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Art Basel Makes a Comeback: Key Sales of the Fair in Basel 2022

Art Basel Makes a Comeback: Key Sales of the Fair in Basel 2022

On June 16-19, Art Basel welcomed over 70,000 visitors who returned to Messeplatz in Basel, Switzerland, to witness some of the most incredible works of art from 289 galleries from 40 countries worldwide. The international event again proved to be a gold standard of contemporary art fairs after two years of COVID-19 pause. The first days of the show demonstrated people’s insatiable desire to foster art and support talented artists by investing big sums in this year’s highlights. Let’s take a look at the key sales of the fair in Basel 2022.

Key Sales of the Fair in Basel 2022

Louise Bourgeois’s “Spider” was probably the most major and unexpected sale that generated $40 million for Hauser & Wirth. The large sculpture of a giant spider broke its own record that was set at Christie’s New York in 2019 by nearly $8 million. Hauser & Wirth, which is the leading Swiss modern and contemporary art gallery, had other huge sales at the fair. Among them are Arshile Gorky’s “Betrothal” – $5.5 million, Francis Picabia’s “Bathers” – $4 million, Mark Bradford’s new artwork “Cobra” – $3.5 million, and others. Such conspicuous success made the gallery one of the best-selling booths in the entire Art Basel 2022.

Some other remarkable sales include Elaine Sturtevant’s copycat “Johns Flag” sold by Richard Gray Gallery for $3 million, Hannah Wilke’s latex-metal sculpture “Rosebud” that was estimated at $1.5 million, and Joan Mitchell’s 10-foot-tall abstract painting “Bergerie” that went for $16.5 million. Not only these but also other amazing artworks by female artists became a good sign for the entire art world, as more high-quality women’s art is being featured in today’s male-dominated art market.

Art Basel 2022 also presented a separate NFT exhibition titled “Chance Encounters in New Mediums: Generative Art” by Tezos. The platform allowed everyone to mint their own crypto artwork in real-time, which has become an essential part of the guests’ experience. As of sales, several Jeff Koons’ much-talked-about “Moon Phase” NFTs were purchased for $2 million per piece. Those were represented by Pace Gallery, the famous international gallery with some of the key sales at the fair.

This year’s edition proves that art collectors and dealers are as hungry as never before. Despite COVID-19, War in Ukraine, and the impending financial crisis, the art market bounces back and continues to grow and expand. The next Art Basel 2022 stops will be in October in Paris and December in Miami Beach. Something is coming, so stay tuned!