On June 18-21, creme de la creme of the global arts community flocked to Basel, Switzerland to take part in the annual event of enormous significance – Art Basel 2019. For many years, Art Basel represents a unique venue where artists and art appreciators of all kinds contemplate new artworks, engage with gallerists and artists, participate in art conversations, and explore innovation in contemporary art.
Art Basel 2019 featured the works of over 4,000 artists across several art domains – sculpture, film, fine art, installations, mix media, etc. The exhibition attracted over 93,000 visitors – collectors hunting for innovative, striking art pieces and viewers wishing to touch the world of high art and explore the emergent trends.
Sales were booming this year in Basel, with a major emphasis made on online purchases. For instance, David Zwirner’s Kusama pumpkin grossed $1.8 million, and the Donald Judd sculpture was sold for $900,000. Jeff Koon’s giant bow performed in the screaming pink color (displayed at the Unlimited Exhibition sector for extra-large works) was presented with a price tag of $14.5 million.
Paintings also grossed enormous sales this time, with the best deal recorded for Gerhard Richter’s 1966 Versammlung (sold for $20 million) and Kim Whanki’s 1973 Tranquility 5-IV-73 #310 (priced at $10-12 million).
Art Basel 2019 Sectors
Art Basel is rich in a variety of art forms and types; it has something to offer to any sophisticated artistic taste. This year, visitors enjoyed the Galleries sector featuring modern paintings, sculpture, installations, prints, video and digital art works of over 4,000 artists. Those with more focused interests admired the thematic exhibits and presentations of established artists in the Feature sector. The emerging artists, Baloise Art Prize nominees, showcased their creative works in the Statements sector, while the Edition sector opened the exquisite world of print art to true admirers. Fans of spacious, massive installations were treated to a variety of daring artworks in the Unlimited sector. Everyone could interact with situated, site-specific art in the Parcours sector.
Conversations held during the entire Art Basel 2019 event covered the topics of sustainability (the carbon footprint of modern art), new political trends in art (e.g., the new rising nationalism, state surveillance), gender issues (career and motherhood of female artists, gender gaps in artwork prices), and artists’ influences, among others.
Now that the June event is over, leaving the artistic community inspired and craving for more, we have nothing else to do but wait for the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach fair scheduled for December 5-8, 2019.