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Dan Flavin at Kunstmuseum Basel 

Almine Rech’s Basel Top Tips: Ali Cherri, Dan Flavin, and More

Gallery founder Almine Rech revels in the best of Art Basel 2024, including artist Ali Cherri’s singular installation, Dan Flavin at Kunstmuseum Basel, and more.

Since founding her eponymous gallery in Paris in 1989, Almine Rech has cultivated meaningful relationships with some of the most groundbreaking artists of our time, including James Turrell, Daniel Gibson, Chloe Wise, and Huang Yuxing, as well as uplifting the singular estates of Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Mai-Thu, and many more. With gallery sites throughout the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Asia, Rech is an ever-evolving beacon of creative freedom on the global stage. As the 2024 edition of Art Basel commences in Switzerland, Rech imparts to Whitewall the pivotal aspects of the much-anticipated fair—and her go-to Brasserie. 

Portrait of Almine Rech, 2024 Portrait of Almine Rech, 2024, © Almine Rech, Photo by Oleg Covian.

WHITEWALL: What are you looking forward to in Basel in June during the fairs?

ALMINE RECH: I’m looking forward to in-person meetings with collectors who we haven’t seen in a while. Some rarely have the time to visit galleries in their own countries but will take two days for the fair, so to me, it’s one of the most important aspects of the fair. 

WW: What do you have your eye on at the fairs?

AR: I concentrate on meetings at the booth and at Unlimited where we will present an important installation by Ali Cherri, a video and sculpture. After the first two days, I take time to look around to see what works are being presented at other booths. It’s always very interesting. 

WW: What are the exhibitions on your must-see list?

AR: Fondation Beyeler is always a must-see, this year they are presenting a group show. Flavin at Kunstmuseum. And Kunsthalle is always presenting forefront art.

Best Drinks and Bites in Basel

WW: Where are you go-to places to grab a bite or drink after the fairs/opening?

AR: Brasserie Les Trois Rois is really good, and Restaurant Bel Etage (im Teufelhof)

Basel Top Tips, According to Almine Rech:

1. Explore Ali Cherri at Art Basel Unlimited 

Ali Cherri, Ali Cherri, “The Watchman / Wake up Soldiers, Open Your Eyes II,” 2024, Still from The Watchman, 2024 – HD Video; 26; film still; Edition 5 of 5 + 2 AP, © Ali Cherri Studio, Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech.

In the arresting video work The Watchman, the character Sergeant Bulut dutifully maintains a solitary vigil atop a remote watchtower. Night after night, Bulut scans the horizon, awaiting an enemy that never materializes – until the sudden appearance of strange lights disrupts his routine. Through this simple narrative, The Watchman deftly deconstructs the ‘myth of duty’ that undergirds omnipresent war rhetoric. Bulut’s Sisyphean task lays bare the fundamental absurdity of such martial posturing, stripping away the veneer of heroism. — Source

2. Bask in “Dan Flavin.Dedications in Lights” at Kunstmuseum Basel 

Installation view of Dan Flavin at Kunstmuseum Basel. Installation view courtesy of Dan Flavin and Kunstmuseum Basel.

In honor of Dan Flavin (1933-1996), the inspired trailblazer of Minimal Art, “Dedications in Lights” is a sweeping presentation which displays 58 pieces revealing the visionary’s creative prowess using industrially manufactured fluorescent tubes, expertly curated by Josef Helfenstein, Olga Osadtschy, and Elena Degen. 

3. Meditate on Toyin Ojih Odutola’s “Ilé Oriaku” at Kunsthalle Basel 

Toyin Ojih Odutola Toyin Ojih Odutola, “Always in a Hurry,” 2023, installation view, in: Toyin Ojih Odutola, Ilé Oriaku, Kunsthalle Basel, 2024, photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel.

On the occasion of New York-based artist Toyin Ojih Odutola’s inaugural solo presentation in Switzerland, “Ilé Oriaku,” which translates to “House of Abundance,” is a surreal and soulful journey through human gesture, expression, and evolution. 27 bold drawings illuminate life’s most hypnotic moments, with characters searching for their own distinct language in overcoming personal suffering. 

4. Dine at Brasserie Les Trois Rois

Brasserie Les Trois Rois Courtesy of Brasserie Les Trois Rois.

In the Brasserie Les Trois Rois we serve you with Swiss and French brasserie specialties, with ingredients fresh from the market, which bear testimony to the richness of the regional produce. The richly varied menu bears witness to the consistent efforts of the team of Maitre d’hôtel Hervé Mahler and Chef de Cuisine Thomas Schaefer. Enjoy your lunch or dinner in our popular city restaurant – culinary delights and a view over the Rhine included. — Source

5. Experience Restaurant Bel Etage (im Teufelhof)

Restaurant Bel Etage (im Teufelhof) Restaurant Bel Etage (im Teufelhof), published by Foodle.

A French feast brimming with gastronomical delights such as Chanterelle ravioli with peas, Atlantic St. Pierre filet with cashmere saffron sauce, and Free-range filet of beef with Tasmanian pepper sabayon, gives way to Bleu d’Auvergne in filo pastry and the Bolivia organic chocolate tart for an unforgettable dining experience. 

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