The art world will soon be flocking to Basel, Switzerland’s third-largest city, for the annual Art Basel extravaganza, running June 18 to 21. The show, which since its creation in 1970 has spawned Miami and Hong Kong offshoots, has become a fixture for aficionados, benefiting from the city’s easy access on the border with France and Germany, and its recently extended, but still very central, exhibition halls. Calling itself the “premier international art show of its kind,” Art Basel 2015 will focus on contemporary and 20th-century works, exhibiting paintings, sculpture, drawings, installations, photographs and video.
Some 90,000 art lovers are expected to visit the stands of 284 galleries from the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa — 33 countries in all. On display will be works by more than 4,000 artists. To make it easier to navigate, the event is split into eight “sectors” based on media, artists or galleries.
Art Basel invariably fills the city’s hotels and restaurants and prompts countless linked cultural events. One showstopper this year is the Gauguin exhibition at the Beyeler Foundation — a private collection in a leafy city suburb. While this year’s visitors to Basel might be disappointed to find the city’s Kunstmuseum — one of Europe’s foremost public art galleries — closed for a lavish refit and extension, the Gauguin at the Beyeler’s intimate, Renzo Piano-designed building should compensate.