Art Basel 2015 Report

Monday, June 22, 2015
Art Basel 2015 Report

"As the 46th edition of Art Basel closed in Basel on Sunday, June 21, 2015, the show was once again widely praised for the many outstanding quality artworks on display and the precisely presented stands. Gallerists reported excellent sales across all levels of the market – to a particularly international array of collectors and institutions – with many declaring this to have been their strongest Art Basel edition." - Art Basel.

Art Basel 2015 Report

The show, whose Lead Partner is UBS, presented 284 galleries from 33 countries, exhibiting the work of over 4,000 artists. A total of 14 galleries showed in Basel for the very first time, coming from China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Once again, Art Basel provided a platform for galleries to present the very best contemporary and historical material. This year a significant reconfiguration of the downstairs floorplan in Hall 2 moved 57 galleries to new positions – representing the biggest such shift at the show in the last decade. Bringing galleries showing work from 1900 to 1970 in closer proximity to each other, it created a stronger focus for their outstanding historical material, which included premier pieces by Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Georg Grosz, Yves Klein, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko and Egon Schiele.

The show attracted an attendance of 98,000 over the six show days. Alongside major private collectors from Europe, North and Latin America, and Asia, representatives and groups from over 80 museums and institutions from across the world attended the show, including: Art Gallery of Ontario; Dia Art Foundation, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; National Gallery Singapore; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Serpentine Galleries, London; Tate, London; The Royal Academy, London; The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Yuan Museum, Beijing.

Art Basel in Basel 2015. General Impression © Art Basel


Providing galleries with a unique opportunity to present works that transcend the normal art fair stand, Unlimited, curated for the fourth year by Gianni Jetzer, presented 74 ambitious works in Hall 1, and galleries reported particularly strong sales from the sector. Visitors commented on the exceptionally high quality of Unlimited, with some of the many highlights including works by renowned international artists such as, Kenneth Anger, Ed Atkins, Kader Attia, Martin Creed, Dan Flavin, Gilbert & George, Marcia Hafif, Sheila Hicks, Robert Irwin, Anna Gaskell, Shilpa Gupta, Jeppe Hein, Pierre Huyghe, Leigh Ledare, Maha Malluh, Sarah Morris, Bruce Nauman, Elizabeth Price, Pedro Reyes, Lorna Simpson, Sturtevant, Wu Tsang, Julius von Bismarck and Zhang Enli.


The solo artist presentations in Statements offered visitors and collectors an opportunity to discover the work of emerging artists with a strong presence of the digital-native mind set: Bunny Rogers at Société, Borna Sammak at JTT, Avery Singer at KraupaTuskany Zeidler and Amalia Ulman at James Fuentes. Looking eastwards for new talents, Grey Noise from Dubai showed Caline Aoun; The Third Line, also from Dubai, presented Abbas Akhavan; and Platform China from Beijing showed Zhao Zhao.

The Baloise Art Prize was this year awarded to British artist Beatrice Gibson and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc from France. The prize of CHF 30,000 was presented by a jury of international experts, and works by the award winners were acquired by Baloise and donated to the MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main and the MUDAM, Luxembourg.

Art Basel in Basel 2015. General Impression © Art Basel


This year's Feature sector, an annual highlight at the show, was expanded by 25 percent to spotlight even more precise curatorial projects at 30 galleries. Showing both historical and contemporary work, this year's edition saw galleries from 13 countries, with six of the galleries exhibiting at Art Basel for the first time. There were many highlights in Feature, with connoisseurs commenting on the quality of the work shown within the sector, including: a presentation by Luxembourg & Dayan (New York, London) of two lesserknown bodies of works by Michelangelo Pistoletto; a significant thematic show on Mono-ha, featuring five artists from the sculpture based Japanese art movement from the late 1960’s onwards, by Tokyo Gallery + BTAP (Tokyo, Beijing); a stand-out presentation by Tornabuoni Art (Paris, Florence, Milan, Forte dei Marmi, Portofino) of four works by Paolo Scheggi, gathered together for the first time since they were shown at the Venice Biennale in 1966; a much-discussed installation by Andrea Bowers at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (Culver City) and an installation of rarely seen dung sculptures and ‘Body Prints’ by David Hammons, shown by Salon 94 (New York).


The 2015 edition of Parcours was curated for the third time by Florence Derieux, Director of FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, and was sited in the historical centre of Basel around the city’s iconic cathedral and at select locations such as the Museum of Culture, the Natural History Museum, the Town Hall and the Münsterplatz. Parcours featured a total of 23 site-specific art works by internationally recognised artists, the biggest selection for Parcours to date, including Alexandra Bachzetsis, Adriano Costa, Nate Lowman, Michaela Meise, David Renggli and Ugo Rondinone. A highlight of the week was Parcours Night on Saturday, June 20, when the project venues stayed open late, accompanied by special one-off performances by Rosa Barba, Julien Bismuth and Erkka Nissinen, as well as a live set by Haroon Mirza with London-based band Factory Floor. As part of the evening, Art Basel with HeK (House of electronic Arts Basel) presented a new live performance by Edwin van der Heide. Between Wednesday and Sunday 9,000 people visited Parcours. 

Art Basel in Basel 2015. General Impression © Art Basel

Upcoming Art Basel shows

Miami Beach, December 3 - 6, 2015

Hong Kong, March 24 - 26, 2016

Basel, June 16 - 19, 2016 

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Arnold Genthe - Lee Miller, 1927

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