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Eight-figure sales and market recovery: Art Basel 2024 has begun

Eight-figure sales and market recovery: Art Basel 2024 has begun

di Elisabetta Roncati

The modern and contemporary art fair will open to the public from June 13 to 16, 2024, but the results are already promising

In fact, gallerists such as David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, Pace, and White Cube are already partially celebrating. During the three long days of the preview (June 10-12), many masterpieces have already changed hands. For instance, Joan Mitchell’s diptych “Sunflowers” (1990-91), the most valuable work of Art Basel 2024, was sold by David Zwirner for $20 million. This was followed by other significant transactions at the same stand, such as Gerhard Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Painting)” ($6 million) and Yayoi Kusama’s “Aspiring to Pumpkin’s Love, the Love in My Heart” (€5 million) displayed at Unlimited.

Additionally, an untitled drawing by Arshile Gorky was sold for $16 million by Hauser & Wirth, and Julie Mehretu's “Untitled 2” (1999) was sold by White Cube for $6.75 million.
Therefore, overall, these excellent results already seen in the preview give hope for a slow and steady market recovery after the downturn due to the far from rosy international historical and political context. The 285 exhibitors spread across the 100,000 square meters of the fair have opted to showcase established artists, avoiding too many flights of fancy in terms of aesthetics and creativity compared to past editions.
Among the notable changes for 2024, the main one is the leadership change with Maike Cruse at the helm of Art Basel in Basel, after years as the head of communication for the Swiss giant. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the partnership with UBS.

As for the sections, there are no major changes: the fair is divided into Galleries, the main section with modern and contemporary art galleries; Feature, curated presentations of 20th-century artists; Statements, solo shows by emerging artists competing for the Baloise Art Prize; Unlimited, a space for monumental installations curated for the fourth consecutive year by Giovanni Carmine; Edition, works in multiples and prints; Kabinett, curated selections within the same stands of some galleries.
The public program includes 11 panels with 25 international speakers and a section of films dedicated to artists or made by them. There is excellent participation from Italian galleries such as Alfonso Artiaco, Lia Rumma, Cardi Gallery, Mazzoleni, Thomas Brambilla, Galleria Continua, Raffaella Cortese, and MASSIMODECARLO.

Of course, Art Basel is not the only fair to visit in the Swiss city these days: no fewer than six events serve as spin-offs to the queen of the market, including Design Miami Basel, which is now in its 18th edition. Liste Art Fair Basel, now in its 29th edition, promotes young artists and new galleries, with 91 participants from 35 countries this year. Volta Basel, founded in 2005, features over 45 galleries. June Art Fair, now in its sixth edition, is held at Riehenstrasse 90B, an iconic concrete bunker transformed into a gallery by Herzog & de Meuron, not far from Messeplatz. Photo Basel showcases the best of world photography with 41 international stands and over 150 artists.
From a museum exhibition perspective, the scene is also rich: the Kunstmuseum hosts five must-see exhibitions, including a solo show by Dan Flavin, “Dedication in Lights,” a group show of African artists titled “When We See Us. A Century of Black Figuration in Painting,” “Ingenious Women. Women Artists and Their Companions,” and “From Holbein to Trockel” dedicated to drawing.

At the Kunsthalle, the focus is again on Africa with the solo show by Toyin Ojih Odutola, “Ilé Oriaku.” Collective exhibitions triumph at the newly renovated Kunsthaus Baselland with “Rewilding,” which includes works by Pipilotti Rist, Monira Al Qadiri, El Anatsui, Simone Forti, and Anna Maria Maiolino, while the Fondation Beyeler’s “Dance with Daemons” connects works by great contemporary artists. In short, there is something for every taste for collectors and art lovers: there is even a wheat field in Messeplatz, a land art piece by conceptual artist Agnes Denes.

Born in Genoa, Milanese by adoption, Elisabetta Roncati decided to combine her university education in economics and management with her passion for culture with a goal: bringing people closer to the art market in a clear, easily understandable and professional way. Interested in all forms of artistic and cultural expressions, contemporary and otherwise, she has two great passions: textile art and African art. As an art consultant, she firmly believes that culture has the power to transcend the boundaries of individual nations, creating a global community of art lovers. In 2018 he founded the registered trademark Art Nomade Milan that she uses to speak about art and culture on the main social media platforms.



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