New Initiative

Art Basel Buenos Aires: The Starting Point of Expansion for the Famous Art Fair

Walter Raymond

The Swiss institution has created "Art Basel Cities", a program that promotes art events in different venues around the world.


Art Basel, the global fair that showcases some of the world’s most cutting-edge exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, selected Buenos Aires as a strategic ally in South America. Thus, the capital of Argentina becomes the first city in the world— and the only one in the region— to be associated with the program Art Basel Cities, created to promote various cultural and artistic events with international impact.

Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The agreement between Art Basel— through global director
Marc Spiegler, and Patrick Foret, director of business initiatives— and the government of Buenos Aires implies, in principle, an event to be presented in 2017, which will be announced at the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach Fair in December.

Art Basel is one of the most influential art events in the world.

The iconic art fair has introduced a new program called Art Basel Cities.

The Art Basel Cities Program

This global initiative exemplifies the Swiss institution’s commitment to expand its reach and create new nexus with other cities.
Art Basel will share its expertise and global network to work in tandem with the chosen cities to develop programs aimed at an international audience.

Unlike the annual editions already presented in the Basel, Miami Beach, and
Hong Kong venues, the alliance between Art Basel and Buenos Aires (more cities will join the program in the near future) promotes the mise en scène of various art events that will attract the most prominent curators, gallery owners, and international collectors. The initiative allows local artists and museums to have greater international recognition. Also, this program involves the subsequent presentation of successful projects and works from the main Art Basel fairs.

Art Basel was created in 1970 by a group of gallery owners in the Swiss city of Basel.

Basel: a metropolis of the arts

Art Basel was created in 1970 by gallery owners from the city of
Basel, in Switzerland. Today, it attracts more than 90,000 collectors, artists, museum directors and art lovers to spectacular showcases of paintings, sculptures, photographs and multimedia works by over 4,000 artists. The fair also features the work of contemporary and modern masters such as Joan Miró, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons, among others.

That initial proposal quickly became a global institution that offered the most important exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.
Vogue magazine poetically described the fair as “the world’s most beautiful temporary museum.” Furthermore, the iconic fair has turned the medieval city of Basel into the capital of culture and the metropolis of world art.

Works shown at Art Basel.

Art Basel in Miami

Miami is an obvious example of the importance of hosting Art Basel. When the first event was held in Miami Beach in 2001, only six art galleries participated. Today, the number of participating galleries is more than 130, and authorities estimate that the income generated by the fair is no less than US $500 million.

Under the influence of Art Basel, Miami has become the most important center for Latin American art sales and a meeting point for European collectors who come, every December, looking for excellent opportunities to acquire valuable artworks.

The global fair showcases some of the world’s most cutting-edge exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.

With this in mind, Buenos Aires is poised to benefit from some of the magic that comes with Art Basel, and the city has chosen the Arts District—a downtown area with the necessary infrastructure—as well as several museums, galleries and cultural venues to host a variety of cultural events. During the press conference to present Art Basel Buenos Aires,
Spiegler said, “We are very excited to partner with Buenos Aires because this city has an ample and very vibrant cultural scene and a very interesting artistic history.”

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