The 2019 edition of Art Basel attracted a truly global audience, catalyzing excellent sales at all levels
- The 2019 edition of Art Basel closed on Sunday, June 16, 2019, amid reports of buoyant sales to private collections and institutions by galleries across all market sectors
- The fair attracted collectors from over 80 countries and an overall attendance of 93,000
- Art Basel presented 'Aggregate' (2017-2019) by Alexandra Pirici on Messeplatz to great acclaim
- A new sliding-scale pricing system was successfully introduced, providing additional support for smaller and mid-size galleries
- The show, whose Lead Partner is UBS, took place at Messe Basel from June 13 to June 16, 2019
Art Basel brought together 290 premier galleries, presenting works ranging from early 20th century Modern art to the most contemporary pieces.While galleries from Europe continued to be strongly represented, the show featured returning and new exhibitors from across the globe, including Asia, Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
19 galleries participated for the first time, including: Barro Arte Contemporáneo from Argentina; Galeria Jaqueline Martins from Brazil; Temnikova & Kasela from Estonia; Galerie Crèvecoeur and Galerie Christophe Gaillard from France; SpazioA from Italy; Vadehra Art Gallery from India; Marfa' from Lebanon; Galerie Knoell from Switzerland; and Commonwealth and Council, Durham Press, and David Lewis from the United States, among others. For the full gallery list, please visit artbasel.com/basel/galleries.
Among the fair's most talked-about highlights was ‘Aggregate’ (2017-2019) by Romanian artist Alexandra Pirici. Conceived as a time capsule, in which fragments from nature, vernacular culture, art history, and everyday life are given new embodiments, the work was presented on Messeplatz in a purpose-built pavilion designed by Andrei Dinu, a frequent collaborator of Pirici's.
Leading private collectors from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East attended this year, as well as representatives from over 400 museums and institutions, including: Centre Pompidou, Paris; Dallas Museum of Art; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Museo de Arte de Lima; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium; National Gallery Singapore; New Museum, New York; Norval Foundation, Cape Town; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Serpentine Galleries, London; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
With this fair, Art Basel successfully introduced a sliding-scale pricing model for its Basel show, designed to benefit galleries with smaller stands. For the second year, Art Basel curated a VIP Weekend program, which was attended by more than 120 collectors from over 25 countries across all regions.
Shortly before the fair, Art Basel announced the Global Guide, a new digital initiative designed to further support galleries by driving visitors and collectors to Art Basel's galleries year-round and furthering Art Basel's mission to connect patrons with great galleries on a year-round basis.
Galleries exhibiting in all sectors of Art Basel expressed their delight at this year’s show:
'This marks the fourth year we've participated in the Basel fair, the most important art fair in the world. It is a precious opportunity to open new fronts, whether for exhibitions, special projects, and, of course, new clients – both institutional and private – from all over the world.’
Thiago Gomide, Co-Founder, Bergamin & Gomide (São Paulo)
‘We sold out our booth on the first day, and it has been very exciting to have met so many curators. The fair has been better than we could’ve hoped for.’
Vanessa Carlos, Co-Founder, Carlos/Ishikawa (London)
‘2019 at Art Basel brought our most successful fair yet, with over 40 sales by the end of the opening day alone. The momentum leading up to the fair was particularly strong this year, but nothing can replace the experience of Messeplatz and the energy on the ground.’Iwan Wirth, President and Co-Founder, Hauser & Wirth (Zurich, London, Somerset, Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, St. Moritz)
‘Having participated in Art Basel for the last ten years, I have seen how the fair has diversified with young collectors in their 20s and 30s travelling to Basel from all over the world. Art Basel is a fair beloved across generations.’
Takayuki Ishii, Owner/Director, Taka Ishii Gallery (Tokyo)
‘We sold out the entirety of our booth within one day. It has been a joy to watch the evolution of the fair’s curatorial rigor and the strength of its collector base, reminding us why it remains a key date in our calendar.’
Jack Shainman, Owner, Jack Shainman Gallery (New York)
‘This year’s Basel show has been another successful fair for us. We have seen more Southeast Asian collectors this year, especially from Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. I am pleasantly surprised by the level of interest we received from museums in Europe.’
Lilian Wu, Gallery Director, ShanghART Gallery (Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore)
‘Art Basel is where we choose to present rare, museum-quality works each year. We think of it more as an institutional exhibition space.’
Philomene Magers, Co-owner, Sprüth Magers (Berlin, London, Los Angeles)
‘As a new exhibitor, we have been impressed by the level of collectors and museums visiting our booth, translating in sales and hopefully in museum exhibitions! The organization of the fair was exceptional and very helpful.’
Silvia Ortiz and Inés López-Quesada, Founders, Travesía Cuatro (Guadalajara, Madrid)
‘We are thrilled with the positive response we have received to our Feature presentation and placed a number of works in important private collections in Europe and the United States. There has been significant interest from institutions around the world. This is the first time these rare works are entering the market, and Art Basel has been a great platform.’
Parul Vadehra, Director, Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi)
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