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Portrait of Simon de Pury

Simon de Pury’s Art Basel Insider Tips: Fondation Beyeler, Bar Les Trois Rois, and More

The multi-talented auctioneer, art dealer, curator, photographer, and DJ imparts to Whitewall the Best of Basel, including what he has a keen eye on and the most gutsy presentation yet.

Simon de Pury deftly flows between roles as an auctioneer, art dealer, curator, photographer, and DJ, known fondly as “the Mick Jagger of auctions” for his iconic podium performances. An esteemed art advisor and leader in the global marketplace, de Pury has his finger on the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist, illuminating the profound creativity of diverse and innovative contemporary artists. As a euphoric Art Basel kicks off in Switzerland, the visionary took a moment to share with Whitewall the most thrilling exhibition on view and the most energizing bar in the city. 

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

SIMON DE PURY: Looking at great art! Usually most galleries keep their best works for Art Basel. 

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

SDP: Checking the pulse of the constantly evolving general taste.

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

SDP: This year by far the most exciting exhibition is “Echoes Unbound” at the Fondation Beyeler. It is the most gutsy presentation ever of a permanent collection in an art world where too often curators and artists are afraid to take risks.

“Usually most galleries keep their best works for Art Basel,” — Simon de Pury

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

SDP: The annual ritual is to stand forever in lengthy queues with billionaires waiting to get one of the coveted Bratwurst sausages. ⁠After dinner all the action takes place at the bar of Europe’s oldest hotel Les Trois Rois.

Basel Best of According to Simon de Pury

1. Embark on the Brilliance of Art Basel 2024

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

On June 13 in Basel, Switzerland, Art Basel 2024 will be unveiled with a sweeping creative program throughout the vibrant city, on view through June 16. The much-anticipated 2024 edition brings 285 internationally renowned galleries and forward-thinking masterpieces in the diverse realms of digital art, painting, photography, and sculpture. Visitors will find 22 new and cutting-edge participants alongside returning exhibitors from cities worldwide. 

Sections like Feature, Statements, and Edition will feature presentations from Jeffrey Deitch, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Meredith Rosen Gallery, Proyectos Ultravioleta, Gemini G.E.L., and more, while nearly 70 immersive installations and energetic performances will be included in the Unlimited platform. 

2.  Journey through “Echoes Unbound” at the Fondation Beyeler

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.

For the first time in the Fondation Beyeler’s more than 25-year history, the entire museum and its surrounding park will be transformed into the site of an experimental presentation of contemporary art. With contributions by Michael Armitage, Anne Boyer, Federico Campagna, Ian Cheng, Chuquimamani-Condori and Joshua Chuquimia Crampton, Marlene Dumas, Frida Escobedo, Peter Fischli, Cyprien Gaillard with Victor Man, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Wade Guyton, Carsten Höller with Adam Haar, Pierre Huyghe, Arthur Jafa, Koo Jeong A, Dozie Kanu, Cildo Meireles, Jota Mombaça, Fujiko Nakaya, Alice Notley, Precious Okoyomon, Philippe Parreno, Rachel Rose, Tino Sehgal, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Adrián Villar Rojas. The Summer Show is conceived as a “living organism” that changes and transforms throughout its duration. — Source

3. Join the Festivities at Bar Les Trois Rois 

Bar Les Trois Rois Courtesy of Bar Les Trois Rois.

Discover our bar with its drinks subtly composed by chef de bar Thomas Huhn and exquisite canapés from our kitchen. Live piano music and the classic afternoon tea enhance the pleasant setting of this popular meeting place in the middle of Basel. The Swiss Bar of the Year 2015 and winner of the Mixology Bar Award 2015 awaits your visit! — Source

Discover More Here


While attending Art Basel, be sure to explore these exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel, Fondation Beyeler, and Kunstmuseum Basel.
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The founder of Sean Kelly Gallery sits down with Whitewall to speak about Art Basel Unlimited, the city’s top outdoor dining areas, and more.


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