what not to miss at art basel 2022


From June 16 to 19, art aficionados from around the globe will congregate in Basel, Switzerland, for the 2022 edition of Art Basel. Marking a return to its traditional June dates, the Swiss art show will bring together 289 leading galleries—19 of which will exhibit for the first time—from 40 different countries. This year’s event promises its ‘broadest-ever’ range of artists and a diverse showcase of works across all types of media.


‘We are looking forward to staging Art Basel’s first June show since 2019, especially with such a strong line-up of galleries, including the return of many who were forced by the pandemic to take a hiatus last year,’ says Marc Spiegler, Global Director of Art Basel. ‘This year’s quality and breadth of material will be on par with previous editions of our show – yet more diverse than ever before in terms of the galleries participating.’


Held at the Messe Basel exhibition center, which was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, Art Basel’s extensive program is anchored by its main Galleries sector. Meanwhile, special sectors of the 2022 event include Unlimited, Parcours, Film, and Conversations. The city’s Messeplatz will also be activated with a site-specific installation by late artist Lawrence Weiner.

art basel 2022
Lawrence Weiner, Out of Sight (2021) © Lawrence Weiner





Giovanni Carmine returns as curator of Unlimited, Art Basel’s platform for large-scale projects. On view inside Hall 1 of Messe Basel, Unlimited showcases expansive installations, monumental sculptures, vast wall paintings, extensive photographic series, and video projections that transcend the traditional art fair stand. New to 2022 is Unlimited Night, where visitors will have the chance to explore the exhibited artwork during extended opening hours on Thursday, June 16. 


‘Unlimited 2022 is decidedly intense, no less a reflection on the contradictory era in which we live,’ says Giovanni Carmine. ‘A powerful expression of this is the polymorphous chorus of artistic voices in this exhibition, singing in protest against isolation, loneliness, and indifference. The chants are becoming louder and ever-more discernible.’


Highlights of this year’s ‘decidedly intense’ Unlimited include Yael Bartana’s video work ‘Malka Germania’ (2021), Stano Filko’s immersive installation ‘Environment S.FILKLINIC.DEATHS.F’ (2006), a mural installation by Theaster Gates ‘Hardware Store Painting’ (2020/2022), and the first-time presentation of Anna Maria Maiolino ‘Twice: X & Y’. There will also be Thomas J Price’s sculptural installation ‘Moments Contained’ (2022), a large-scale painting from the iconic 1970s ‘Lampblack’ series by Mary Lovelace O’Neal, a set of 21 individually signed drawings by Gerhard Richter, ‘Untitled (Drawings for SDI)’ (1986), a 45-wood panel installation by Barthélémy Toguo titled ‘Bilongue’ (2020), a large-scale hanging sculpture specially created by Kennedy Yanko for Unlimited, and Andrea Zittel’s ‘A-Z Personal Uniforms, 2nd Decade: Fall/Winter 2003–Spring/Summer 2013’ (2003-2013), comprised of 76 ensembles designed and hand-crafted by the artist from 2003 to 2013.

art basel 2022
Barthélémy Toguo, Bilongue (2020) Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co.





Parcours is Art Basel’s sector for site-specific installations and performances across the city and this year it returns under the theme ‘How to Grow in Times of Change’. Curated by Samuel Leuenberger, Parcours 2022 considers the challenges of our times.


‘The artistic projects draw on a range of media and methods to consider what it means to respond to central challenges of our times and envisage new behaviors and ways of relating to one another,’ explains Leuenberger. ‘Some of the artists take on the role of the investigator to expose concealed truths; others act as guides, mediators, and provocateurs in their efforts to engage a broader public.’

art basel 2022
Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, River (2022) Courtesy of the artist and Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brussels and New York



Highlights from the 20 works include Anna Hulačová’s new sculptural installation ‘Edible, Beautiful, Untamed’ (2022), Alicja Kwade’s bronze sculptures in ‘SIÈGE DU MONDE’ (2022), Matthew Lutz-Kinoy’s new paintings and site-specific installation, a new sculptural installation and performance by Puppies Puppies (Jade Guarano Kuriki-Olivo), presented outdoors in Freie Strasse and Tomás Saraceno’s cloud sculpture ‘Silent Autumn (AB Aur b/M+M)’ (2021) exhibited outdoors in the garden of Haus zum Raben.


Art Basel will again host Parcours Night, an evening of extended opening hours and live performances across the city center on Saturday, June 18, allowing visitors to enjoy the Parcours installations after hours.

art basel 2022: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) Courtesy Balice Hertling, Francesca Pia & Barbara Weiss





In homage to Lawrence Weiner, who passed away in December 2021, Basel’s Messeplatz will be transformed with an interactive floor installation created by the American artist. Titled ‘Out of Sight’, the site-specific work is modeled on a hopscotch grid and uses Weiner’s signature typographic texts to engage visitors in positive thinking. Described as a ‘metaphorical framework’ of self-discovery and empowerment, the work invites people to connect with themselves and visualize what could be. 


Weiner said of the artwork, ‘A person coming in with whatever situation they find themselves in, the minute they have any thoughts about themselves going FROM HERE TO THERE, they will be able to stand in front of the marelle (French for hopscotch) and realize they first have to imagine themselves doing it, that is, assuming a position.’

art basel 2022: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
Lawrence Weiner, Out of Sight (2021) © Lawrence Weiner



Stay tuned as we continue our coverage of Art Basel 2022 on designboom.