Art Basel: one of the premier modern art shows in the world, taking place in a city that is an international center for contemporary art. Almost three hundred galleries participated in the 2012 show and art lovers, collectors, and workers thronged the streets for the week of the exhibition, infusing Basel with color and energy. The whole event kicked off with three days of viewing for VIP visitors and the invitation-only vernissage, followed by four days where the show was open to the public. Well-dressed viewers (the clothes being worn are sometimes artworks themselves and certainly more vibrant than normal Basel fashion) herded through the two halls and multiple levels of Messe Basel, situated in the center of the city. The amount of art displayed was vast and the casual visitor could feel a little overwhelmed by the rooms filled with artwork, but the masterpieces on display were undeniably impressive.
Besides the regular show, various other events and exhibits were part of or took place during the Art Basel week and could be as engaging as the main exhibition itself. In contrast to the rather exclusive atmosphere of the exhibit at Messe Basel, the project Art Parcours set up works of international artists in various locations close to or by the Rhein in the St. Johann neighborhood. All exhibits were open free of charge with some even involving the visitors in the art directly, such as “Push and Pull” (originally by Allan Kaprow, recreated by Mateo Tannat), where viewers rearranged furniture in a room as they pleased. Other works ranged from paintings to video installations to a caravan mounted on a pile of blocks. The first night of Art Parcours featured live performers such as actors, musicians and clowns to highlight the exhibits and interact with the viewers as they experienced the art and Basel city combined. Don’t miss the world’s premier art fair by booking a hotel in Basel.
(photos by Rebekkah Laeuchli and Stephanie Bishop)