Back again in Switzerland the mother of all art fairs and Art Basel-offsprings opens doors on 19 June with exclusive previews and opening parties one day ahead: ART BASEL 2014. Over 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa show works of more than 4,000 artists, ranging from great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging talent.
Art Basel follows its tradition of presenting individual sectors that represent various artistic mediums: painting, sculpture, installation, videos, multiples, print, photography, and performance. Each day offers a full program of events, including symposiums, films, and artist talks.But it’s also reaching beyond the fair’s premises suggesting complementary exhibitions and events offered by cultural institutions throughout the city of Basel and its surrounding area thus creating an comprehensive, region-wide art week.
For those who want to explore the new and exciting: Statements, Unlimited and Parcours are the sectors to turn to. Statements presents exciting new solo projects by young, emerging artists. Some of the eye catchers this year are Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs orking in photography or creating objects or spaces for the purpose of being turned into a photograph. Uninterested in digital manipulation, they instead use photographic techniques to imbue objects with meaning or remove meaning entirely. Or take Mexican artist Pablo Rasgado who reconsiders the usual concepts and approaches to painting – with work firmly embedded in the politics and concept-driven approach of institutional critique. In his work the everyday becomes abstract filled with historical reference.
The Unlimited sector is Art Basel’s pioneering exhibition platform for projects that transcend the limitations of a classical art-show stand. The innovative work includes out-sized sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances. Unlimited is curated by New York-based curator Gianni Jetzer who has seamlessly woven together a rich and diverse selection of 78 works by top modern and contemporary artists – all in one space.
From the immersive Doug Wheeler environment that admits five visitors at a time, to a large-scale canvas from Harold Ancart that beckons reflection, to a stunning Julio Le Parc installation that plays with light and shadow, the sector is a fresh new example of successful curatorial interventions within the art fair setting.
Parcours is the sector which engages the city’s historical quarters with site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances by renowned international artists and emerging talents. Each year Parcours finds its way into a new neighborhood, this year it’s Rheingasse, and for the second year in a row, the curator behind it all is Florence Derieux, the Director of FRAC Champagne-Ardenne. She has chosen 15 projects to present to the public – from Chris Burden’s folly, complete with cast iron benches for reading, to Francesco Arena’s 278 km, featuring performers walking the distance of Basel to Turin, for seven hours each day. Parcours can be traversed within about two hours, it is open to the public and offers guided tours available from 18-22 June.
Art Basel 2014 International Art Fair 19-22 June 2014 Basel/ Switzerland www.artbasel.com