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Art Basel

Top 12: Your Art Basel 2017 Must-Do List

Whitewaller Basel 2017 is out this week, for the biggest art fair of the year, Art Basel. Nothing ever compares to the original, and Art Basel has maintained its place as the international fair for the best in top-quality works. Galleries bring their A-game year after year and 2017 is no different. In around the fair, we offer here your Top 12 must-do list.

1. Art Basel 2017 Vernissage
On Wednesday, June 14, don’t miss the 2017 Art Basel’s Vernissage. Following invitation-only preview days on Tuesday and Wednesday, the opening evening event of the 48th edition of the fair offers and early chance to see 291 international galleries from 34 countries and six continents. Presenting work from the early 20th century to today, 17 galleries will be participating for the first time, including Antenna Space, Hopkinson Mossman, and Magician Space.

Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Our people are better than your people), 2016, part of Art Basel Unlimited.

2. Art Basel’s VIP Lounge
In addition to presence from sponsors like UBS, BMW, and Davidoff, in the fair’s VIP section, don’t miss the lounge for Audemars Piguet created by Sebastian ErraZuriz, Swiss beauty brand La Prairie’s debut collaboration with contemporary artists “Infusion of Light,” and Ruinart’s specially commissioned sculpture by artist Jaume Plensa.

3. Unlimited Sector
This edition of Art Basel’s anticipated Unlimited exhibition is curated by Gianni Jetzer, curator-at-Large at the Hirshhorn Museum, and is made up of a range of large-scale works, installations, performances, and video. From the historic to the contemporary, the program brings together work by Doug Aitken, Carl Andre, Chris Burden, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Mickalene Thomas, and more.

Fondation Beyeler

Wolfgang Tillmans, Fire Island, 2015, Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York
On View at Fondation Beyeler

4. Design Miami/ Basel
This edition of Design Miami/ Basel is the most international to date, with 47 galleries from 11 countries presenting. Five galleries will be participating for the first time, alongside 12 of the original galleries to the fair. Included this year will be a few solo shows, including the work of Ettore Sottsass (Friedman Benda), André Sornay (Alain Marcelpoil) and Jean Prouvé (Patrick Seguin).

The 2017 edition of LISTE includes 79 exhibitors from 34 countries. Focused on introducing young galleries representing up-and-coming artists, LISTE has built a reputation for a place to find emerging talent since its founding in 1996. Don’t miss a special exhibition of work by the young artist Andriu Deplazes, the winner of the Helvetia Art Prize 2017.

Les Trois Rois

Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois

6. Wolfgang Tillmans at Fondation Beyeler
Fondation Beyeler will present the work of Wolfgang Tillmans this summer, marking the museum’s first comprehensive photography show. More than 200 photos and an audiovisual installation will be on view, ranging from portrait, to landscape, to still life, and even abstract works, dating from 1989 to 2017.

7. “Ungestalt” at Kunsthalle Basel
This summer the ground floor of Kunsthalle Basel is devoted to a group show entitled “Ungestalt.” The title of the show can be translated as “struggles against delineation,” which seems appropriate given that the works on view are made from a variety of mediums and by artists of varying generations.

Kunsthalle Basel

Joachim Bandau, Der Tänzer, 1968, courtesy of the artist, Galerie Thomas Fischer, Berlin, and Galerie Mark Müller, Zurich.
On view at Kunsthalle Basel

8. Bar Les Trois Rois
Inside the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois is Bar Les Trois Rois—an intimate setting that offers refined cocktails and delicate snacks. Guests can also enjoy live piano music on most days and “The Cocktail Experience” from Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m. If you have the time, try out the bar’s mixing class with Chef de Bar Thomas Huhn.

9. Chez Donati
Deserving of its 13 Gault Millau points, Chez Donati delivers the essence of fine Italian cooking. The restaurant also hosts Donati’s Business Lunch and Piatto di Mezzogiorno—two great prix fixe options. Enjoying a meal on the terrace of the restaurant is not to be missed.

10. The Dolder Grand
With 175 rooms, the Dolder Grand welcomes guests to a relaxing stay. Offering two restaurants, two shopping boutiques, a banquet room, a salon, an expansive spa, and more, the hotel also greets guests with an array of seasonal sport and leisure activities. After a long fair week, relaxing in its 43,000-square-foot spa offering treatments with La Prairie products.

11. UNAIDS Gala
The week of Art Basel will be kicked off this year with the UNAIDS Gala. Presented by Cartier in partnership with Design Miami/ and InterContinental Hotel Geneve, the anticipated event raises funds for UNAIDS’ mission of provided access to life-saving HIV prevention and treatment. The evening is HRH Princess Eugenie of York, Caroline Ruper, and Ndaba Mandela and features a live design auction with Simon de Pury.

12. Day Trips to Berlin & Zürich
Close to Basel, Zürich and Berlin are worth a visit after your week of fairs while in Europe this June. From top programming at galleries and museums, to exciting new restaurants and bars, we suggest adding a few days to your itinerary this week to check out what these cities have to offer.


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At this year’s edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, BMW presents an installation collaboratively created with Alex Israel.