Swiss Art Basel 2022 closes with a bang and a draw
Art3 Minutes Read

Swiss Art Basel 2022 closes with a bang and a draw

June 19, 2022 Share

As Art Basel 2022 draws to a close, we can only bow with gratitude at the incredible display of talent. Here is what was sold at the fair.  

The unlimited white-walled booths in Messeplatz, Switzerland, are where monumental works come to thrive and big cheques are paid.

Some incredible masterpieces have been displayed at the Art Basel throughout the years. A few artists made solemn lasting impressions in the previous years. But one artist this year at Basel has done it again.

But before we get into who created the most extraordinary exhibit this year, let’s look at three previous artists who made an everlasting impression in the Art Basel history books.

Art Basel is an accumulation of unconscious art hidden inside people’s minds. These ideas spill out into forms of art that come in all shapes and sizes, from woodwork, photography, sculpture, installation pieces, and even physical performance. This event attracts people worldwide and brings art lovers together for a showcase of a lifetime.

Art Basel 2022
The 1992 artwork “Untitled (Tim Hotel)” by the Cuban American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres by David Zwirner. Credit Georgios Kefalas/EPA.

Some could be masterpieces, while others could be questionable. Ranging in all shapes and sizes, the gallery spaces transform you into physical walk-through installations to simply admiring static wall or floor sculptures. The beauty of it is that it is entirely up to your interpretation.

Art is a topic where anyone can have their perspective and opinions. And any person can judge it concerning their intellectual level and understanding. I mean, we all criticize singing, dancing, acting, and drawing as per our liking. It works the same for our creative counterparts. This, of course, is all based on subjectivity. However, the art world can be ridiculous

Art Basel 2022

This is what artist Maurizio Cattelan thought when creating his art piece ‘Comedian’. Who remembers the classic banana duct-taped to a wall sold for over $120,000 in Art Basel 2021? 

God knows whose banana loaf that ended up in? Anyway, back to the now. Let’s feast our eyes on the extraordinary and get close and personal to the works that hit gold.

Featured in mega-dealer David Zwirner’s booth was a 1992 light sculpture, Untitled (Tim Hotel), a single electrical cord holding 42 light bulbs hung from a nail suspended from the ceiling. This is no joke, the artwork sold for $12.5 million to an Asian collection.

Art Basel 2022
“Spider” (1996), by Louise Bourgeois, sold for $40 million after dominating the Hauser & Wirth space at the Art Basel fair. Credit Georgios Kefalas/EPA.

A 1976 sculptural work by American multi-hyphenate provocateur Hannah Wilke was among the top sales. Looking like a sea cucumber, this Rosebud piece was made of poured nude-coloured latex. The layered pieces take on a florid form and make allusions to the body, as many of Wilke’s works did. It sold for $1.5 million.

An iconic spider sculpture by the artist Louise Bourgeois was priced at $40 million. This 11-foot-long work towered over Hauser & Wirth’s booth and is the most significant sum publicly reported for a Bourgeois work. 

Kamel Mennour. Courtesy Art Basel.

According to Art News, “the sculpture is from the collection of Ursula Hauser, mother of gallery co-founder Manuela Hauser, and was bought by a private group.” It is made of steel and, unlike bronze pieces by Bourgeois, cannot be placed outdoors. It sold and was announced as the biggest of numerous big-ticket sales in Art Basel 2022.

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Author: Michelle Laver
Art Basel
Art Basel 2022
David Zwirner
Hauser & Wirth
Louise Bourgeois