World’s biggest modern art show set for Basel

World's biggest modern art show set for Basel
Photo: Art Basel
The 44th edition of Art Basel, the modern and contemporary art show, is set to roll in Basel’s expanded exhibition centre on Thursday.

With its shiny latticed metal cladding, the extension of Hall 1, designed by Basel architect firm Herzog & de Meuron, opened in April for the Baselworld watch fair.

Art Basel is displaying works from 304 galleries from around the world in the biggest show of its kind.

Participating galleries come from 39 countries and five continents, with around 80 coming from the United States alone, followed by Germany (60) and the UK (40).

A total of 30 Swiss galleries will be participating in the event, expected to attract 65,000 visitors.

The galleries were selected by organizers from more than 1,000 applicants, who vie for space that sells for 665 francs per square metre.

Many of them hope to be able sell works to wealthy collectors and dealers. 

Last year, Pace Gallery, with outlets in London, New York and Beijing, sold a painting at the show by German artist Gerhard Richter, "A.B. Courbet", for $20 million.

Works on display include paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photography and videos.

Thirteen galleries new to Art Basel will be exhibiting emerging artists for the first time.

Also featured is a platform for works of art that “transcend the limitations of a traditional art show”, including large-scale sculptures and paintings, video projections, installations and live performances.

A program of talks, panel discussions and films is included in the show, which runs until Sunday.

Daily admission is 40 francs, although there are related exhibitions that are free to the public.

Among these is the “Swiss Art Awards” exposition, showing 71 works selected for the 2013 federal art prize, as well as a display of best Swiss design projects.

Art Basel was founded in 1970 by Basel gallery owners.

Since 2002, it has run an exhibition in Miami, Florida and starting next May it will launch one in Hong Kong.

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