Today Art Basel, the world’s largest and leading art fair, officially opend its gates to the public. This year is the 48th celebration of the annual art fair in its originating city Basel, Switzerland. It is presented by its leading partner, UBS. 291 renown galleries from 34 countries and six continents present works from early 20th century to contemporary artists.
VIPs, collectors and press are the lucky ones to get access during the two preview days of Art Basel – and so did I. Yesterday I took over the Forbes Snapchat, live at Art Basel, and shared a range of important art works and facts as well as some highlights from inside the fair’s luxurious VIP areas and events. Here is the short overview of some hotspots, highlights and art works of this year’s Art Basel.
Lucio Fontana,1964, Alexander Calder Mobile, Cy Twombly Painting
Brushstroke Head I, Roy Lichtenstein, sculpture, 1987
Fireplace mural (untitled), oil on canvas, 1938 by Fernand Léger. The painting was conceived for and in the living room of Nelson A. Rockefeller’s apartment, New York. The painting is being offered for the first time, by Galerie Gmurzynska on behalf of MoMa New York.
Van de Weghe Gallery
Stack, Untitled, by Donald Judd, seen at the Art Basel booth of Van de Weghe gallery.
Helly Nahmad Gallery
Le soleil rouge ronge l’araignée, 1948, Joan Miró, offered for 20 million USD.
The “Unlimited” section of Art Basel is a true highlight of the fair since 2000. Curated by Gianni Jetzer, 76 premier large-scale art projects and installations are presented across 16,000 square meters of exhibition space and feature everything from historically significant pieces to contemporary works.
Live Cooking Installation by Subodh Gupta called “Galleria Continua” represented by Hauser & Wirth gallery
Ear Sofa; Noses Sconces with Flowers (in Stage Setting)’ by John Baldessari
Inside the Collectors Lounge
The Collector’s VIP Lounge is a by-invitation-only area welcoming First Choice VIP and VIP-Preview card holders throughout the fair and is luxuriously represented by Art Basel’s sponsoring partners.
Frida Fjellman for NetJets
It’s the 16th year of partnership for NetJets and Art Basel. For this year’s artistic entertainment, the private aviation firm chose to work with Frida Fjellman, a critically acclaimed Swedish Craft Artist, in creating an innovative installation on display at the NetJets VIP lounge in the Art Basel Collectors Lounge. Celebrated and known for her artistic craft works and installations, Frida Fjellman lets the viewer of her works dive into the world of myths and fables. The eye-catching hanging installation “Crystal Atmosphere“ made of glass prisms in different sizes, colors and heights creates a dreamy atmosphere inside the by-invitaiton only VIP Lounge of NetJets. „I was interested in exploring the almost magical sense of tranquility that you experience when cruising above the clouds – flying is perhaps one of the few oasis of calm in our increasingly interconnected digital society. Crystal Atmosphere was designed to impart a sense of calm to the viewer as well as to intrigue and fascinate, making the visitor reflect and take a step back from their everyday lives. I hope that this will be a memorable and unexpected experience for the guests.“ said Frida Fjellman
Jaume Plensa for Ruinart
For more than 10 years, Ruinart collaborates each year with an artist who creates an artwork and matching bottle cover for Maison Ruinart’s Blanc des Blancs. This year, that special artist is Jaume Plensa. He is known and recognized today for his silhouettes of seated or kneeling human bodies, who seem to scrutinize the horizon in a meditative manner like the contemporary thinkers. His sculpture for Ruinart is made out of stainless steel and seven different alphabets. The intention is to send a message of hope to the world. A limited edition Ruinart Blanc des Blancs x Jaume Plensa costs USD 3,700 . Only 20 pieces were made.
Audemars Piguet’s “Second Nature”
After unveiling its new booth creation, Second Nature, and as a part of it a sculpture by artist Sebastian Errazuriz as well as a video installation by artist Cheng Ran at Art Basel Hong Kong 2017, the brand brought its lounge to Art Basel in Basel. The lounge concept, entitled Second Nature, is designed to evolve with the seasons and change at each Art Basel show throughout the year. In Basel, Audemars Piguet announced their third Art Commission artist, Lars Jan. His work will be shown at Art Basel Miami 2017 for the first time.
As an ode to Davidoff’s Caribbean territory, the new Masterpiece Humidor Damajugua, is the center of attention inside Davidoff’s Lounge at Art Basel. It has been exclusively created for Davidoff by the by the Paris-based marquetry artisan, Lison de Caunes, limited to 20 pieces and made of 25 materials, and costs USD 25’000. “Rose Saneuil has been greatly inspired by Davidoff’s Caribbean heritage, the magical forest of Damajagua and our skill at nurturing fragile tobacco plants to transform them into exceptional cigars. Her Masterpieces are breathtaking as the artist mixed 25 selected materials to create them, using tobacco leaves picked from Damajagua, for the very first time in marquetry,” explains Charles Awad, SVP – Chief Marketing Officer at Oettinger Davidoff AG.