Art Basel Unlimited, a fair within the fair
Art Market | Since 2000, the Unlimited section of Art Basel has devoted 15,000 square meters of space to presenting specific projects and monumental works overseen by galleries that pay high prices. Curated for the fourth time by Gianni Jetzer (Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.), it is increasingly seen as an autonomous space, a chessboard concentrating galleries’ visibility strategies and thus a forerunner of tomorrow’s market. Spotlight on the 2015 fair.
Quantitatively, among the 74 artist represented in this section, 15% are from Asia and the Middle East, 46% from Europe, and 38% from the American continent; more precisely : 5 Chinese artists, 21 from the United States, 6 South Americans; for Europe, Germany is in the lead with 10 artists, 8 for Great Britain, 3 for France, while Africa is represented by one Cameroonian.
Qualitatively, Continua Gallery confirms its global vision by investing in four spaces for Ai Weiwei, Kader Attia, Pascale Marthine Tayou and Shilpa Gupta; Zwirner Gallery, with a historical approach, puts a Dan Flavin light installation on the market along with a group of sculptures by the Austrian artist Franz West; the influential Swiss gallery Hauser&Wirth also positions itself with four artist : Martin Creed, Pierre Huyghe, Zhang Enli and Jakub Julian Zlolkowski; Ropac presents a colossal work by Gilbert & George and a Hélène Sturtevant installation (Gonzalez-Torres Untitled, Blue Placebo, 2004) while Perrotin concentrates on a monumental perceptual work by Soto reflecting the historic double exhibitions that took place in their Paris and New York galleries in partnership with the artist’s foundation. Some up-and-coming galleries join forces to present artists with current marketplace success, new discoveries or rediscoveries : 303 Gallery, Art : Concept and Xavier Hufkens come together behind Jacob Kassay, Peter Freeman, Skopia P-H Jaccaud and Jocelyn Wolff revive the work of Franz Erhard Walter (Wallformation Gelbmodellierung,1980-1981) ; Cabinet, Green and Neu bring John Knight’s subversive spirit back onto the scene with the smallest work in the section : a credit card (Worldebt, 1994) listing the breathtaking figure of global debt. To be continued.