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5 things you didn’t know about Art Basel

Next week 290 galleries, of which 19 for the first time, will unpack their best artworks to join the most prestigious art fair in the world. Nearly 100 000 art lovers will wear down their pricey sneakers or up brand heels on the felty art fair floor or dusty gravel yards. And there’s a high chance that the best works will be marked with red dots long before everything opens to the general public. Here are 5 things you might not know about Art Basel Miami 2019.

 
 

1.

50th birthday next year. Art Basel was founded in 1970 by the gallerist Ernst Beyeler (1921 – 2010). "the greatest art dealer since the war", according to The Daily Telegraph. In 1982, he and his wife founded the Beyeler Foundation to show his private collection, which on his death was valued at US$1.85 billion. In 1997, the magazine Connaissance des Arts asked Mr. Beyeler why he continued to deal. “In order to find another good painting,” he replied. “I am still a hunter, which was my pleasure through all these years.”

 

2.

Celebrating already this year is the Bauhaus School, founded in 1919 during the Weimer Republic in Germany. One of the galleries premiering this year is Galerie Knoell, who will showcase one of the most prominent and influential of the school’s associates: Max Bill (1908-1994). The Swiss artist organized the world’s first exhibition with concrete art, in Basel in 1944. Expect a heat-wave of Max Bill fever!

 
 

3.

The main sponsor of Art Basel is UBS.  Since 2016, another one has joined: MGM Resorts International, one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, continues its long-standing commitment to presenting and supporting art in public spaces with the announcement of a new partnership with Art Basel. This year they have announced Japanese-American artist Parker Ito as a resident of Bellagio. During Art Basel in Switzerland, from June 13 – 16, the MGM Resorts Lounge will feature three works completed by Ito during his residency at Bellagio. Ito had a one man show at CFHILL as late as this month. 

 

4.

A commercial art fair – No place for world politics, right? Wrong! Another gallery that will make its debut this time, is Marfa’ from Lebanon, who will present the Palestinian artist Saba Innab, whose work is concerned with urbanism and processes of space production and re-production. Saba's artistic practice is very much influenced by her architectural work and a critical examination of cities and places. Innab questions the meaning of architecture in this time of increasing deterritorialization and alienation. 

 

5.

Liste is the place for collectors who prefer scouting rather than going for the established big fish. Take a good advice and don’t fall for the temptation to gather around the golden calves, but spend some time among smaller galleries and emerging artist, as for instance Hayden Dunham, also recently included in a CFHILL-show: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Come again!