Art Basel’s 44th edition closed this evening, (Sunday, June 16, 2013), with galleries reporting exceptionally buoyant sales across the board. The fair has once again proven itself, the leading meeting place for both the international contemporary and modern art world.
The event attracted a record of 70,000 visitors, generating an attendance of 86,000 over the six show days. Representatives and groups from over 70 museums around the world attended the show, alongside major private collectors from North and South America, Europe, and Asia. A significant number of artists attended this year’s edition, including: Kader Attia, Tom Burr, Thomas Demand, Meschac Gaba, Theaster Gates, Isa Genzken, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Noriyuki Haraguchi, Roni Horn, Christian Jankowski, Idris Khan, Jorge Macchi, Steve McQueen, Matt Mullican, Sean Scully, Jim Shaw, John Stezaker, Eduardo Terrazas, Mickalene Thomas, Tunga and Danh Vo.
The consensus from many of the visitors to the show was the exceptional quality of the work being exhibited, which was undoubtedly reflected in the strength of the sales made by galleries across all sectors of the show throughout the week. Many exhibitors reported stronger sales on the opening preview day of the show than ever before.
304 galleries were presented from around the world exhibiting the work of over 4,000 artists, with many choosing to present thematic and solo-artist exhibitions. Galleries from across the globe debuted at the Basel show this year, coming from Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Republic Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA.
Many elements of the show were situated within the new Hall 1 designed by renowned Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron that has redefined Messeplatz and got raving reviews from many visitors. The new building housed the Unlimited, Statements and Magazine sectors, along with the auditorium used for the Conversations and Salon panels.
Galleries exhibiting at Art Basel were delighted with the 44th edition of the show:
‘Art Basel is undoubtedly the most eminent of all art fairs. But it still surprises – alongside its perfect mix of international participants and quality it is able to continue to improve every year, not only in terms of interest and sales but also in efficiency and attendance. 2013 was another highlight – beyond our expectation!’
Thaddaeus Ropac, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Salzburg
‘There has been very, very strong international attendance at this year’s show, with a great concentration of Europe’s most important collectors. The rigorous selection continues to explain the success of the fair. Collectors come to Basel with the intention of buying and we had a very successful week indeed, placing over 60 works, several in the seven-figure range, in important private and museum collections.’
Marc Payot, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, London, New York
‘Art Basel stands out from other fairs. This year we really felt that there was a return to serious collecting, rather than buying just for investment purposes. In the first two days we found we were having real conversations with serious and considered collectors
who – thanks to the two preview days – were under less pressure to make quick decisions, and this is something we appreciate.’
Mathias Rastorfer, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich
‘Once again, this fair’s excellence attracts a diverse range of collectors, curators, consultants, and dealers from around the world. We were able to spend significant time with new contacts from South America and Asia, as well as reconnect with so many of our best collectors from Europe.’
Greg Lulay, David Zwirner, New York, London
‘The week at Art Basel has been an enormous success for our artist Sonia Gomes – apart from strong sales to good collections, we have had extensive contact with many curators.’
Pedro Mendes, Mendes Wood, São Paulo
‘We are thrilled to be the first Philippine gallery participating in Art Basel. It has been an exciting experience for us to meet collectors, curators and foundations with a strong interest in new art from Asia.’
Isa Lorenzo, Silverlens, Philippines
‘Art Basel makes the rest of the year worthwhile. We had lots of incredible conversations at the fair. This is the fourth time we participate at Art Basel and every time it helps us to gain more attentions.’
Shireen Gandhy, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai
At this year’s Art Basel, Lisson Gallery reports excellent sales totalling over £3 million. Speaking about the gallery’s presence at the fair, founder Nicholas Logsdail said: “With a proliferation of art fairs worldwide, audiences still treat Art Basel as priority yet they seem to behave less frantically here than they did previously. This allows more time and space for discussion between gallerists and collectors, along with engagement with, and appreciation of, the artists’ work.
For Lisson Gallery this is especially important as we have personal relationships going back many decades with the vast majority of the artists we have shown this year. From the artists we have represented for over 30 years such as Anish Kapoor, Art & Language and Shirazeh Houshiary, to our earliest discoveries such as Donald Judd, Richard Long and John McCracken, right up to more recent connections, Ai Weiwei and Ryan Gander, it’s always critical that we find the right homes for these artists’ works. This has worked incredibly well at Art Basel this year, where we have sold many important works by a broad range of artists to discerning collectors.
Besides meeting collectors, our presence at the various Art Basel fairs benefits our Lisson Presents international collaborative programme by enabling us to connect with more curators, NFPOs, off-spaces and artists with whom we may like to collaborate curatorially.”
‘This year was calm, focused, and serious. The Venice Biennale had provided the art world with brain-food and the considered tone continued at Art Basel. And without a doubt the museums in Basel collectively provide the very best context for the world’s best fair.’
Sadie Coles, Sadie Coles, London