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All the Art Fairs in Basel You Need to Know About

Otto Piene on Sprueth Magers stand at Art Basel Unlimited 2017 | © Art Basel
Otto Piene on Sprueth Magers stand at Art Basel Unlimited 2017 | © Art Basel
Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 7 June 2018
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With it’s picturesque vistas over the river Rhine and an abundance of museums, Basel is the ideal location for culture lovers. This is especially true in June, when the scenic Swiss city becomes home to Art Basel week. With so many art fairs to choose from in Basel, here’s what not to miss.
Annet Gelink Gallery, 2017
© Art Basel
Annet Gelink Gallery, 2017

Art Basel

Since 1970, Art Basel has been presenting modern and contemporary art to a captivated audience of curators, collectors, museum directors and general public. Following the success of its sister edition in Hong Kong earlier this year, the fair returns for its 49th edition with presentations from 290 galleries hailing from 35 countries all showing approximately 4,000 artists. Continuing to support young galleries, there will be 16 new exhibitors, including White Space Beijing, joining the roster of established galleries.

Split into a number of sections, from ‘Statements’, which showcases emerging artists, to ‘Edition’, a presentation of limited-edition works, Art Basel continues to push the parameters of the art-fair model. This is brilliantly embraced in Basilea, a series of immersive projects commissioned by the fair and presented by Creative Time in the public spaces of Basel’s Messeplatz. Beginning in May and running throughout June, the various interventions use the city for inspiration and explore how we as citizens have the capacity ‘to alter and re-appropriate an urban environment.’

Sadie Coles HQ at Art Basel 2017
© Art Basel
Sadie Coles HQ at Art Basel 2017

LISTE

Known as ‘the young art fair’, Liste offers a welcome breath of fresh air as it champions younger-generation galleries from a broad spectrum of countries and cities, which are not necessarily located in art centres. With over 70 galleries from 32 countries, including Guatemala, Holland, Kosovo, Lebanon, Peru, Romania and Turkey, you’ll discover the latest emerging art practices. With an emphasis on gallery-curated presentations, you will be able to see solo presentations throughout the Liste Art Centre (a former brewery) from the likes of Hungarian artist Zsófia Keresztes, whose sculptures traverse physical and virtual worlds. Plus, Mexico City-based gallery Labor will present Gala Porras-Kim, who explores how knowledge is acquired.

Burgweg 15, 4058 Basel, Switzerland. June 11-17. Ticketed event.

LISTE Art Fair Basel, 2017
LISTE Art Fair Basel, 2017

Photo Basel

Returning to the Volkshaus Basel for its fourth edition is Switzerland’s only fair dedicated to photography. Founded in 2015 by Sven Eisenhut, Photo Basel showcases the diversity of photographic practices from the historic and documentary to the contemporary and conceptual. As well as welcoming a number of new galleries, including Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporânea from Portugal, to this year’s line-up of 35 exhibitors from 13 countries, the fair is also launching a new section. Master Cabinet: Pivotal Moments is a special exhibition of exceptional vintage prints that capture and portray various significant cultural and historical events.

Conforte with Godonou Dossou Family, 2011
© Nicola Lo Calzo, courtesy La Balsa Arta
Conforte with Godonou Dossou Family, 2011

Volta

Offering a welcome contrast to the established, market-conscious model, Volta returns with a new location for its 2018 edition. Still a platform for establishing new perspectives on international art, the satellite fair offers something for everyone. In addition to the thematic displays and dual-artists booths, in which two artists work are showcased in dialogue with one another, there will be a number of important solo presentations, including Helsinki-based Galerie Anhava’s stand dedicated to the Helsinki School experimental pioneer of conceptual photography, Jorma Puranen.

V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
Courtesy Volta
V1 Gallery, Copenhagen

Scope

Back at the expansive Scope Haus for its 12th edition, Scope returns with over 70 exhibitors. Over the past 15 years, and in its numerous incarnations in different cities, the fair has become known for tapping into the cultural climate with its choice of participants. Scope’s chosen galleries present a wide array of the most exciting multi-disciplinary practices; Primo Marella Gallery, for example, were early champions of Asian Art before the rest of the world cottoned on.

Webergasse 34, 4058 Basel, Switzerland. June 12-17. Ticketed event.

Primo Marella Gallery
Courtesy Scope
Primo Marella Gallery
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