The Basel edition of Art Basel brings together the international art world this week. It includes over 200 leading galleries and more than 4,000 artists from five continents. This is the first Art Basel without masks, without restrictions. There was a noise we only know from before the pandemic.
And so the fair began with a record sale Louise Bourgeois‘story: on the eve of the 1st Hauser & Wirth Gallery sold the most iconic steel of his life to the Franco-American artist Spider, 1996 for $ 40 million.
As the most iconic and rare work of all of Louise Bourgeois’s work, the 1996 steel Spider seemed the perfect work to anchor our booth at this year’s fair, celebrating both the “great return” of Art Basel after the pandemic and of Hauser & Wirt’s 30th Anniversary. Louise embodies the vision and spirit of our gallery in so many ways. She embraced the 20th and 21st centuries, had a fiercely independent spirit in her life and work that opposed simple categorization, and she changed the game not only for women artists, but for art itself. It continues to have a huge impact in the most positive way, and we felt it was an important moment to highlight that strength. ” Mark Payot, President, Hauser & Wirth.
Here are more highlights from the previous days of Art Basel, which opened its doors to the public today:
Jaume Plensa, Christina’s words
Born and Barcelona-based artist Jaume Plensa (1955) is one of my favorite contemporary artists who knows how to translate meditation and meaning into works of art. The last work of the Spanish artist Christina ‘s words, 2021 is represented by Galerie Lelong at Art Basel 2022.
The larger sculpture of life surprises from every angle.
Alberto Giacometti, Figurines
The Swiss sculptor (1901-1966) Alberto Giacometti is a name that needs no introduction to the art world. This year a miniature version of his famous sculptures, Figurine is exhibited by the Kamel Mennour Gallery.
Yoshitomo Nara, Hey! Ho! Let’s go!
The style of contemporary Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara is to express children in a number of emotional complexities from resistance and rebellion to calm and contemplation. It celebrates the introspective freedom of imagination and the individual.
Sylvie Flory, UBS Salon
In the UBS VIP Lounge, which puts an additional focus on sustainability and everything healthy this year (local lunch products, lounge chairs and a fresh juice bar), the UBS Art Collection presents a solo presentation dedicated to Geneva-based artist Sylvie Florey, the most -known for merging high art with popular culture, researching gender codes around consumerism, power and desire. Flory is considered one of the most important living artists in Switzerland and has been the subject of major museum exhibitions around the world.
Von Bart Gallery, booth G12
At the heart of Basel’s art scene is the Von Bartha Gallery, whose great leading space is housed in a former garage behind a working petrol station. Directed by Stefan von Barta, the gallery presents an avant-garde contemporary program representing an international list of artists. After exhibiting with Art Basel from the first edition in 1970 – at this year’s exhibition, they present Imi Knobel, Superflex and Bernard Vernett, along with Barry Flanagan, Olaf Browning and Sophie Teuber-Arp, promoting dialogue between sculpture and painting.
33 Eco in Thessos
The NFT are here to stay. Blockchain, being the most sustainable of all, Tezos, is helping to rethink the digital canvas for generative artists. As with technology, art is constantly evolving. The Tezos Art Basel exhibition explores the evolutionary intersection between art and technology, where artists rethink what generative art might be in this new environment.
The interactive experience allows visitors to explore the world of NFT and beyond. They can even co-create a new generative work of art that is automatically cut as NFT and given to attendees in real time. The installation includes generative algorithms by Alexandra Jovanic, Ryan Bell, Sam Cao and my favorite NFT artist: Eko33 – this group of artists is currently using FXHash to dig up generative artwork for the installation.
Since 1999, the French Eko33 Art Studio, now based in Switzerland, has been creating generative art based on crypto hash seeds. Maximizing algorithmic diversity. His works are presented at world art fairs, museums, biennials and “Somewhere in the Metauniverse”. Eko33 also hosts the popular global NFT podcast “Probably Nothing”