arts

Art Basel 2016: Why the art market is in the 'hyperfast' lane

Updated 28th June 2016
Art Basel 2016: Why the art market is in the 'hyperfast' lane
Written by Fiona Sinclair Scott, CNNOliver Bloor, CNN
Cutting through the noise at Art Basel is easier said than done. The annual fair is famed for its epic proportions and rich seam of talent. So perhaps it was naive of us to ask critics and curators what their favorite artworks were. Naive or not, we did so anyway.
Trapping them on an escalator, we interrogated five of Art Basel's most scrupulous pairs of eyes: Gianni Jetzer, Samuel Leuenberger, Lisa Schiff, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and JJ Charlesworth.
Schiff, art adviser and founder of There-There, chose a 1956 Pierre Soulages painting housed in the Dominique Levy booth. Meanwhile Charlesworth, publisher of ArtReview magazine, cited the political work of Wolfgang Tillmans (above right) and Kader Attia.
Their insights pointed to a growing industry accelerating in the digital age.
Alicja Kwade, "Out of Ousia" (2016), as chosen by Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.
Alicja Kwade, "Out of Ousia" (2016), as chosen by Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Credit: Art Basel
"The art market is in the hyperfast lane," said Leuenberger, curator of the Parcours section of Art Basel, and director of curator of SALTS in Birsfelden, Switzerland. "Decisions have to be taken very quickly, often, when it comes to purchasing or acquiring, privately or for an institution."
"It creates a lot of false pressure -- or real pressure."
Schiff said the internet has opened up the contemporary artwork and increased transparency -- especially when it comes to prices. Meanwhile Charlesworth sought to downplay the furore.
Sol Calero, "Casa de Cambio" (2016), as chosen by Samuel Leuenberger.
Sol Calero, "Casa de Cambio" (2016), as chosen by Samuel Leuenberger. Credit: Art Basel
"The art market is something the art world worries about far too much," he said. "It's true that it's got very big, and lots of people are interested in investing in art... but really we should let the art market do its thing, and spend more time looking at the art."
View the video above for all of our experts answers and below for a quick view of the fair.
Highlights from Art Basel 2016