Fair  June 13, 2023  Rebecca Schiffman

Four Must See Exhibitions to See Around Art Basel 2023

Courtesy of Art Basel

Art Basel in Basel 2023

An essential pilgrimage for art enthusiasts is the fair Art Basel, which is taking place this week in Basel, Switzerland. Like a bustling carnival filled with visual art, sculpture, and installation, this renowned event traces its origins back to the 1970s in Switzerland, when a group of art lovers and artists decided to breathe life into the small town’s art scene. What started as a humble gathering of ninety galleries has now evolved into a global phenomenon, with Art Basel now taking place not only in Basel, but in Miami Beach and Hong Kong throughout the year. 

The fair brings together all major art galleries who bring the best of the best work in the hopes of making sales and pushing boundaries in art, giving rise to new perspectives and unbridled imagination. Like other art fairs, the event provides gallerists a platform to exhibit both emerging talents and established artists, but what sets Art Basel apart is the crowd that it draws: well-known collectors, celebrities, artists, curators, and creatives all gather together each year to see what’s on at Art Basel. 

We put together our favorite works on view at the fair and around town that are a must see if you happen to find yourself at Art Basel.

The Vitra Design Museum, located just outside Basel in Weil am Rhein, Germany is hosting an exhibition on the recent horticulture revival that rethinks the idea of the garden, “Garden Futures, Designing with Nature.” The garden has a long and varied history around the world, with gardens in England, India, and Italy used as a tool to reflect personal identities, status, and symbols of power. The exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum addresses these notions alongside contemporary viewpoints on social justice, biodiveristy, and sustainability.

Courtesy Pilar Corrias Gallery

Tala Madani, Corner Projection (Dog), 2019, Oil on linen, Canvas 1: 182.9 x 365.8 x 3.2 cm, Canvas 2: 182.9 x 182.9 x 3.2 cm

At the fair, check out Pilar Corrias’s booth, which features new and recent works by a host of artists in their program. Some favorites include Hayv Kahraman, Elizabeth Neel, Christina Quarles, and Tschabalala Self. On the ceiling of the booth is an installation of orange Mylar balloons, a work by Philippe Parreno entitled “Speech Bubbles (Transparent Orange).” In one corner of the booth is a 2019 multi-paneled painting by Tala Madani that is pitch black, save for a large-scale projector that shines its light on a howling white dog in an eery mist. 

Copyright: © 2023, ProLitteris, Zurich, Photo Credit: Julian Salinas

Installation image of Shirley Jaffe at the Kunsthalle Basel. 

New Jersey born, but Paris bound artist Shirley Jaffe was part of the American artist expats who moved to Paris to explore their creativity. Jaffe found herself among contemporaries Norman Bluhm, Sam Francis, and Joan Mitchell. Her work from this period in the 1950s is similar in form to the Abstract Expressionists, but because at the time this style was not lucrative, Jaffe set out in a different direction. 

In 1963, Jaffe moved to West Berlin where she drew inspiration from other Expressionist artists like Kandinsky and Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Her interest in colors grew to incorporate monochromatic and geometric shapes and forms. This special exhibition taps into Jaffe’s travels and influences, giving great insight into the mind of a great artist who is just now being rediscovered. 

Latifa Echakhch, a Moroccan-Swiss artist, created a concert series for the fair, expanding on the idea of what a concert can become in contemporary times. She has been calling the project “Allerplatz,” which according to an interview she did with Artnet news, means “the place that belongs to everybody.” There will be public concerts taking place every day of the fair by artists including Naama Tsabar, Mats Gustafsson, Oren Ambarchi who is performing his work, Carpe Diem, and Lucy Railton, among others. The entire project was curated by Samuel Leuenberger who worked with Echakhch to create a colliding structure of stages on the piazza in the center of the fair to act as a site for performance

The concert schedule can be seen here: https://www.artbasel.com/search?q=der%20allplatz 

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