16-19 June 2022
Despite a stalled global economic recovery in the wake of the epidemic, turmoil in financial markets, severe setbacks in crypto markets and staggering inflation in many developed countries, the art market performed surprisingly well in the midst of the economic downturn. The three major auction houses posted a year-on-year increase of more than 28% in the first and second quarters, while Art Basel, the annual art event that is a crucial indicator, exceeded expectations in terms of sales.
For the first time since the epidemic, Art Basel in Switzerland returned to business as usual at the Messe Basel. The week-long fair, which welcomed over 70,000 visitors and brought together 289 top international galleries from 40 countries and regions, reported strong sales at all levels of the market, with many galleries selling most of their work within the first few hours on preview days and several achieving their best results.
Art Basel has always been the art fair that galleries have sought to enter and is considered the epitome of a conservative art market, made up of Western galleries dominated by Europe and the United States. This year, however, Art Basel was re-invigorated after a whirlwind transformation with much new blood. Not only did the 19 first-time galleries bring a new dimension to the fair, but more young artists were allowed to showcase their work. At the same time, due to the epidemic, those who had been overlooked were given more space and attention. More women artists and artists of colour were seen in both the gallery and curatorial sections, making it easy to see a clear power shift.
Dialogue is a fundamental driver for acquisition and exchange. Gallery owners, collectors, museums and artists who had not met in person for a long time were finally given the opportunity to meet face-to-face in-depth after years of the epidemic. The long-suppressed demand and excellent work sold well at all market levels, demonstrating the importance physical offline events bring to the exchange of art and culture.
The top five highest priced works sold were as follows:
In addition to showcasing exceptional art within its Galleries, Feature, Statements, and Edition sectors, the fair presented 70 large-scale artworks in Unlimited; 21 site-specific projects in Parcours; a large-scale floor installation on the Messeplatz titled ‘Out of Sight’ by Lawrence Weiner, the American conceptual artist, who died last year; a dynamic Film program; as well as Conversations, the fair’s renowned talks series.
除了於“藝廊薈萃”(Galleries）、“策展專題〞(Feature）、“藝創宣言”(Statements）及“限量編製〞（Edition）展區展示的傑出藝術創作，今年展會也於“意象無限”(Unlimited）展區呈獻了 70 件大型作品，並在“城藝之旅” (Parcours）展區帶來 21 件場域特定藝術作品，以及Messeplatz 呈獻了去年逝世的美國概念藝術家 Lawrence Weiner 的大型地面裝置作品 《Out of Sight》，同時包括精彩的“光映現場”(Film）項目以及享負盛名的座談會系列“與巴塞爾藝術展對話” (Conversations）。