Every June, the art world descends on the Swiss city of Basel for a week of art-seeing, design-hunting, and people-watching. The team behind Artsy, the art collecting and education resource, writes about its favorite moments from the fairs and festivities—and wishes you were here.
"Everyone who visits Design Miami/Basel has the thrill of experiencing Jamie Zigelbaum’s monumental light sculpture, Triangular Series. It's installed above the entrance hall," writes Matthew Israel, director of The Art Genome Project.
Artsy editorial associate Molly Gottschalk found Sheila Hicks, the grand dame of color and fiber, reason enough to visit the fair: "Hicks has created an immersive landscape—a floor-to-ceiling, cascading pillar of yarn among heaps of vibrant bundles of fiber—that will make you rethink the way you see color."
At Art Basel, curators Klaus Biesenbach (of MoMA P.S.1) and Hans Ulrich Obrist (of Serpentine Gallery) have co-curated 14 Rooms of “living sculpture.” Editorial director Marina Cashdan describes it as "neatly packaged in a mirrored Herzog & de Meuron-designed exhibition space, each door opens to reveal performance works created by pioneers like Yoko Ono, Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, and Marina Abramović.”
In the fair’s Unlimited sector, dedicated to large-scale installations, Xu Zhen holds court in the hangar-sized hall by the same architects with an East-meets-West, Parthenon-meets-Buddha twist on classical sculpture.
London-based Legacy Russell signs off with a memorable moment: “a glass of prosecco under strings of lights while taking in the World Cup at Volkshaus Basel (designed, of course, by Herzog & de Meuron).”
Rebecca Bronfein Raphael is a member of the Artsy Team.