The Best Booths at Art Basel, From a Revisionist ‘Origine du Monde’ to Jellyfish-Like Creatures

Art Basel, the world’s biggest art fair, launched its 2024 edition with a busy VIP preview day on Tuesday. Some 285 galleries were on hand, including 22 first-time participants in the main, Statement, and Feature sectors—Karma, Tina Keng Gallery, Madelyn Gallery, Mayoral, Yates Art, and Parker Gallery among them.

“We are witnessing a broadening of our collecting globally with new buyers entering the market, and securing a baseline of support for business alongside core audiences that continue to collect,” said Maike Cruse, who became the Swiss fair’s director last year. “At the same time, we recognize that the art market is undergoing a period of recalibration … There is clearly a degree of caution in the market these days. However, I will say, given the energy in the halls today, that the art market is very much still here, and very strong.”

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The fair’s opening teemed with people, and big sales seemed to follow. An untitled work by Ashile Gorky from 1946–47 sold for $16 million at Hauser & Wirth’s booth. Meanwhile, a Yayoi Kusama sculpture presented by David Zwirner in the Unlimited sector sold for $5 million.  

Museum directors and collectors, such as Charles Carmignac, Emma Lavigne, and Fabrice Hergott, were spotted walking by a new version of Agnes Denes’s Wheatfield – A Confrontation (1984). First shown in New York’s Financial District, the work reappeared at the fair as a long rectangular patch of wheat stems. Fairgoers could walk through a path cut into Denes’s Wheatfield, making it a hit early on.

Below, a look at the best art on offer at the 2024 edition of Art Basel Basel, which runs until June 16.


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