Art Basel was founded in 1970 by Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt. In just a few decades, this modern and contemporary art fair in the heart of orderly Switzerland has since developed into the most significant event on the artistic international market. 16,000 visitors flocked to its first edition, with an impressive 90 galleries; the event has since conquered the world, with three venues and editions (Basel, Miami Beach since 2002 and more recently Hong Kong, with the aim of expanding onto the Asian market).
With approximately 300 galleries per event, the sheer amount of 20th and 21st century works featured at Art Basel unfailingly transform it into the world’s most important temporary exhibition each time.
Art Basel has developed into a truly unmissable event, not only for dealers but also for anyone looking to understand the latest art trends, including painting, photography, installations, videos, sculpture, performance and numerous other languages which have since become intrinsic to contemporary art.
The Miami edition is also an ode to glamour, in virtue of its connection with the world of fashion and celebrities, making it the worldlier, elite sister of its more institutional European counterpart. Musicians, actors and jet-setters mingle with dealers and enthusiasts, animating corollary evenings and social events.
Fashion brands are beginning to leverage the fair’s success by participating in different ways. During the 2017 December edition, Vuitton presented its Bomboca sofa from its limited edition collection Object Nomades; Hermes presented 12 covers featuring geometric patterns by the South Korean artist Seulgi Lee. At the same event, COS commissioned the London-based Studio Swine with an installation, while the historic rivalry between Gucci and Prada continued with the inauguration of two new shops right across the street from other, both intrinsic designer objects and works of art. All this proves that beyond fair pavilions, museum halls and galleries, art becomes more alive and inclusive.