Art Basel 2023 What The Dealers Had To Say

Art Basel 2023
The 2023 edition of Art Basel’s flagship fair in Basel concluded with highly praised presentations by 284 galleries from 36 countries and territories and notable sales throughout the week. Twenty-one galleries participated in the fair for the first time, while 12 galleries debuted in the fair’s primary sector to present the full scope of their program. The fair debuted Kabinett, a mainstay sector in the Hong Kong and Miami Beach shows, which allows galleries to showcase focused presentations within their booths and dive deeper into the practices of the artists presented. Curated by Giovanni Carmine, Director of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Unlimited featured 76 large-scale installations and performances. Unlimited Night on Thursday, June 15, presenting special performances by Olaf Nicolai and Augustas Serapinas during extended hours.

Leading private collectors from across the globe were once again in attendance, as well as patrons and representatives of over 240 institutions, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Dia Art Foundation, New York; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; The Art Museum, Foshan; Istanbul Modern; Kunsthaus Zurich; Kunstverein in Hamburg; Leopold Museum, Vienna; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; MACBA – Museum Of Contemporary Art Barcelona; MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires; MAXXI, Rome; MoMA PS1, New York; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Städel Museum, Frankfurt; Sursock Museum, Beirut; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Royal Commission of AlUla; San Francisco Museum of Art; Serpentine Galleries, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Tate, London; Today Art Museum, Beijing; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town.

‘An overall great experience, with high-quality visitors and a buzzing atmosphere at the fair and in the city, resulted in strong sales during the first hours and continued throughout the week.’

Stefan von Bartha, Owner, von Bartha (Basel, Copenhagen)

‘Art Basel’s role as a convening point for the creative industries in the art ecosystem is keenly felt in the connections we made and the sales we placed at the onset of the fair. Over half of our booth was sold on the first preview day. We are immensely proud of the diversity of presentations across the show and the organization’s ability to attract crowds worldwide. Against all odds, there is no better way to showcase the resilience of the art market.’

Priyanka Raja, Director, Experimenter (Kolkata, Mumbai)

‘Seeing so many familiar faces and making new connections at the fair this week has proven that Art Basel still holds the throne. There was a lot of energy at the booth, and we’ve connected with seasoned collectors from all over the world—South Korea, Lebanon, Brazil, US—although for us, it remains the strongest fair for engaging European collectors and curators.’

Rachel Lehmann, Co-Founder, Lehmann Maupin (Seoul, London, New York)

‘This was one of the busiest fairs I’ve seen for years. It was a positive sign for the market to see collectors buying paintings for many millions of dollars from us, and great that there was a strong representation of women artists within this. The great thing about this fair is that many of the world’s most important collectors are having a good time doing what they love. For many of them, this is their downtime from their day-to-day, and Gagosian is here to give them the very best there is to offer.’

Andrew Fabricant, Chief Operating Officer, Gagosian (Hong Kong, Paris, Athens, Rome, Basel, Geneva, London, Beverly Hills, New York)

‘For us, the fair is an ongoing, in-depth dialogue we’ve been having for years with like-minded collectors and curators who share our particular vision of modern and contemporary art history. As a Swiss gallery, Art Basel is our touchstone, and we bring the rarest and most exceptional works.’

Iwan Wirth, President, Hauser & Wirth (Hong Kong, Ciutadella de Menorca, Gstaad, St. Moritz, Zurich, London, Somerset, Los Angeles, New York)

‘On the heels of a successful Hong Kong show in March, this year’s Basel show is another remarkable comeback for Asian galleries. We were so pleased to see the positive response towards the Japanese artists in our roster, which resulted in brisk sales throughout the fair week. We sold works to collectors from Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, Argentina, Japan, and more. Art Basel truly lives up to its reputation as a premiere art fair.’

Taka Ishii, Founder, Taka Ishii (Tokyo)

‘It’s been a very successful Art Basel week, and it was great to see all of our international collectors in town. A new generation of young and savvy collectors brought fresh energy to the fair. We sold two major pieces at Unlimited on the opening day and placed works in several high-profile institutional and private collections in Europe and Asia.’ Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers, Co-owners, Sprüth Magers (Hong Kong, Berlin, London, Los Angeles)

‘After more than 15 years being a regular at Art Basel, I’ve never felt the fair so diverse. I am glad the world is changing. For the better.’

Pamela Echeverria, Owner & Director, Labor (Mexico City)

‘This year, Art Basel marked our most successful fair yet, with almost 40 sales by the end of the opening day alone. The works were placed equally in major private and public museum collections, and we have met amazing art lovers from all generations. We very much look forward to Paris+, which was also a big hit.’

