From June 13 to 16, the Art Basel fair lit up the art world, marking one of the most significant events in recent years. Traditionally, the most sought-after pieces are snapped up during the initial days of the VIP preview, often within the first few hours. However, this doesn’t deter us from engaging in a delightful thought experiment—curating an imaginary, exceptional home collection from the treasures displayed by the 287 participating galleries.

Fair warning: the selection process was tough, and our editorial taste might not always align with the mainstream or with our colleagues at other publications. But thankfully, Art Basel provided a veritable feast of options to choose from.

1. Cy Twombly, Venus + Adonis, 1978 (Galerie Karsten Greve)

Let’s start with a solid foundation—something that will always hold its value, something our grandchildren will thank us for, and most importantly, something that will never get boring and will always bring joy. Our choice fell on a small work by Cy Twombly, Venus + Adonis (1978), presented by Galerie Karsten Greve. Twombly often inscribed the names of mythological figures on his paintings during the 1960s. In a suite of drawings from the mid-1970s, Twombly lists the names of mythical figures (Venus, Apollo, Pan, and the like) as if an array of artful scrawls could somehow embody one of humankind’s grander fictions.

2. Slavs and Tatars, Stilettos, 2024 (Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery)

Slavs and Tatars (founded 2006, Eurasia) is an internationally renowned art collective that explores the cultural expanse from East of the former Berlin Wall to West of the Great Wall of China. Given that Arte&Lusso is also an international collective that speaks multiple languages and loves exploring cultural paradoxes and the hidden sides of the art world, Slavs and Tatars are among our favorites. By juxtaposing the imperial eagle with the Persianate Simurgh, a mythical bird embodying wisdom and spirituality, they challenge traditional symbols of power. This bird’s claw would be a constant source of inspiration and contemplation in our collection.

3. Anne Imhof, Untitled (Silas), 2024 (Sprüth Magers)

Anne Imhof is one of the most important contemporary artists of our time, especially if you’re drawn to the darker side of art. Her signature style combines elements of fashion, photography, and subculture, creating an atmosphere of post-apocalyptic isolation (and how can we not be in love with it in 2024). This work evokes nostalgic notes of Soviet relief panels featuring cosmonauts, peasants, scientists, and other characters from utopian worlds that will never become reality. Plus, it was sold for $269,000, making it a valuable addition to our imaginary collection.

4. Suzanne Treister, TECHNOSHAMANIC SYSTEMS, 2023 (Annely Juda Fine Art)

Initially recognized in the 1980s as a painter, Suzanne Treister became a pioneer in digital, new media, and web-based art in the early 1990s. Known for her masterful transformations and distinctive style, she creates alter egos for each project. In her latest series, TECHNOSHAMANIC SYSTEMS, Treister presents microcosmic, non-colonialist plans towards a techno-spiritual imaginary of alternative visions for survival on Earth and the inhabitation of the cosmos. These captivating techno-spiritual maps, presented by Annely Juda Fine Art, make a significant addition to any contemporary collection (and a plan to escape?).

5. Wael Shawky, Frog 3, 2023 (Sfeir-Semler Gallery)

Wael Shawky is one of the standout artists of the year, having recently delivered a brilliant project for the Egyptian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2024. At the Sfeir-Semler Gallery booth, the true stars were ceramic versions of the grotesque masks that Shawky has featured in his films. These films have tackled topics ranging from the Crusader invasions of Egypt in the 12th century to the country’s nationalist Urabi revolution against imperial influence in the 19th century—a theme he continues to develop in the Venice Biennale pavilion this year. Each piece on view at Art Basel evokes Greek mythology and commedia dell’arte stereotypes, adding a rich layer of cultural commentary and historical depth. With Frog 3, we can already imagine the thoughts of future archaeologists as they uncover such treasures in our homes a few thousand years from now.

6. Nour Jaouda, The Shadow of Every Tree, 2024 (Union Pacific Gallery)

Nour Jaouda (b. 1997, Libya) skillfully navigates between Cairo and London, infusing her work with the essence of both cities. For their second participation in Art Basel, the London gallery Union Pacific showcased Jaouda’s installation in the Statements sector, The Shadow of Every Tree (2024). This compelling work reflects her material surroundings in Cairo and addresses broader themes of migration, ancient Egyptian history, and colonial intervention. The entire presentation was sold to a private collection in Europe for GBP 105,000, showing that this work has captured the hearts of many, not just ours.

7. Olafur Eliasson, The Triple-Presence Problem, 2024 (Tanya Bonakdar Gallery)

Master of light, Olafur Eliasson, presents The Triple-Presence Problem, featuring colorful panes of silvered, hand-blown glass forming overlapping, translucent circles and ellipses. This series is inspired by historical paintings of the Buddha seated in front of a mandala. In this work, the composition expands to echo the central figure with two others on either side. The desire to include this artwork in our collection is inspired by the silvered headboard Alexander Calder created for Peggy Guggenheim.

8. David Shrigley, Any Artwork from the Booth (Stephen Friedman Gallery)

British artist David Shrigley is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. It’s impossible not to fall in love with his witty and thought-provoking pieces, so we’re definitely including one in our selection!

9. Ana Mendieta, Untitled: Silueta Series, Iowa, 1979 / 2023 (Galerie Lelong & Co)

Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) created earth-body artworks, seamlessly integrating her naked form with natural landscapes, resulting in her unique “siluetas” that capture her body’s fleeting presence in nature. These works form another cornerstone of our selection, highlighting one of the foremost feminist artists of the 20th century.

© The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

10. Monica Bonvicini, Queen, 2024 (Galerie Krinzinger)

Emerging as a visual artist in the mid-1990s and quickly gaining international recognition, Monica Bonvicini is a prominent feminist icon. She is renowned for her provocative large-scale installations that explore the links between sexuality and architecture. Her work challenges the male-dominated field and exposes the gendered quality of constructed spaces. By juxtaposing materials such as steel and glass with leather and rubber, Bonvicini’s pieces are both thoughtful and cheeky.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell the truth and reveal it all!”

Photo: Arte & Lusso (in the reflection, you can see the author of this text)