At Art Basel 2022: the modern world and money came and the tuxedo was absent

Perhaps Marc Spiegler’s statement that the art trade is “softer and more civil than other industries” has a lot of realism. Live) What happened in Miami Beach in 2002, when Art Basel transformed the impoverished American city, and every issue of the exhibition there means the sale of works of art worth a total of 465 million euros a year. Prior to that date, Miami Beach was one of the poorest American cities to sink into awe and violence, but from that year on, everyone in the city is waiting for that international art event and planning for a larger yield that fills the baskets of the season. with more.
Art Basel is an international, lucrative exhibition of contemporary art, held annually in three international venues: Basel / Switzerland, Miami Beach / Florida-USA, and Hong Kong. The exhibition provides platforms for the display and sale of works of art, and this type of exhibition is characterized by placing no restrictions on the exhibited works. The idea to establish the international trade fair Art Basel dates back to 1970, when it was founded by the Swiss Ernst Belier, Trudi Bruckner and Paltz Helt.
In its first year in Switzerland, Art Basel presented 90 exhibitions from ten countries and attracted more than 10,000 visitors.
On 14 June 2022, after several days of rain showers, summer made its way back to Basel, the city divided in two by the Rhine, while future contemporary art from forty countries was divided into two large galleries: Hall 1 and Hall No. 2. The wonderful organization was the most interesting thing. From the train station, the tram leads you in no more than nine minutes (Basel Messe Platz) and stops opposite Terminal 1. With this elegant and efficient organization, public transport has turned into fast compasses, so much so that we see the rich Tram on limousine elected!

Away from the suffering of the world, the Basel exhibition is a major event in the contemporary art market, as until 19 June 2022 it gathered two hundred and eighty-nine exhibition houses, representing almost 4000 artists from forty countries, divided into four continents : Europe, Asia, and the American continent, while the African continent participated in two exhibitions.
What is remarkable about this version of Basel Art is that it facilitated participation for some small theaters by lowering prices because they could not participate before.
The visitors immediately with the arrival of hall no. 1 at 76 outfits, as close as possible to practical women’s clothing, which with its simple models reflects the concept of freedom, efficiency and simple elegance, and in it much of what the global (us) who prefer freedom (practical) symbolizes as’ a way of life, away from the splendor of elegance. The classic that locks the body behind the bars of a costume. The work of American designer Andrea Zettel, who designed it for all seasons from 2003-2013. These costumes were considered a wide door opened by Andrea Zettel in front of supporters of (practical), which eased the burden of uniforms. The exhibition management has the location of this work at the entrance of Hall No. seen beforehand on the internet, and all that is left is to see and buy it.
The interesting artwork was in Hall No. The project represents white lacquered spaces, and contributes to Everything is to explore and understand the concept of space in a sensory way, relying on self-awareness through perceptions. The visitor only needs to wrap his shoes in a blue bag (eco-friendly) and sit in the corner of a white room with a smooth white composition, and then meditate on cosmic recording music within that room. The striking sculpture in Hall 1 is by 41-year-old Briton Thomas J. Price, in which a woman of African descent stands with her hands in her pockets. The bronze work is two meters seventy centimeters long and weighs 420 kilograms. It comes from the same character in his work Reach out, in which the same woman appears while browsing through her cell phone looking for someone’s number. The 50-year-old Dutchman Volkert de Jong emphasizes his “shooting”, which he completed in 2006, which is a sculptural composition of materials: synthetic styrofoam, polyurethane foam, wood and steel. The installation consists of a huge crouched person surrounded by soldiers smiling wildly. Yet this kind of horrible sculpture is a silent proof of the condition of modern man!
The most astonishing work was by sixty-one-year-old Leonardo Drew, an abstract work in which fragments of colored wood were glued to two white walls bordering the corner of a sharp open triangle, in a transparent symbolization of the world conditions in the twenty-first century ..
In Hall No. of the material used in airbags in cars.They swell and breathe, to protect the women who wear it in their work environment. This is what the Spanish artist explained to the French press agency, which was present throughout the days of Art Basel!
As for the media coverage of Art Basel, Roxana Azimi, the journalist who specializes in art matters and the official envoy of the French newspaper “Le Monde”, is stunned. She writes on 16/06/2022 about the facilities provided (for the rich) in how they can obtain the best works of contemporary art at high prices: «From Monday, 13 June to the evening of Wednesday, 15 June, GDP card collectors (who are subject to a hierarchy that allows them to access the best works of art to gain time and quality in the purchase of those works (fresh as lamb) were granted.With a welcoming way that collectors in rushing down the aisles of the gallery, the ‘less important’ are told to wait!

These first hours, and sometimes these first minutes, are important for large art-buying businesses, because if they do not buy at the end of the day, the opportunity is lost. They should therefore be able to negotiate with their collectors without being bothered by spectators! ” Thereafter, the exhibition also sold important works on June 15, 2022, these works belong to the Foundation (Hauser und Wirth), and according to “Al-Fan newspaper”, the sales volume reached 75 million dollars. Well, they did it with unexpected success because the first press releases began to take their toll. The American artist Louise Josephine Bourgeois’s 1996 work “Spider” was sold on the first day by the Swiss Foundation and offered for $ 40 million (€ 38 , 4 million). It is a large sculpture of steel, 3.26 meters high, and it stands on an area of ​​about seven meters. ” Roxana Azimi adds.
American journalist Scott Rayburn also writes and emphasizes in his article in “The New York Times” on 16/06/2022 that the Swiss Foundation has sold the spider’s work to Louise Josephine Bourgeois: The two-week mega-auction series in New York that more than $ 2.5 billion in May, collectors were looking for more prestigious modern and contemporary works at the new issue of Art Basel in Switzerland, which was opened to (Valuable) guests.On Tuesday 14/06/2022. Hauser und Wirth’s iconic “Spider” sculpture by Louise-Josephine Bourgeois sold for $ 40 million as the largest of many (big-ticket) sales.
The exhibition also doubled sales of lower amounts, as a work by Armenian painter Arshile Gorky was sold for $ 5.5 million, in addition to an oil painting by French Dadaist Francis Picabia for $ 4 million. Sales on the first day reached a record $ 75 million. David Zverner Gallery also sold a work by Cuban-born American visual artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who died at the age of 36, for $ 12.5 million, as well as a painting by Dutch / South African artist Marilyn Dumas. , which was sold for $ 8.5 million. Meanwhile, American Mark Glimcher, CEO and president of the Bice Gallery in New York, sold an oil painting by the late American artist Joan Mitchell for $ 16.5 million and developed future digital products in the NFT format that feature works of art by the American Jeff Koons, who will sell for two million dollars.
With the stock markets declining, some GDPs reassured Art Basel visitors that Art Basel’s reputation is well established as the most prominent exhibition of modern and contemporary art in Europe, emphasizing that international art is the best guarantee of market stability. Emily Pasteur, an art collector in Monaco, said: “I can worry that the stock market will go down, the market will take more time and look for safe names. I will choose more established classical artists, or few celebrities. ”
It is, therefore, the twenty-first century, which places the fingerprints of change in all places and directions, where no one thinks of driving around in a luxury car, or moving in a procession of photographers and journalists, no one wants to walk confident anymore, like the famous Swiss collector Emile Birley, or The Frenchman Henri Kanweiler, who wears their tuxedo suits, but there are others who rub their hands and look forward without worry, because their capital is works of art that are not theirs. fixed value, such as precious metals.

Ismail Karak
Syrian author

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