Kamel Mennour, Founder, Mennour (Paris)

‘Our first year at Art Basel was unforgettable—next level. We met many new collectors, curators, and contacts from major institutions. We sold out our booth and made numerous sales beyond that. Could not have wished for better.’ Baylon Sandri, Owner/Director, SMAC Art Gallery (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch)

‘This edition of Art Basel was an exceptionally productive one. It gave us the opportunity and the time to go on a deeper level with our conversations, to create significant new acquaintances with collectors and institutional curators from Europe and Asia and strengthen existing ones. We introduced a few new artists to our presentation this year, and we feel that the work done this week at the fair will have long-term results in their careers and market. Overall the fair has been especially significant for The Breeder Gallery, and we look forward to building on the foundations we create in Basel.’

George Vamvakidis, Co-Founder, The Breeder (Athens)

‘It was great to be back at Art Basel and a pleasure to meet many new people this year and reconnect with familiar faces. It felt like the fair was back at full capacity, with people travelling worldwide to be there and strong sales throughout the week. Seeing the positive response to the two Unlimited works, we presented was gratifying.’

Alex Logsdail, CEO, Lisson Gallery (Shanghai, London, East Hampton, New York)

‘We were honoured to be exhibiting for the first time at Art Basel this year, showcasing the work of modern and contemporary British artists. We were delighted with the response and recognition we received amongst collectors at the fair, which reflects the strength of the market for modern British art on a truly global scale. Overall there was a fantastic buzz, and it was a pleasure to meet and make new international clients and to see some exceptional work with other participating galleries.’

Offer Waterman, Founder, Offer Waterman (London)

‘Once again, Art Basel has proven its status as the queen of all art fairs. The level of international collectors and museum curators was extremely high this year, and they were met with high-quality artworks. This resulted in a wave of energy that flooded the fair on the two preview days. Overall, this year’s Art Basel was a resounding success, and it’s no surprise that it remains one of the most highly anticipated events in the art world.’

Jan Wentrup, Owner, Wentrup (Berlin-Charlottenburg, Hamburg)

‘Art Basel in Basel is probably the most important fair of the year. It is our third year in the Galleries section, and once again, the week was very successful. We are delighted as the clients’ quality was excellent, and the works sold entered great international collections. The feedback from private collectors, curators, institutions and colleagues was incredible—proving again how essential Art Basel in Basel is.’

Emanuel Layr, Owner, Layr (Vienna)

‘We were honoured to participate in Art Basel for the first time, which allowed us to showcase a young artist on such a prestigious stage in the art world. The Statements sector drew lots of attention, and our booth was packed with collectors right after the fair opened. We forged many new connections and started new conversations this week with collectors from Europe, Asia, and afar.’

Xiaochan Hua, Founder, Hua International (Beijing, Berlin)

‘We’re simply delighted to be participating in the fair. Our conversations and access at this fair come with a certain weight. It has created new opportunities and dialogues, and we’ve done very well commercially.

In the long run, our participation benefits not only the gallery’s international profile but crucially the visibility of our artists.’

Jonathan Garnham, Founder, blank projects (Cape Town)

‘While we came into the fair with tempered expectations, we found business this week to be extremely fluid and global—a reminder that bringing top-quality material at all price points is critical and will be embraced by the market.’ Tim Blum, Co-Founder, Blum & Poe (Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo)

‘Altogether a good edition with a very positive energy with new young collectors from Europe and Asia. A surprising edition with a strong interest in new, rather uncommercial formats. We made great new contacts in Europe and Asia.’ Marie-Blanche Carlier, CEO, carlier gebauer (Berlin, Madrid)

‘We have made good institutional sales and placed our works in museums and private collectors from Switzerland, Belgium, and more. Art Basel provides more than a sales platform but an opportunity to reconnect with museums that our artists have been exhibiting from Austria to Australia.’

Shireen Gandhy, Director, Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai)

‘Art Basel 2023 was a great success in terms of sales and the quality of the encounters! We showcased artists from all five continents, saw and sold to collectors from all five continents, met many curators, and brainstormed new projects. Defending and supporting diversity means nourishing culture and peace!’

Lorenzo Fiaschi, Co-Founder and Director, Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, São Paulo, Beijing, Havana, Les Moulins, Paris, Rome, Dubai)

‘We have had an excellent time at Art Basel. This is the gallery’s first year participating in the fair, and the response has been tremendous. As the only gallery in the fair from Toronto, Canada, it is a real honour to represent Canadian art on such a fabulous international stage here.’

Simon Cole, Founder and Director, Cooper Cole (Toronto)

‘Art Basel is a significant event on the art world calendar and continues to remain the most important fair in the world. We are always excited to head to Basel in June to catch up in person with collectors, curators, and institutions and to see high-quality art. We’ve had a positive experience, both critically and acquisitions-wise. The preview days were hectic, and we are delighted to have placed works in great European and American collections. Art Basel never disappoints!’

Ayelet Yanai & Louis-Philipe Van Eeckhoutte, Directors, dépendance (Brussels)

‘It is our first time to participate in the flagship Swiss fair, and it has been enriching to see how much the works of I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih resonate with audiences on this side of the world – a recognition she has long deserved. The works we presented received strong interest from important institutions. Moreover, our booth was sold out in the first few days.’

