Glamour is definitely over at Art Basel 2010. Now it's time to finally get rid of the art party's hangover and think about art again.
The board of Art Basel chose more than 300 International galleries from 1,100 applicants to create again the most important fair for contemporary art in the world. After the high gloss boom-time art, now, there is again a focus on:
In the years of the recent art boom, the museum curators had a hard time to keep pace with the art dealers. Now, the museums regain their role as pacemakers of the art world.
The museum curators looked back into art history: What happened after the art market bubble burst in the late 1980s?
In the 1990s, there was a focus on post-minimal art. In contrast to the colorful 1980s neo-expressionist painting, these artists did highly conceptual works. They often made them of 'poor' or inexpensive materials. In this year many important museums devoted mid-career-retrospectives to them.
Marina Abramovic's gorgeous MoMA retrospective this spring also led to a renewed interest in her performance art. London based Lisson Gallery offered a large photo of her classic performance 'Rest Energy' of 1980.
My favourite part of this Art Basel was the curated area 'Art Basel Unlimited'.
However, it might provide some inspiration to a younger generation of artists. This generation has not yet arrived here at Art Basel.
Well, there were 10 galleries representing Jonathan Monk or Liam Gillick. There are also a number of booths with great conceptual artists from Eastern Europe, like Roman Ondák. But all three have been around for quite some time now. That is why I doubt these will be the really new art trend or even art movement - we will see.
At this Art Basel, I don't see many galleries contributing something uniquely new to the art world.
Maybe, we will have to wait for the next Documenta to see such an impulse?
Until then, don't worry about the party - also this year, there is a chance to dance at the Campari Bar in Basel...
Art Basel in Switzerland, through 20 June 2010
The current move towards more intellectual art is good for the art world!