She is back.

Art Basel at the place of its creation in 1970, in Basel, Switzerland.

What was simply a trade fair until the beginning of 2020 is now called the IRL edition, i.e. in real life, with real art to look at, with real people in the usual two halls.

Marc Spiegler, the worldwide Art Basel director, and his team have not given up their faith for months and have done everything to give the traditional show its physical presence back.

Now for once in September;

in nine months, in June 2022, she should return to her usual appointment.

Rose-Maria Gropp

Editor in the features section, responsible for the “art market”.

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With 272 participants from 33 countries, only a few fewer came to the current edition than last year in 2019; 24 galleries are taking part for the first time. On the three preview days everything seemed - almost - to be the same as before. The invited guests streamed into Halls 1 and 2 in just as many numbers as they always had, now equipped with a ribbon on their arm as proof of vaccination, convalescence or test and always with a face mask. Although only a few Americans and Asian visitors came, the clientele of financially strong Europe was united. Their joy in buying can be seen in the numerous deals that were reported from the very first few hours. A technical term from the economy is "excess liquidity"; It means that there may be more money now than before the Covid-19 outbreak to be housed:The art market in the top segment is booming accordingly. And Art Basel is the longed-for big festival.

A younger audience

As usual, the first opening of the “Art Unlimited” section with its oversized formats was in Hall 1. There the audience was clearly younger and much more focused on the works on display than on their own appearance. The "Unlimited" was curated for the first time by Giovanni Carmine, the director of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. There are fewer space-consuming installations, but more spacious compartments, preferably for large-format paintings or other objects suitable for walls. This includes the eight-part painting cycle “Traffic Jam” by Andreas Schulze with his idiosyncratic and funny vehicle parade (Sprüth Magers Gallery; 680,000 euros); or the 3.2 by 6.8 meter ceramic tile wall created in 2020 by Etel Adnan, born in Beirut in 1925, with her radiant “Le Soleil Toujours” motif (Galerie Sfeir-Semler; around 400,000 dollars).Former master David Hockney has created a widescreen "Photographic Drawing", of which the visitors in the hall are, as it were, included in viewing the "Pictures at an Exhibition" on the print (Richard Gray Gallery). The sculptures include John Chamberlain's towering, for him very unusual, curiously intricate “Naughtynightcap” made of painted aluminum from 2008 (Galerie Hauser & Wirth). Zwirner lined up pink neon modules from the classic Dan Flavin from 1974 to create a "barrier" work (for 3 million dollars).For him very unusual, curiously intertwined “Naughtynightcap” made of painted aluminum from 2008 (Galerie Hauser & Wirth). Zwirner lined up pink neon modules from the classic Dan Flavin from 1974 to create a "barrier" work (for 3 million dollars).For him very unusual, curiously intertwined “Naughtynightcap” made of painted aluminum from 2008 (Galerie Hauser & Wirth). Zwirner lined up pink neon modules from the classic Dan Flavin from 1974 to create a "barrier" work (for 3 million dollars).

In Hall 2 with the galleries, painting dominates, even more than before. What is striking is the array of figurative images, as if to satisfy a longing for - physical - encounter. The willingness to present works by female artists is also noticeable. For example, works by the American painter Alice Neel can be found spread across various bunks. One of Helen Frankenthaler's huge formats, “Arriving in Africa” from 1970, was immediately sold by Richard Gray. Petzel hung a typical picture of Maria Lassnig, “TV child” from 1987, on his stand (900,000 euros). Leiko Ikemura stages the Peter Kilchmann gallery in Zurich. And in the “Feature” section, Kasmin from New York is showing a great suite of Lee Krasner's charcoal drawings, from the late thirties to the seventies (150 each.000 dollars).

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