ART + CULTURE

ART BASEL 2024: A SPECTACULAR DISPLAY OF CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

Art Basel 2024: A Fusion of Tradition and Innovation in the Heart of Basel

18.06.2024
BY MAXWELL SOETOMO
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Art Basel, the world-renowned art fair, is set to captivate the art world from Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, June 16, with its original and unparalleled event in Basel. As the flagship event among its Miami, Hong Kong, and now Paris editions, the Basel fair promises an extraordinary assembly of premier artworks, complemented by a rich array of additional programming that will delight art enthusiasts.

This year's Art Basel, characterized by a dynamic and bold curatorial approach, features hundreds of leading galleries and thousands of artists, bringing an air of excitement and novelty to the city. The arrival of Maike Cruse as the new director, formerly of Gallery Weekend Berlin, signals a fresh era of creative energy and innovative leadership.

A highlight of this year's fair is the expanded Parcours program, curated by Stefanie Hessler of New York's Swiss Institute. This initiative will present 22 site-specific installations along Clarastrasse, linking the fairgrounds to the Rhine. These installations, set in diverse locations such as shops, bars, a hotel, and a brewery, promise to create an immersive and accessible art experience throughout the city. Additionally, the newly opened Merian, a 24-hour art space next to the Middle Bridge on the Rhine, will further enhance the fair's vibrant atmosphere.

Art Basel's appeal extends beyond the fairgrounds, with Hauser & Wirth establishing its first permanent space in Basel. Located in a 19th-century former ribbon factory in the Old Town, the gallery, previously occupied by Galerie Knoell, will feature intimate exhibitions focused on artists like Méret Oppenheim, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and Georges Vantongerloo. Carlo Knoell, the former director of Galerie Knoell, now heads this new venue, aiming to strengthen the historical and secondary art market through curated shows, publications, and projects.

In the Messeplatz, the fair will host the work of Agnes Denes, the 93-year-old pioneer of environmental land art. Her installation, "Honouring Wheatfield – a Confrontation," curated by Samuel Leuenberger, is a recreation of her iconic wheat field project from 42 years ago in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park. This thought-provoking piece will remain until it is harvested, highlighting the vital connection between art, nature, and human survival.

The Fondation Beyeler, celebrating its 27th year, will also embrace the Basel spirit of innovation with "Cloud Chronicles," an experimental showcase featuring 30 contemporary artists. Curated by Philippe Parreno and Precious Okoyomon, this exhibition will explore the complexities and uncertainties of artistic collaboration. The show will include works by Michael Armitage, Joshua Chuquimia Crampton, and Fujiko Nakaya, intermingling with pieces by masters like Monet, Van Gogh, and Bourgeois, ensuring a dynamic and engaging experience for visitors.

As the fair prepares to open, the anticipation is palpable. Art Basel 2024 promises an extraordinary journey through contemporary art, bridging the past and present, and offering a glimpse into the future of creative expression.

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