Jasdeep Sandhu, Founder and Director, Gajah Gallery (Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Singapore)

‘Having been a regular exhibitor from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, it’s wonderful to be back in the main body of the fair here at Art Basel, Switzerland. I think it’s significant that Art Basel continues to attract the best photography galleries in their chosen fields and to see how the selection committee is still among the most rigorous in the world. The quality of works on display this year was extremely high. My stand was busy throughout the fair, and we concluded some satisfactory transactions. The weather was also delightful!’

Tim Jefferies, Principal, Hamiltons (London)

‘We have had a very successful week – Art Basel was the perfect place to highlight rare and important works from the 1960s by Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong. Sales were robust, and we saw a good response from public institutions and private collectors alike.’

Pippy Houldsworth, Founder, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery (London)

‘The excitement of participating in Art Basel never diminishes. Once again, the flagship fair proved to be the epicentre of the art world. Following the first two VIP days, nearly all work on the booth was successfully placed.’

Xavier Hufkens, Owner and Founder, Xavier Hufkens (Brussels)

‘At Art Basel 2023, we witnessed an undeniably heightened international interest in Korean contemporary art. We placed multiple works from the artists we presented in both Galleries and Unlimited sectors with major institutions and collectors in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and Asia. Perhaps most encouraging has been our engagement in numerous in-depth dialogues with new clients from multiple continents who visited our booth; these rich conversations addressed not only Gallery Hyundai’s vision and programming but also the history, context, and present-day scene of Korean contemporary art. We felt a strong passion and energy from collectors unlike at any other art fair, which confirmed the unmatched influence of Art Basel.’

HyungTeh Do, Owner and CEO, Gallery Hyundai (Seoul)

‘Our participation at this year’s Art Basel flagship show is one of our best so far, with energy pulsating throughout the fair and the entire city. This annual occasion has always been a prime opportunity to cultivate new relationships and reconnect with our friends from around the world. Within the first few hours of the VIP Day, we sold several works to collectors from the US, Europe and Asia, further proving the renewed demand for contemporary art that Art Basel is famous for.’

Edouard Malingue, Co-Founder, Kiang Malingue (Hong Kong)

‘During Art Basel, we had the opportunity to showcase our research and programme from a peripheral location in Europe to a place where all the best collectors, curators, and people interested in art gather for one week.’ Matteo Consonni, Director, Madragoa (Lisbon)

‘The experience of presenting in Art Basel’s Feature section has been wonderful, as the booths are recognized as ready-made exhibitions for museums. We’ve noticed and appreciated the high traffic of curators and institutional figures. It’s truly a pleasure to be surrounded by such thoughtful projects that push the potential of a fair booth.’ Jose Martos, Owner, Martos Gallery (New York)

‘The opening day was an extremely full with so many clients all at once, almost frantic. Each day brought back people and new, younger collectors.’

David Nolan, President and Owner, David Nolan Gallery (New York)

‘The fair went very well. Some institutional and private acquisitions have been made, and others are under consideration. Asian collectors we haven’t seen for three years were back; the return of numerous clients from Korea, and China in particular, was remarkable during the fair’s first days, as well as a number of major American and European collectors.’

Almine Rech, Founder, Almine Rech (Paris, New York, London, Brussels, Shanghai)

‘It was a great week for us. We sold work to a foundation and met some significant European institutions we had access to for the first time. It was also great to see the fair so full and vibrant!’

Eloi Boucher, Director, sans titre (Paris)

‘Being back at Art Basel was exciting; the fair felt incredibly lively, and everyone who stopped by the booth was interested in the work on view. While we value Art Basel for its sales opportunities, we also appreciate the chance to have meaningful and in-depth conversations with collectors and curators about the artists we work with. This year, the pace of the fair allowed for that; it was steadily busy without being frenetic!’ Jack Shainman, Founder, Jack Shainman Gallery (New York)

‘Art Basel is always a fantastic context for reconnecting with old friends worldwide and building new relationships. This year didn’t disappoint. One of the highlights, amongst others, was the presentation and placement of Conny Maier’s extraordinary presentation in Unlimited.’

Daniel Wichelhaus, Founder and CEO, Société (Berlin)

‘My gallery has been participating in Art Basel in Basel, without interruption since 1978, so I’ve been privileged to see the evolution of this art fair, which in its early years featured a confident group of amateurs and collectors and now has become a global industry, with high financial stakes, auction houses and luxury brands all part of the mix.’

Daniel Templon, President, Templon (Brussels, Paris, New York)

‘We have had a great experience: strong sales and fantastic feedback of the stand from many museums, collectors, and press. Art Basel is unique in terms of attendance. We also love the fact that Feature feels more integrated into the fair. You can feel it by the number of visitors.’

Yves Zlotowski, Director, Galerie Zlotowski (Paris)

Now Onto Paris!

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