A bird’s eye view of Art Basel’s satellite fairs
Art Basel has been around for 45 years and continues to attract visitors from all over the world, but a stringent selection process means that only leading galleries get to show there. As a result, four satellite fairs have emerged over the years to allow lesser-known galleries to get a crack at the whip. Dotted around the city, with shuttle buses connecting the venues, they destroy the myth that art is only for the rich cognoscenti. Most of them open ahead of the official dates of Art Basel (18-21 Jun) and stay open for the entire week. Admission is between CHF17 and CHF22.
LISTE 20 – the young art fair in Basel
If you’re young, curious and like the experimental
Initiated locally in 1996, LISTE encourages and showcases young galleries with artists under the age of 40, although the rules have recently relaxed to include more established figures. It takes place in a warren-like former brewery, where an outside zigzag staircase has been added to alleviate the congestion. The art tends to be audacious and messy, with a focus on performance art.
SCOPE Art Show
If you see art as an investment
For its eighth edition, SCOPE returns to its new location in Klybeckquai on the Rhine, that is presented as an up and coming cultural development in Basel, but is in fact desolate and difficult to reach. But it’s worth the detour to get a flavour of new tendencies, some of them bold and brash. SCOPE showcases 75 international exhibitors alongside 20 ‘Breeder Program Galleries’, incubators for emerging art. SCOPE Art Shows in Miami, Basel, New York, London and the Hamptons boast an attendance of over 1,000,000 visitors. The art tends to be aggressively market-oriented.
If you’re open to discovery, but want to play it safe
The Solo Project was set up by Paul Kusseneers gallery in Brussels eight years ago on the basis of invitations to likeminded galleries. Despite its location in a church and sports complex in south-west Basel, it has grown in sophistication. The 31 galleries in the 2014 edition presented only 60 artists, which allowed the displays to remain unusually airy. The art is by and large refreshingly accessible.
If you enjoy art from the four corners of the world
For its eleventh anniversary, VOLTA takes place at Markthalle, the historic landmark not far from the station. Founded in Basel in 2005 by three international dealers, it is a platform for contemporary art galleries of global prestige who choose to work with emerging artists. The 2015 edition includes exhibitors from six continents. The emphasis is placed on solo projects or galleries that bring the work of two artists into dialogue with each other. This careful curating allows even exotic art to appear familiar.