Impressions from Art Basel 2016

By Maria Martens Serrano - Saturday, June 18, 2016
Impressions from Art Basel 2016

Despite the lackluster figures during this spring’s auction season, Art Basel secured several big sales since day one, cementing (once and for all?) its reputation as the world’s primary art fair. Evidently, many collectors have been saving their bucks for Basel – and, of course, all galleries save their best for Basel.

Impressions from Art Basel 2016

Despite the lackluster figures during this spring’s auction season, Art Basel secured several big sales since day one, cementing (once and for all?) its reputation as the world’s primary art fair. Evidently, many collectors have been saving their bucks for Basel – and, of course, all galleries save their best for Basel. 

The vastness of the fair hits each visitor like a tidal wave. Basel is a force of nature, taking over all mediums on-site (and online). The only way to experience this event is in dosages, in order to savor every bite of the crème de la crème.

In the past two days we have captured some of our initial impressions (here and here). There is a daring feeling throughout the fair, a ticklish deviousness to be found in the ingenuity of some works, such as David Balula’s Mimed Sculptures (Gagosian Gallery), or Paul McCarthy’s Tomato Head (Hauser & Wirth) - the latter of which sold for an undisclosed sum to Art Agency, Partners, the art advisory company acquired by Sotheby’s earlier this year.

There is a healthy mix of old and new, but nothing feels old. The conscientious placement of galleries and works only serves to emphasize each artist’s strong points. Veterans such as Ellsworth Kelly and Gerard Richter prove to possess a limitless relevance. And, of course, who better than Cindy Sherman to capture the passage of time with grace and grandeur with her latest series of works, in which she embodies the nostalgic romance and the blazing defiance of an aging star.

 

image: Gazing Ball (Rembrandt Self-Portrait Wearing a Hat), oil on canvas, glass, and aluminum. 64 1/2 x 52 1/4 x 14 3/4 inches, 163.8 x 132.7 x 37.5 cm. © Jeff Koons, 2015. Source: www.jeffcoons.com

 

Maria Martens Serrano is a Dutch-Salvadoran writer. She studied under a liberal arts program at University College Utrecht, going on to graduate with an MSc in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam. Exploring a broad range of interests, Maria previously worked with a news website and a human rights NGO, before becoming involved with several art fairs in the Netherlands. She now writes on topics of arts and culture. In early 2015 Maria joined the team of Artdependence Magazine as editor and contributor.

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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