8 Things Every Art Collector Should See in Basel

Basel, Switzerland. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Every June, the art world descends upon Basel, Switzerland for one of the largest annual celebrations of modern and contemporary art. Through June 17, Basel is buzzing with satellite fairs and special events occurring all over the city around Art Basel. Not to mention, Basel has become the Mecca for international contemporary art, leaving visitors with no shortage of world-class museums and collections to visit.

Basel bound this week? If you’re looking to make the most of your visit, here are 8 things every art collector should see in this Swiss city.

1. Art Basel 

June 14–17, 2018 | Messeplatz 10, 4005 Basel, Switzerland

On June 14, Switzerland will once again welcome hordes of artists, collectors, dealers, and art enthusiasts to Basel for its annual international art fair. When Art Basel launched in 1970, it attracted 16,000 visitors who viewed works from 90 galleries representing 10 countries. In 2018, upwards of 95,000 visitors will enjoy artwork from 290 of the world’s leading galleries.

The fair will be divided into several sectors, each with a different focus. In the Galleries sector, visitors can discover modern and contemporary art by more than 4,000 artists. If you’re on the lookout for the next great artist, be sure to visit the Statements sector, which will present new solo projects from emerging artists. Other sectors focus on art publications, performances, prints, panels with professionals in the art world, and more. The talk of the town at last year’s fair was Unlimited, the sector dedicated to larger-scale installations. This year Unlimited is returning and will be organized by New York-based curator Gianne Jetzer.

Art Basel 2009. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

2. Volta

June 11–16, 2018 | Elsässerstrasse 215, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

Now in its 14th year, Volta started as a collaboration between dealers and friends seeking a platform for galleries and artists that weren’t quite emerging, but also didn’t fit in with the headliners at Art Basel. This year, they welcome 75 galleries representing 5 continents. Referred to as a “space for discovery,” the fair will be inaugurating its new location in a former distribution center as the newest cultural center of Basel.

“Ghost Car” at Volta 7, 2011. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

3. Liste Art Fair

June 11–17, 2018 | Basel, Switzerland

Aimed at exhibiting work from new galleries and promoting them to an international audience, Liste is the “little engine that could” of the art fairs. Each year, they support the work of approximately 80 young galleries from over 30 countries. Of those 80 galleries, about 15 are being shown for the first time. This fair is a must for anyone looking to escape the hype of the bigger fairs and catch artists that are just beginning to emerge onto the international stage.

Liste Art Fair Basel, 2013. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

4. Design Miami/Basel

Hall 1 Süd, Messe | Basel, Switzerland

Think of this as the high-end interior designer’s answer to Art Basel. Started in Miami in 2005 to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach, it provides a commercial platform for galleries focused on collectable interior design. In 2009, it also took up residence in Basel, Switzerland. More than just a marketplace for furniture and lighting, Design Miami/ allows the world’s top museum-quality home décor of the twentieth and twenty-first century to be exhibited. Visitors can expect to see limited collections as well as other furniture and home accessories that will rival the artwork at Art Basel.

5. Schaulager

Ruchfeldstrasse 12 | 4142 Münchenstein, Switzerland

Have you ever wondered what some of the world’s biggest art collectors have hidden behind their doors? Wonder no more. In 2003, Maja Oeri decided to honor her late husband’s memory by sharing his impressive art collection with the public, as opposed to keeping it behind closed doors in a storage space. Schaulager is like a hybrid museum and storage space with five floors of unique art you won’t be able to see anywhere else.

Schaulager Basel, 2015. Image via Flickr.

6. Beyeler Foundation

Baselstrasse 101 | 4125 Basel, Switzerland

One of the most popular attractions in the city of Basel is the art collection of former gallery owner Ernst Beyeler. Featured artists include Alexander Calder, Paul Gauguin, and Marguerite Duras. Currently, an exhibition is on display showing the works of Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti. As if that weren’t enough to send you flocking to the Beyeler Foundation, the collection is housed in a stunning glass building overlooking the Swiss countryside.

Beyeler Foundation, 2004. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

7. Kunsthalle Basel

Steinenberg 7 | 4051 Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland’s oldest and most active institution for contemporary art, Kunsthalle showcases groundbreaking art by emerging artists. In collaboration with Art Basel, the museum will host London-based musician Klein for a performance at 10:30 pm on June 16. Their featured exhibit will be work from artists Luke Willis Thompson, who questions race, representation, and the body through films, performances, and installations.

Kunsthalle Basel, 2008. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

8. Tinguely Museum

Paul Sacher-Anlage 2 | 4002 Basel, Switzerland

This museum contains a permanent collection entirely dedicated to Swiss painter and sculptor Jean Tinguely. A variety of Tinguely’s work is on display, including kinetic sculptures, illustrations, photographs and documents related to his work. Their temporary exhibitions focus on a variety of other artists. During Art Basel, the exhibition Too Early to Panic will be on display by Swiss artists Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger.  Visitors can explore a three-part labyrinth that encompasses more than 25 years of their artistic career.

Tinguely Museum Basel, 2009. Image via Wikimedia Commons.