Art Scene

Why Art Basel 2023 Is the Place to Go

As inspiring as it is influential, Art Basel is an exciting array of showstopping exhibitions exhibiting art of the 20th and 21st centuries that are a product of international collaboration. No wonder that it is the ultimate fair in the international art market, capable of satisfying the appetite of even the most avid art enthusiasts.

The upcoming Art Basel will be held in its city of origin of Basel, Switzerland between June 15 and June 18, 2023, and if you want to feel like a citizen of the world, that is the place to be. But there are other ways to be a part of the Art Basel world. 

At the moment, the fascinating art fair is hosted in four different cities around the world, two in Europe, one in America, and one in Asia. But even if you don’t have the resources to go there in person, there are many ways to take advantage of the vast continuum of projects and initiatives that Art Basel offers.

How It All Started

From its early beginnings in the 1970s, Art Basel has been a success story, launched by Trudl Bruckner, Ernst Beyeler and Balz Hilt, who were Basel-based gallery owners with a mission to make the art world flock to the city. The first international Art Basel fair attracted over 16,000 visitors. The interest among guests just kept growing, and the fair’s needs and ambitions grew out of the original exhibition space. 

Art Basel was initially founded in Basel, Switzerland. Basel is not a large city, but it has a rich offering of museums and a huge potential to attract an international crowd, which is exactly what Art Basel has accomplished. Art Basel develops high-caliber art programs by collaborating with institutions from the host city, and it does not discriminate against participants. Both well-established and emerging galleries are invited to take part in the process. 

How It Developed

The prestigious art fair slowly grew into an international art show. In addition to its city of origin, the art show now has locations in Miami Beach, Hong Kong and Paris, which was introduced this year. 

Art Basel was revolutionized in 1999, when Art Unlimited began hosting large-scale artworks. Media that we now take for granted, sculptures, video projections and live performances, were added to the mix. In 2002, the first sister fair had is debut. Ar Basel Miami Beach, FL, USA featured 160 galleries from as many as 23 countries. In 2013, Asia joined in. Art Basel Hong Kong was launched.

It remains to be seen if Art Basel will grow out of its present four-city scope, but judging by the reputation it has built, the pivotal role it plays in the international art scene, and the partner cities on the list, it is almost certain that new avenues are yet to emerge.

Upcoming Main Events

In addition to Art Basel in Basel (June 15-18, 2023), upcoming events include:

  • This year’s first-ever edition of Art Basel Paris, which is scheduled to open on October 20 and last until October 23. The dates for 2023 are yet to be announced.
  • Art Basel Miami Beach, which will last from December 1 to December 3, 2022. Next year’s dates are to be determined.
  • Art Basel Hong Kong. This year, the Hong Kong edition of Art Basel took place from May 27 to May 29, and the upcoming edition is scheduled to take place from March 23 to 25, 2023.

Art Basel Week

During the Art Basel week, visitors have a chance to visit the main fair and several secondary fairs, some of which are hosted in the city of Basel itself, and others elsewhere in the region. Other attractive fixtures you can see are the Liste, Volta and Photo Basel.

Art Basel Initiatives

Over the decades, the organization grew into a household name in the art world. So far, Art Basel has launched the following key initiatives: Art Basel Cities, BMW Art Journey, Crowdfunding and The Art Market.

Art Basel has always been acceptant of innovations, in an effort to focus on the broader art world.

Art Basel Cities

This international project is the result of a longstanding collaboration between Art Basel and cities across the world. Art Basel Cities gives people in cities worldwide a chance to experience multiple cultural events and programs, organized throughout the year. The project promotes cultural development in each of the participating cities, aligned with their long-term goals. The initiative, launched during the Hong Kong edition of Art Basel in 2016, is relatively young but it has been hugely successful. Cities interested in joining the partnership program are welcome to apply. The first city to join in was Buenos Aires, Argentina.

BMW Art Journey Award

BMW Art Journey Award is an initiative that celebrates promising new artists. This grant, the result of Art Basel’s partnership between BMW which began in 2015, is aimed at deserving creatives. It gives emerging artists a chance to travel to a destination of their choice, anywhere in the world, to explore ideas and create artwork. The initiative awards two grants annually. 

The Crowdfunding Initiative

The Crowdfunding Initiative is Art Basel’s partnership with Kickstarter. The idea is to support and promote projects developed by non-profit organizations around the world. A variety of artistic projects are eligible for the award. The winning projects are selected by an independent jury.

The Art Market 

The Art Market is a global art market analysis held annually. This initiative was launched in 2017. The Art Market provides the latest insight into the international market and major developments in the previous year.

Art Basel Welcomes NFTs

It was a matter of time when NFTs would become coupled with the art market and its artistic value would receive the recognition it deserves. Not even the most conservative members of the art community can deny that NFTs are not just another fad born out of hype. The transformative power of the merge is already evident, and the impact on the art industry is getting stronger by the minute. 

The NFT boom has, slowly but surely, led two major communities, that of crypto and that of art, to initiate a close collaboration and overcome their differences, despite their mutual skepticism, misunderstandings and the stereotypes that still divide them. Nevertheless, the merge opens exciting growth opportunities to everyone involved: artists, curators, investors, collectors, and supporters.

In recent years, Art Basel has fully embraced NFTs, and this year’s edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, set to take place between Dec 1 – 3, 2022, will be especially interesting. It will give visitors the opportunity to mint their own NFT. This innovation is brought by the Blockchain platform Tezos which will host an exhibition and open a discussion.