The 2022 edition of Art Basel – which returned to its June schedule for the first time since the pandemic started in early 2020 – featured 289 leading international galleries from 40 countries and territories. Among them were 19 first-time participants, including: Jahmek Contemporary Art from Luanda; OH Gallery from Dakar; Athr Gallery with exhibition spaces in Diriyah, Al-‘Ula, and Jeddah; Proyectos Ultravioleta from Guatemala City; Edouard Montassut from Paris; Veda from Florence; Ceysson & Bénétière with spaces in Paris, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Koerich, and New York; Mariane Ibrahim with spaces in Chicago and Paris; Galerie Maria Bernheim with spaces in Zurich and London; and Ivan Gallery from Bucharest.
In addition to showcasing exceptional art within its Galleries, Feature, Statements, and Edition sectors, the fair presented 70 large-scale artworks in Unlimited; 21 site-specific projects in Parcours; a large-scale floor installation on the Messeplatz titled ‘Out of Sight’ by Lawrence Weiner, the American conceptual artist, who died last year; a dynamic Film program; as well as Conversations, the fair’s renowned talks series.
Leading private collectors from across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa attended this year, as well as curators and representatives from over 300 museums and institutions, including: The Bass, Miami Beach; Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Dallas Museum of Art; ICA Miami; La Kunsthalle Mulhouse; Kunsthal Rotterdam; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery Singapore; National Museum, Oslo; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Serpentine Galleries, London; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Städel Museum, Frankfurt; Swiss Institute, New York; Tate, London; Tate Americas Foundation, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw.
‘We were once again delighted to welcome the international art world to Basel in June, ‘ says Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel. ‘This year we witnessed strong collector and curator attendance not only from across Europe, but also the Americas and Asia. Pent-up demand and the excellent quality on offer led to vigorous sales across all levels of the market and throughout the duration of the fair. This show truly demonstrates the importance of in-person events as a platform for vibrant encounters between cultural players.’
Galleries exhibiting across all sectors of Art Basel commented:
Lisa Spellman, Founder and Owner, 303 Gallery (New York)
‘It has been a whirlwind spring with the European art scene roaring back to life. We were thrilled to be back in Basel, where we made our debut with the Milton Avery Estate and united with international collectors and colleagues—many familiar and many new to us.’
Xavier Hufkens, Owner and Founder, Xavier Hufkens (Brussels)
‘This week’s fair was buzzing with enthusiastic collectors from every corner of the globe. We felt that there was a particularly dynamic balance of demand for primary market and secondary market works this year, which enabled us to present 20th-century masters alongside emerging artists with very successful results.’
Art Basel demonstrates the depth and layers that bring the art community to Basel and the re-emergence of the importance of in-person engagement in front of artworks at the fair. Conversation is the real driver of acquisitions and exchange, where with relief and anticipation gallerists, collectors, museums, and artists can see each other and reconnect after years of pandemic realities.Andrew Fabricant, Chief Operating Officer, Gagosian (New York, Beverly Hills, Paris, Athens, Rome, Basel, Geneva, Hong Kong)
The show’s main sector featured 234 of the world’s leading galleries. Mariane Ibrahim, with spaces in Chicago and Paris, joined the fair for the first time this year, while eight galleries previously exhibiting in Feature or Statements graduated into the main sector, showcasing the full range of their program: Balice Hertling from Paris; The Breeder from Athens; Ben Brown Fine Arts with spaces in Hong Kong, London, and Palm Beach; Jenkins Johnson Gallery with spaces in New York and San Francisco; JTT from New York; Galerie Max Meyer from Düsseldorf; Labor from Mexico City; and Vedovi Gallery from Brussels. For the full list of exhibitors in Galleries, please visit artbasel.com/basel/galleries.
