Art Basel 2014

Art Basel 2014
 

Art Basel 2014


 

Following soon after the astonishing New York sales in May, it was almost inevitable the Basel art fair would be highly successful, and its opening day, reserved for VIPs, was indeed a huge commercial hit. Many sales had already been agreed even before the doors swung open to the select ‘first choice’ guests at 11 AM on Tuesday. Among those at the VIP opening were major collectors including hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen, Daniel S. Loeb and many others. Although few artists come to art fairs, Oscar Murillo, the Colombian-born painter, did make an appearance.
 
The 45th edition closed on Sunday, 22 June 2014 with galleries reporting exceptionally strong sales throughout the week and across all levels of the market, as Art Basel once again confirmed its position as one of the most important annual art events and the central meeting point for the international art world. Art Basel 2014 presented 285 galleries from 34 countries exhibiting the work of over 4,000 artists across six sectors of the show. A new feature, in an old market hall adjacent to the cavernous centre where Art Basel took place, was a happening unlike anything ever staged here. Called “14 ROOMS”, it consisted of fourteen miniperformances created by artists including Marina Abramovic, Damien Hirst and Yoko Ono, each secreted in a small space behind mirrored doors. But one performance particularly impressed me: in Xu Zhen’s In just a blink of an eye, 2005, a person floats mysteriously in mid-air, frozen in time and space as if defying the constraints of physics. The work engages with the notions of the body as material and the materiality of the body, testing the limits of physical and cognitive possibilities as we try to comprehend what we see.
 
A strong new Associate Partner of Art Basel since 2013, Swiss haute horology brand Audemars Piguet celebrated the launch of the Audemars Piguet Art Commission at an exclusive dinner to coincide with the opening of Art Basel 2014. Marking the appointment of leading art-world figure, Marc-Olivier Wahler as the first guest curator for their new commissioning project, the event was also attended by Mathieu Lehanneur, who designed Audemars Piguet’s striking new concept for their spaces in the Art Basel’s Collectors’ Lounge. Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Audemars Piguet Board and member of one of the founding families outlined Audemars Piguet’s expanding activities in the sphere of contemporary art, saying “Audemars Piguet has always sought to integrate creative vision with superb artistry and technical mastery. We feel our partnership with Art Basel echoes our core values and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our heritage as a family-owned company with a long-standing history committed to the finest traditions in watchmaking.”
 
As well as the opportunity to make purchases, all of these activities will attract more and more art lovers, collectors and curators to Art Basel in the future. And, by the way, don’t forget to visit the
bar of the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois because it’s the meeting place during Art Basel.

 
- Copyright 2014 Mart Engelen
 
 
 

Jason Brooks, Kate, 2013
 

Jason Brooks, Kate, 2013

273 x 213 cm, acrylic and paper on canvas

 
 

Cy Twombly, Untitled, oil paint, wax crayon and pencil on canvas
 

Cy Twombly

Untitled, oil paint, wax crayon and pencil on canvas

 
 

Yasumasa Morimura, One hundred M’s self-portraits, 1993-2000 Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
 

Yasumasa Morimura

One hundred M’s self-portraits, 1993-2000