The 43rd edition of Art Basel in Switzerland

The 43rd edition of Art Basel in Switzerland closed on Sunday, June 17, 2012. This year, the annual reunion of the international artworld again attracted 65,000 artists, collectors, curators, and art lovers from around the globe.

A great many artists attended the event, including Marina Abramović, Phyllida Barlow, Nina Beier, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Tracy Emin, Theaster Gates, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Jitish Kallat, Jannis Kounellis, Heinz Mack, Mike Nelson, Damian Ortega, Richard Phillips, Otto Piene, Gavin Turk, Richard Wentworth, Adrian Wong and Gilberto Zorio. Over 70 museum and institution groups, representing almost all the world’s major museums visited Art 43 Basel, as did major private collectors from North and South America, all of Europe and the emerging markets of the artworld.

Shortly before the show, visitors could download the Art Basel Smartphone app. Using an iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or other smartphone, Art Basel’s galleries, artists and exhibition sectors can still be accessed after the show closed. The app’s interactive 3D-map allows for virtual navigation through the halls, access to information and images of artworks that galleries brought to the show, organizing them as favourites, and forwarding them to friends and colleagues.

Museums in Basel
The museum exhibitions in and around Basel were again exceptional. Both daytime shows and evening events attracted a high number of visitors. The exceptional line-up of shows during Art 43 Basel included: ‘Jeff Koons’ (through September 2, 2012) and ‘Philippe Parreno’ (through September 30, 2012) at Fondation Beyeler; ‘Renoir. Between Bohemia and Bourgeoisie’ at Kunstmuseum Basel (through August 12, 2012); ‘Hilary Lloyd’ at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst (through September 16, 2012); ‘Craigie Horsfield. Slow Time and the Present’ and ‘Paul Sietsema’ at the Kunsthalle Basel (through August 26, 2012); ‘Vladimir Tatlin – new art for a new world’ at Tinguely Museum (through October 14, 2012) and ‘Sofie Thorsen’, ‘Carlos Garaicoa’ and ‘Marc Bauer’ at the Kunsthaus Baselland (through July 15, 2012). For a complete list of museum exhibitions, go to

Art Unlimited, curated for the first time by Gianni Jetzer, Director of the Swiss Institute in New York, spotlighted 61 ambitious works by artists representing a cross-section of the leading figures from several generations of today’s international art scene. Highlights included major works by established artists Chris Burden, Jeremy Deller, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Anthony McCall, Bruce Nauman, Mike Nelson, Olaf Nicolai, Walid Raad, Ugo Rondinone and Franz West, joined by pieces from younger and emerging stars such as Tristan Bera, Valentin Carron, Nikolas Gambarof, Alicja Kwade, Ryan McGinley, Sterling Ruby and Michael Sailstorfer.

This year’s Art Statements featured strong single-artist presentations from young galleries and artists. Selected by the Art Basel Committee from more than 300 applications, the participating artists come from 19 different countries. The Baloise Art Prize (CHF 30,000 per artist) was this year awarded to Simon Denny (Michael Lett, Auckland) and Karsten Födinger (RaebervonStenglin, Zurich). The Baloise Group also acquired works by both artists and donated them to Hamburger Kunsthalle and MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien, which will also hold solo
shows for the artists.

The third edition of Art Feature spotlighted precise projects in highly focused stands and offered 20 gallery presentations drawn from South America, China, Europe, South Africa, and the United States.

Additionally, Theater Basel presented three sold-out performances of ‘The Life and Death of Marina Abramović’, a Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid production with Theater Basel and the Holland Festival, whose Swiss performances were presented in co-operation with Art Basel.

The next edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, Art Basel’s sister event in the USA, takes place December 6 – 9, 2012, in Miami Beach, Florida. Art Basel in Switzerland will open its doors again from June 13 – 16, 2013.