Thursday, June 11, 2009
Art Fairs have historically been a integral part of the art world. And Art Basel is arguably "the" art fair of the year. Not to mention the many auxiliary fairs that surround Art Basel..it is a good chance to see the gamete of the art market, the good, but mostly bad work all around the world. I thought the failing economy was suppose to weed out a lot of the garbage in the art world that people were shockingly making money off of; this is obviously not so. This picture astutely exemplifies my experiences with art fairs past and present. I suppose I am a bit jaded...any body would be, after sitting in a 25 square meter booth talking to people about the same art over and over again. I do have to say though, the art fairs are a good opportunity to actually physically see what is going on in the art world...no art review is going to fully explain and describe the physicality and tenor of a piece or a gallery for that matter, and art absolutely needs to be viewed though all the senses. I could do without the pretension, elitism and the total B.S., that inevitably plagues the art fairs (well the art world for that matter).
But I do have a suggestion of what not to miss the next time you find yourself in Basel, Switzerland...The Beyeler Foundation. The collection is so extensive and the curating of the works is really quite thoughtful. The current exhibitions : Giacometti, Visual Encounters, Africa, Oceania, and Modern Art and Franz West are really spectacular exhibitions. And if you are not in to the art, the building (a Renzo Piano building) and grounds are amazing.
There is even a tram stop that takes you right to the front entrance (Tram 6 towards Rhein Grenze: Foundation Beyeler stop). VERY well worth the 3 CHF (to take the tram from the city center) and 25 CHF for admission. Although here's a tip, order your tickets on line, you'll save around 8 swiss franc per ticket.