Art Basel in Miami Beach was launched in 2002 as a satellite to Art Basel, the 45-year old fair in Switzerland that has become the most significant annual event in the contemporary art world. The edition in Miami Beach is steadily ascendant and, even more than Basel, as much about the milieu as the art sales.
On October 27, the new museum building for the Fondation Louis Vuitton will open in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. It was designed by the Los Angeles-based starchitect Frank Gehry with the patronage of the French businessman Bernard Arnault.
In Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Ólafur Elíasson has transformed the museum’s South Wing into a rocky river landscape with a site-specific installation combining nature, architecture, and art.
This summer, André Le Nôtre’s 17th-century Water Theater grove at Versailles has been restored by the landscape designer Louis Benech with contemporary sculptures by Jean-Michel Othoniel – the first new permanent artworks added the garden in over 300 years.
This spring, coinciding with his first major exhibition in the Middle East, American sculptor Richard Serra launched a public art commission in Qatar entitled East-West/West-East. Serra’s large-scale assemblies of sheet metal are famously minimal and massive, and this site-specific work in Qatar is absolutely monolithic.
It’s mid-June, our email and Twitter feeds are exploding, and all the private jets are gone. It’s Art Basel. What do you need to know about the world’s most significant contemporary art event?
The Gabriel Staircase, at the entrance to the Grand Apartments at the Château de Versailles, was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1772 after the Petit Trianon and the Royal Opera at the palace. Completion of the staircase was delayed from the Revolution – until 1985 – and the monumental space gained a contemporary focal point in 2013.
Maurizio Cattelan’s installation of La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) is a life-sized effigy of Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteor. First exhibited in 1999 at the Kunsthalle Basel, La Nona Ora was featured at the Royal Academy in London in 2000, and also at the Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art in Warsaw. Christie’s sold the piece in 2001 for $886,000, and a second version was auctioned by Phillips, de Pury & Company in 2004 for $3 million.