The sector presented ambitious, curated solo and duo presentations by 26 galleries, including eight first-time exhibitors. Two joint booths featured in the sector: Altman Siegel and Bridget Donahue with a presentation of works by Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Daniel Marzona and Gallery Sofie Van de Velde with works by Guy Mees. Further highlights from the sector included: abstract artist Nancy Graves’s compelling and formally rigorous paintings at Ceysson & Bénétière; Texas-born artist Hugh Hayden’s installation of sculptures, which address ideas of America’s creation, the colonization of Africa, and the formation of personal identity at Clearing; Galerie Knoell’s retrospective of Meret Oppenheim, which coincided with the major survey of her work in Bern, Houston, and New York; a curated solo show at Galleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M. exploring the theme of landscape in Giorgio Morandi‘s work;
Garth Greenan Gallery’s presentation of paintings by Native American artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith that reflect the artist’s poetic, curious, and profound interpretations of America’s particular forms of bigotry toward Native peoples; a curated selection of paintings by artist, writer, gallerist, and collector William N. Copley, which focuses on his formative period in France, presented by Kasmin; Mignoni’s solo booth presentation of Sol LeWitt; Polish sculptor and performer Jerzy Bereś’s large-scale wooden sculptures at Galeria Dawid Radziszewski; and Galería RGR’s booth dedicated to Oswaldo Vigas, a central figure of Latin American modernism, focusing on his abstract work from the 1950s. For the full list of exhibitors in Feature, please visit artbasel.com/basel/feature.
Dedicated to emerging artists across the globe, Statements featured 18 solo presentations and welcomed 10 new entries. Highlights from the sector included: ‘ESF,’ a new immersive, multi-channel video work by Sara Sadik presented by Galerie Crèvecoeur; a new site-specific installation by Zimbabwean artist Kresiah Mukwazhi presented by Jan Kaps; ‘The Brother, the Sister and the Pied Pipe,’ a 45-minute puppet show by Peruvian artist Daniela Ortiz, presented by Laveronica arte contemporanea; Chapter NY’s solo presentation of artist Tourmaline, which featured the debut of her new film ‘Pollinator’; South African artist Helena Uambembe’s site-specific installation at Jahmek Contemporary Art; Château Shatto’s solo presentation of New York-based artist, writer, and curator Aria Dean; and artist Aliou Diack’s evocative installation at OH Gallery, which conjured up the landscape and atmosphere of the Senegalese bush. For the full list of exhibitors in Statements, please visit artbasel.com/basel/statements.
The 23rd Annual Baloise Art Prize, comprising a cash prize of CHF 30,000 per winner, was awarded to two artists exhibiting in the sector: Helena Uambembe, presented by Jahmek Contemporary Art and Tourmaline, presented by Chapter NY. In addition, the Baloise Group acquired works by the selected artists for donation to two leading European museums, which will hold solo exhibitions of the artists’ works.
Spread across both floors of Hall 2, the sector featured 11 leading galleries in the field of prints and editioned works: Niels Borch Jensen Gallery and Editions, Cristea Roberts Gallery, mfc-michèle didier, Gemini G.E.L., Galerie Sabine Knust, Carolina Nitsch, Paragon, René Schmitt, Susan Sheehan Gallery, STPI, and Two Palms. Two Palms showcased ‘Measurement: 24’ by Mel Bochner on the Spotlight wall facing the Rundhof. For the full list of exhibitors in Edition, please visit artbasel.com/basel/edition.
Curated by Giovanni Carmine, Director of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Unlimited featured 70 large-scale installations from monumental sculptures and vast wall paintings to extensive photographic series and video projections. Highlights included: a mural installation by Theaster Gates, ‘Hardware Store Painting’ (2020/2022), presented by Gray; t, and Galeria Luisa Strina; Thomas J Price‘s sculptural installation ‘Moments Contained’ (2022), presented by Hauser & Wirth; and Andrea Zittel‘s ‘A-Z Personal Uniforms, 2nd Decade: Fall/Winter 2003–Spring/Summer 2013’ (2003-2013), comprised of 76 ensembles designed and hand-crafted by the artist from 2003 to 2013, presented by Regen Projects. For the full list of artists and galleries featured in the sector, visit artbasel.com/basel/unlimited.
