Art Basel’s hometown fair will return in June with 287 participating galleries, 22 of which will be taking part for the first time. It will be the first edition of Art Basel in Basel (11-16 June) led by Maike Cruse, who joined as the expo’s director last July. In addition to new leadership, the fair will also boast a re-imagined public sector, with its Parcours programming focused along a single thoroughfare and overseen by a new curator.
The fair’s 287 exhibitors this year are firmly in line with its 285 participants in 2023 and 289 in 2022. The 22 first-timers are spread across three sectors, with five debuting in the general Galleries sector: Taipei’s Tina Keng Gallery; Shanghai’s MadeIn Gallery; Paris- and Barcelona-based gallery Mayoral; Los Angeles- and New York-based gallery Karma; and New York- and Santa Fe-based Yares Art.
Another seven galleries that previously showed in other sectors will “graduate” into the main section, among them New York’s Garth Greenan Gallery, closely watched Los Angeles outfit Commonwealth and Council (which also operates a space in Mexico City) and Paris’s Galerie Crèvecoeur.
Half the newcomers will debut in the Feature sector, where stands are devoted to art-historical presentations: São Paulo’s Almeida & Dale Galeria de Arte; Shanghai-based Bank; Thomas Brambilla of Bergamo; Zurich-based Larkin Erdmann Gallery; Paris’s Galerie Le Minotaure; Belgian gallery Maruani Mercier; San Francisco’s Gallery Wendi Norris; Los Angeles-based Parker Gallery; New York’s Meredith Rosen Gallery; Osaka’s The Third Gallery Aya; and Basel local Galerie Mueller.
The six other first-time participants will be in the Statements sector, which hosts solo stands by emerging artists: South Korean gallery Wooson; Jakarta-based ROH Projects; Oslo’s OSL Contemporary; Berlin-based Nome; Vienna gallery Felix Gaudlitz; and Paris’s Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou.
For visitors not closely monitoring the shifting power dynamics of galleries moving between fairs and within fairs’ sectors, the most visible change at Art Basel this year will likely be to its free public art sector, Parcours, which in years past has been spread throughout Basel. This year it will be entirely concentrated on Clarastrasse, the main thoroughfare connecting the fair’s venue, Messe Basel, with the Rhine riverfront.
Parcours will be curated for the first time by Stefanie Hessler, the director of New York’s Swiss Institute, taking over from Samuel Leuenberger, who had organised the al fresco programme since the fair’s 2016 edition. This year’s public art showcase will take over empty storefronts, functioning businesses, outdoor spaces and a hotel along the heavily trafficked street. Additional around-the-clock programming is also planned for the Hotel Merian, located on the north side of the Rhine diagonally across from the famed Hotel Les Trois Rois, throughout the run of the fair.
Art Basel revealed the details of its next flagship fair as the firm, and its owner MCH Group, prepare to hold the first full-scale edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong since before the Covid-19 pandemic. That fair, taking place in late March, will feature 243 exhibitors—up from 177 in 2023 and a whisker above its 2019 total of 242.