, mostly known for his video art, rocks poetry in his work… there is plenty of him also at Art Basel Unlimited.
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (S2)
More than the works, this gallery deserves to be checked out for its fancy carpets all over the gallery space, although – I must admit – I found this “Sleep Triptych” quite nice and amusing.
Only for the brave….
Galerie Greta Meert (R18)
Victoria Miro’ (R7)
Yayoi Kusama is close to 90 years old but this lady is… amazing?! The 2 works above are from this year… draw your conclusions!!
Long March Space (R16)
Sean Kelly (R2)
Gallery full of rockstars.. from Marina to Joseph…
Dvir Gallery (P6)
Tel-Avivian Art-power-house, Dvir is also showing some recent works from French-Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch.
Zurich-based gallery run by 2 young gallerists, they are currently showcasing a machinery-artsy-work… a technician is there to make sure everything is running smoothly, as the machine is continuously working.
Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi (M6)
It looks like a warehouse and is a bit messy – truth be told – but it has something that attracts attention.
The week was very intense but really worth it – as any Art Basel. The quality of the works showcased was high. I truly enjoyed this week of events and art and I saw some of my favourite artists in the flesh. I could not have asked for more!
Until the next year folks!!