On Thursday, June 16, Art Basel hosted its first Unlimited Night, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the sector during extended opening hours, with a program of special performances by Ari Benjamin Meyers and Nora Turato. Art Basel also presented a special event with Grammy-Award-winning artist Chance the Rapper in relation to the release of ‘The Highs & The Lows,’ a new music video featuring the work of artist Yannis Davy Guibinga. The video premiere included two Q&A sessions with the hip-hop artist and Guibinga, moderated by artist Ayana V. Jackson, which was free and open to the public.
Curated by Samuel Leuenberger, founder of the non-profit exhibition space SALTS in Birsfelden and Country SALTS in Bennwil, under the theme ‘How to Grow in Times of Change,’ Art Basel’s public art program Parcours returned to Basel’s city center with 21 site-specific installations and performances. Highlights included: Anna Hulačová’s new sculptural installation ‘Edible, Beautiful, Untamed’ (2022), presented by hunt kastner; Alicja Kwade’s ‘SIÈGES DES MONDES’ (2022), comprising eight new bronze sculptures, presented by König Galerie; Matthew Lutz-Kinoy’s new paintings and site-specific installation, presented in the Lichthof at the Bau- und Verkehrsdepartement Basel-Stadt by Mendes Wood DM, kamel mennour, and Fitzpatrick Gallery; anda new sculptural installation and performance by Puppies Puppies (Jade Guarano Kuriki-Olivo), presented in Scala Basel in the city center by Balice Hertling, Galerie Francesca Pia, and Galerie Barbara Weiss.
On Saturday, June 18, Art Basel hosted Parcours Night, an evening of live performances throughout Basel’s city center, featuring Puppies Puppies, Oscar Murillo, Jan Vorisek, Antonio Jose Guzman and Iva Jankovic, Atelier GF Workstation, and Ellie Ga. Museums and venues presenting Parcours projects held extended opening hours to provide visitors a unique experience. Accessto all Parcours sites was free to the public. For the full list of artists and galleries featured and further information, visit artbasel.com/basel/parcours.
Basel’s Messeplatz featured a floor installation titled ‘Out of Sight’ by Lawrence Weiner, in homage to the artist who passed away in December 2021. Modeled on a hopscotch grid, the work inspired and engaged visitors through visualization, physicalizing positive thinking through Weiner’s signature typographic texts.
Screened at Stadtkino Basel from Monday, June 13 to Saturday, June 18, the Film program was curated by Filipa Ramos, Founding Curator of the online video platform Vdrome, Lecturer at the Arts Institute of the FHNW in Basel, and Director of the Contemporary Art Department of the City of Porto. The program showcased some of the most important artists worldwide working with moving images through dedicated surveys and short film evenings. This year’s highlights included surveys by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Sky Hopinka,and Tala Madani.In addition, Film Curator Marian Masone selected an outstanding feature-length documentary film on African-American art history – ‘Black Art: In the Absence of Light,’ directed by Sam Pollard – which screened on Saturday, June 18. The screening marked the Swiss cinematic premiere of the HBO documentary. For further information, visit artbasel.com/basel/film.
Art Basel’s renowned Conversations series offered a platform for the exchange of ideas on topics concerning the global contemporary art scene. This year’s program featured 46 speakers across 12 panels, bringing together leading artists, gallerists, collectors, curators, museum directors, and critics. Topics ranged from the changing roles and responsibilities of collectors in the NFT art market to museums’ challenges of addressing climate change, as well as decolonial and ecological life in collaboration with the 12th Berlin Biennale. The program was curated by Emily Butler, Conversations Curator of Art Basel and guest curator at Whitechapel Gallery. All events were free to the public and were streamed on Art Basel’s Facebook channel.