Art Basel
Art Basel

Curator’s Guide to Art Basel

Words by Jody Hume | 6.20.14

Since its inauguration almost 45 years ago, Basel has reigned as the most important art fair year after year. With its unique location at the crossroads of Germany, Switzerland and France, Art Basel corners the international art market year after year and has always attracted droves of art enthusiasts. Breaking the art fair mold through innovation and defining the cutting-edge, its most important legacy has been its expansion into a lifestyle brand which has transformed the contemporary art world.

Going to Basel can be overwhelming. With so much to see, even the most seasoned show-goers can experience art fatigue. Follow our curator’s guide to get the most out of Basel your first time around.

1. Pace YourselfJohn Chamberlain

Prioritize and know when to take a break. While many of the art world heavyweights are showing big names like Warhol and Pollack, It can be refreshing to visit smaller, off-the-beaten-path exhibits. Make time to check out cutting-edge galleries like Anton Kern showing Ellen Berkenblit and Pace Prints featuring work by artist including John Chamberlain.


2. Get Informed

If you decide to buy, your decision should be equal parts lust and love. As soon as you’re drawn to a piece, learn as much as you can about it by asking questions. Regardless of how reserved the gallery representatives may seem don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation about a piece you’re interested in. The more you know about a work, the more it will enhance your walls and your daily life.


Ellen BerkenblitEllen Berkenblit Ellen Berkenblit


3. Take A Break

Art overload? Grab a bite at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois’ swanky 2-star Michelin restaurant Cheval Blanc, or imbibe the obscure spirits on offer at Concierge Bar. Take a stroll down St. Johanns-Vorstadt to find century-old millinery shop Schwarz Modes and boutiques like Matrix which offers geometric scarves and decorative trays designed in-house each season.

Photo: Cheval Blanc
Photo: Schwarz Modes
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