Yesterday, guests got a sneak-peek at the first sections of Art Basel 2013. The 24 young galleries presenting solo shows of emerging artists in Art Statements and the record 79 larger-scale Art Unlimited projects (selected from proposals from participating galleries in the fair by curator Gianni Jetzer) were all on view, as was the new architecture of the Messeplatz, with its.. aperture? gap? eye-hole? People haven’t seen to find the right word, but it certainly made a noticeable appearance, particularly when a light rain descended on the champagne reception, and the crowd immediately arranged itself in a donut shape.
In any case, if Statements and Unlimited are any indication, it’s going to be a weighty fair. While we were delighted to see works from Perpetual Battles’ alum, Latifa Echakhch and Oscar Tuazon, there were also some rather gripping stand-out pieces by Johann Grimonprez, Alfredo Jaar and Kader Attia, works which did not shy away from brutal truths about the human experience. When we confronted Jetzer about those works later on, at a viewing for Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan pop-up in a candy-store in Marketplatz, the curator smiled: “People think art fairs have to be about money and commercial transactions. I wanted to show them otherwise.”
More from the fair when we get our first glimpse today!