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Chez Donati

Ludovica Barbieri’s Best of Basel: Beyeler Foundation, Kunsthalle Restaurant, and More

The celebrated Partner at MASSIMODECARLO and admired Global Director of Artist Liaison, revels in exhibiting the most talented artists in her roster and delectable dining locales.

An esteemed Partner at MASSIMODECARLO, and the distinguished Global Director of Artist Liaison, Ludovica Barbieri knowingly guides with a tremendous 30 years worth of experience in the commercial art landscape. Sincere collaboration lies at the heart of her process, and Barbieri has worked side by side with museums, collectors, curators, and contemporary icons such as Maurizio Cattelan, Rudolf Stingel, Jessie Homer French, Jennifer Guidi, Nate Lowman, Diane Dal-Pra, Shannon Cartier Lucy, and many more. In the midst of a busy art month, the visionary meditated on the most stimulating aspects of Art Basel, as well as the go-to spot for irresistible dishes. 

Ludovica Barbieri Courtesy of Ludovica Barbieri.

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

LUDOVICA BARBIERI: Art Basel has always been a cornerstone of contemporary art, and its significance has only grown over the years. The vibrant atmosphere transforms Basel into a global center for creativity. This June, I’m especially excited about the chance to connect with new clients from around the world. It’s an opportunity to engage in stimulating conversations about art, the market, and to discover emerging trends. Additionally, exhibiting the works of some of the most talented artists in our roster is always a highlight. Seeing their pieces captivate the audience reaffirms the impact and relevance of their art.

“Art Basel has always been a cornerstone of contemporary art, and its significance has only grown over the years,” — Ludovica Barbieri

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

LB: My professional focus always steers me towards emerging artists who bring fresh perspectives to the art scene. In the whirlwind of fair days, filled with back-to-back meetings and events, I make it my mission to find moments for discovery, enchantment, and some good old-fashioned pondering. Whether it’s a bold new installation, a standout painting, or an artist’s unique approach to medium and message, these moments always inspire me.

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

LB: If you’re in Basel, you can’t miss the shows at the Beyeler Foundation and the Kunstmuseum. During the fair, they curate fantastic programs and exhibitions, like “DANCE WITH DAEMONS” and the Matisse presentation. Additionally, “When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting” at Kunstmuseum is a unique and comprehensive display of African artists and the African diaspora—a first for Switzerland.

“My professional focus always steers me towards emerging artists who bring fresh perspectives to the art scene,” — Ludovica Barbieri

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

LB: When in Basel, I always visit a few favorite spots: the Kunsthalle Restaurant, Chez Donati for irresistible Italian dishes, and the Schützenhaus Restaurant, which we frequently visit with the gallery.

 Ludovica Barbieri’s Basel Top Tips:

1. Embark on the Mesmeric Art Basel 2024

Art Basel 2023 Art Basel 2023, courtesy of Art Basel.

The much-anticipated Art Basel fair this week sets the city aglow with live performances, 285 internationally renowned galleries, and forward-thinking masterpieces in the diverse realms of digital art, painting, photography, and sculpture.

2. Explore Beyeler Foundation’s Evolving Summer Group Show

Installation View of Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, 2024, Koo Jeong A, “Boolgasaeu Boolgasali,” 2024 Installation View of Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, 2024, Koo Jeong A, “Boolgasaeu Boolgasali,” 2024, Cast in bronze, dark patina, unique edition + 1 AP © Koo Jeong A, Photo: Mark Niedermann.

In an inaugural group presentation that is spread across the interior of Fondation Beyeler as well as its exterior, idyllic park spaces, “Cloud Chronicles” unites 30 visionaries in the diverse realms of art, poetry, architecture, music, philosophy, and science for an exploratory symphony of contemporary art. In close partnership with the LUMA Foundation, and thoughtfully developed by Sam Keller, Mouna Mekouar, Isabela Mora, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Precious Okoyomon, Philippe Parreno, and Tino Sehgal, the far reaches of creative independence lead to revelatory dialogues on our shared experiences and duties. 

3. Don’t Miss Kunstmuseum’s “When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting” 

Kunstmuseum Basel Installation view of “When We See Us,” at Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart.

Deftly curated by Koyo Kouoh and Tandazani Dhlakama (Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town), in partnership with Anita Haldemann, Maja Wismer, and Daniel Kurjaković, “When We See Us. A Century of Black Figuration in Painting” is a sweeping presentation which deeply honors and uplifts the prismatic facets of Black joy. Nearly 150 paintings abound in the pivotal show which was first unveiled by the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town. 

4. Find Respite at Kunsthalle Restaurant

Restaurant Kunsthalle Courtesy of Restaurant Kunsthalle.

Located next to the Kunsthalle Museum, Restaurant Kunsthalle welcomes guests to a wonderful dining experience. With an elegant interior and delicious dishes, the restaurant is a peaceful escape. 

5. Revel in Fine Italian Cooking at Chez Donati 

Chez Donati Courtesy of 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.

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