Art Basel Cities initiative partners with Buenos Aires

The Latin American cultural hub is the first partner city for the new Art Basel initiative.

To be presented in late 2017, Art Basel’s initiative draws upon the city’s multi-layered cultural scene.

Art Basel in Basel 2015 | Parcours Night | Gladstone Gallery, New York, Brussels and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich | Ugo Rondinone, 'the gracious', 2015. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

Art Basel in Basel 2015 | Parcours Night | Gladstone Gallery, New York, Brussels and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich | Ugo Rondinone, ‘the gracious’, 2015. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

Last week Art Basel announced Buenos Aires as the first location in their Cities initiative. To be held in late 2017, it will consist of a content-driven programme of events curated by Art Basel in collaboration with the city. Intended to be mutually beneficial, the initiative will raise awareness of the local art scene with international audiences while tapping into Art Basel’s experience in world-class programming.

Art Basel announced the new initiative in March 2016 as the fair’s Hong Kong edition prepared to open to the public and Buenos Aires is the first city, and the only one in South America. The idea behind Art Basel Cities is to move beyond staging art fairs by nurturing a more in-depth engagement with cities, including working more closely with local governments.

Art Basel during day 2 on 15 May 2014 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong, China. Photo: Jessica Hromas / Art Basel. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

Art Basel during day 2 on 15 May 2014 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong, China. Photo: Jessica Hromas / Art Basel. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta explained that the Art Basel Cities initiative is a good fit for the city, given the vibrant art scene in Buenos Aires. The city has more than 80 art galleries as well as world-renowned museums, public collections, theatres, libraries and exhibition spaces. Recently they have also developed an art and design district in La Boca and Barracas.

Since 1970 Art Basel has served as a meeting point between galleries, collectors and the international art world. The three fairs in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami Beach have become essential events in the international art world calendar.

Art Basel in Miami Beach, 2015, Film sector. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

Art Basel in Miami Beach, 2015, Film sector. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

Art Basel’s Global Director Marc Spiegler explained the initiative, emphasising that it goes beyond just putting on big events (PDF download):

The partnership will be the first example of Art Basel’s commitment to making further use of its significant experience in staging premier art events beyond the fairs. We aim to engage with cities, like Buenos Aires, which already have fascinating and multi- layered cultural scenes and are interested in amplifying their own commitment to arts and culture even further.

Art Basel in Miami Beach, 2015. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

Art Basel in Miami Beach, 2015. Image © and courtesy Art Basel.

The initiative is sure to bring more attention to an already vibrant city. As Art Basel’s Director of Business Initiatives Patrick Foret highlights:

Since announcing the launch of Art Basel Cities in March 2016, we have engaged in many conversations with great cities around the world. We are hugely excited to present Buenos Aires as our first city partner and the only one in South America. Through this partnership we want to celebrate what Buenos Aires has to offer and its even greater potential as an international cultural destination.

Claire Wilson

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Related Topics: news, international, cities, art fairs

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