Forbes: The Best Of Art Basel 2022

Nel-Olivia Waga
June 16, 2022
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The Basel edition of Art Basel brings the international art world together this week. It features over 200 leading galleries and more than 4,000 artists from five continents. It’s the first Art Basel without masks, without restrictions. There was a buzz, which we’ve only known from pre-pandemic times.

And so the fair started with a record sale in Louise Bourgeois’ history: on preview day 1, gallery Hauser & Wirth sold the French-American artist’s larger than life iconic steel Spider, 1996 for 40 million USD.

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“As the most iconic and rare work of Louise Bourgeois’ entire oeuvre, the 1996 steel ‘Spider’ seemed the ideal work to anchor our booth at this year’s fair — a celebration of both Art Basel’s post-pandemic ‘grand retour’ and Hauser & Wirth’s 30th anniversary. Louise embodied, in so many ways, our gallery’s vision and ethos. She spanned the 20th and 21st centuries, possessed a fiercely independent spirit in her life and work that defied simple categorization, and she changed the game not only for women artists but for art itself. She continues to exert enormous influence in the most positive way, and we felt this was an important moment to spotlight that power.” says Marc Payot, President, Hauser & Wirth.

Here are more highlights from the preview days of Art Basel, which has opened its doors to the public today:

Jaume Plensa, Cristina’s Words

Barcelona born and based artist Jaume Plensa (1955) is one of my favorite contemporary artists who knows how to translate meditation and meaning into art works. The Spanish artist’s recent work Cristina’s Words, 2021 is being represented by Galerie Lelong at Art Basel 2022.

The larger than life sculpture surprises from each angle.

Alberto Giacometti, Figurine

Swiss sculptor (1901-1966) Alberto Giacometti is a name that needs no introduction in the art world. This year a miniature version of his famous sculptures, Figurine is being exhibited by Gallery Kamel Mennour.

Yoshitomo Nara, Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!

Contemporary Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara’s signature style is to express children in a range of emotional complexities from resistance and rebellion to quietude and contemplation. He celebrates the introspective freedom of the imagination and the individual.

Sylvie Fleury, UBS Lounge

At the UBS VIP Lounge, which puts extra focus on sustainability and all things healthy this year (locally sourced ingredients of the lunch menu, relaxation lounges and fresh juice bar), the UBS Art Collection is showcasing a solo presentation dedicated to Geneva-based artist Sylvie Fleury, best known for fusing high art with popular culture, exploring gender codes around consumerism, power and desire. Fleury is considered one of Switzerland’s most important living artists and has been the subject of major museum exhibitions around the world.

Von Bartha Gallery, Booth G12

At the centre of the Basel art scene is gallery von Bartha, whose cool flagship space is housed in a former garage behind a working petrol pump station. Directed by Stefan von Bartha, the gallery presents a cutting-edge contemporary programme representing an international roster of artists. Having exhibited with Art Basel since the first edition in 1970 – at this year’s fair, they are showcasing Imi Knoebel, Superflex, and Bernar Vernet alongside Barry Flanagan, Olaf Breuning, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp encouraging a dialogue between sculpture and painting.

33Eko at Tezos

NFTs are here to stay. Blockchains such as the most sustainable of them all, Tezos, are helping re-imagine the digital canvas for generative artists. As with technology, art is in a constant state of evolution. Tezos’ Art Basel exhibition explores the evolutionary intersection between art and technology, where artists are reimagining what generative art could be in this new medium.

The interactive experience lets visitors explore the NFT world and beyond. They can even co-create a new generative artwork that is automatically minted as an NFT and gifted to the attendees in real-time. The installation features generative algorithms from Aleksandra Jovanić, Ryan Bell, Sam Tsao and my favorite NFT artist: Eko33.

Since 1999 the French, Swiss based, Eko33 Art Studio has been creating generative art based on crypto hash seeds, maximizing algorithmic diversity. His works are being presented in global art fairs, museums, biennales – and “somewhere in the Metaverse”. Eko33 is also the host of the popular NFT world’s podcast “Probably nothing”.

HER/etiquette

Founded in 2014, re-launched in 2019 – by Nel-Olivia Waga. It is an international luxury lifestyle blog, that features stories under the aspect of a conscious mindset. It collaborates with leading brands and specialists who share the idea of generating a positive impact in the world. Based in Zurich and London, it covers local hotspots and global trends around sustainability, innovation, well-being, health, beauty, travel, time, art, business and charity.

Nel-Olivia Waga is the Founder & Publisher of HER/etiquette. She is a Marketing Specialist, an Author and Entrepreneur, most passionate about well-being, travel and art. Her work can regularly be seen in her column on FORBES. Her consulting studio HER CIRCLE, creates and co-ordinates holistic marketing projects for doctors and health clinics, banks, luxury brands and hotels around the world – based on strategies with passion, purpose and sustainable impact.

CONSCIOUS LUXURY

#ConsciousLuxury is the theme of HER/etiquette. We combine luxury lifestyle with consciousness. Each story we share, is underlined with values. The purpose and innovation of the brands we collaborate with, are as important to us, as their initiatives towards ethical craftsmanship, sustainability holistic health and social responsibility.

This is our first step in contributing to the global movement of creating a more positive impact in the world – and in you.

BOOK OF THE MONTH

 

CONSCIOUS LUXURY

#ConsciousLuxury is the theme of HER/etiquette. We combine luxury lifestyle with consciousness. Each story we share, is underlined with values. The purpose and innovation of the brands we collaborate with, are as important to us, as their initiatives towards ethical craftsmanship, sustainability holistic health and social responsibility.

This is our first step in contributing to the global movement of creating a more positive impact in the world – and in you.

BOOK OF THE MONTH