what to Expect at art basel 2023


Taking place from June 15 to June 18 in Basel, Switzerland, the 2023 edition of Art Basel is poised to attract art enthusiasts from around the world once again. The much-awaited annual event will unite 284 leading galleries, including 21 first-time participants and returning exhibitions, from Europe and beyond, to present high-quality artworks spanning various mediums, ranging from painting and sculpture to photography and digital creations.


‘I am incredibly excited to welcome the international art community to Basel in June for another premier edition of our show and my first as the organization’s CEO. Ranging from bold contemporary positions to rare presentations by 20th-century icons, our Basel fair will once again reaffirm its pre-eminent position as a platform for discovery and encounters that drive the art world.’The extraordinary breadth and quality of material within the halls will be accompanied by vibrant programming throughout the city and across its leading cultural institutions, underlining Basel’s singular appeal and the show’s resonance at the heart of the global arts agenda,’ shares Noah Horowitz, CEO of Art Basel. 


The venue for the famed event is the Messe Basel exhibition center, designed by renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Art Basel’s extensive program centers around its main Galleries sector, while also featuring captivating presentations in its special sectors: Unlimited, Parcours, Feature, and Kabinett. In addition, the fair will showcase a site-specific presentation by Moroccan, Swiss-based sculptor and installation artist Latifa Echakhch on the fairgrounds’ Messeplatz, curated by Samuel Leuenberger, Curator for Parcours, Art Basel’s sector for site-specific works.

art basel 2023: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
the 2023 edition of Art Basel will take place from June 15 to June 18 | image courtesy of Art Basel (also head image)





The Unlimited sector at Art Basel (find more here) offers a platform for exhibitors to showcase monumental installations, colossal sculptures, expansive wall paintings, comprehensive photo series, and immersive video projections. This year, Unlimited will be curated by Giovanni Carmine, the Director of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. Among the featured 70 large-scale installations and performances, visitors will have the opportunity to explore Firelei Báez’s immersive installation titled ‘the vast ocean of all possibilities (19°36’16.9″N 72°13’07.0″W / 41°30’32.3″N 81°36’41.7″W)’ (2022), Diamond Stingily’s single-channel projection ‘How Did He Die’ (2016), Monica Bonvicini’s suspended swing installation called ‘Never Again’ (2005), Carlos Cruz-Diez’s participative artwork ‘Environnement Chromointerférent (Paris)’ (1974), Olaf Nicolai’s performance-based artwork ‘Ménage de la maison’ (2022), Martha Jungwirth’s 9-meter-long monumental triptych ‘Memorial II (Triptychon)’ (2021), and Khalil Rabah’s sculptural assemblages titled ‘Relocation, Among Other Things’ (2018). 


‘Unlimited serves as a space for art to unfold in its inherent power and societal significance. It is truly inspiring to witness galleries and artists embracing the potential of this platform, a space where new and context-specific productions are presented. In addition to well-known names like Barbara Kruger, Bruce Nauman, or Christian Marclay, visitors will also have the opportunity to encounter lesser-known artists such as Yuki Kimura or Firelei Báez, whose contributions captivate with their poetic precision. With the distinctiveness of Unlimited in mind, we look
forward to the discussions sparked by the encounters between the artworks and the public this year,’ says Giovanni Carmine, Curator of Unlimited. 

art basel 2023: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
the vast ocean of all possibilities (19°36’16.9″N 72°13’07.0″W / 41°30’32.3″N 81°36’41.7″W), 2022 | image courtesy of Art Basel





Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch, based in Switzerland, will present a site-specific exhibition at Basel’s Messeplatz, curated by Samuel Leuenberger, the esteemed Curator for Parcours at Art Basel. With her notable representation of Switzerland at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, Echakhch has a rich history of exploring deconstructed stages, symbolic of wreckage and ruins, in order to reveal the hidden hopes and possibilities they hold.

Transforming the Messeplatz into a mesmerizing backdrop, a sprawling superstructure will set the stage for a series of live concerts and performances in collaboration with Luc Meier, Director of La Becque Artist Residency. These musical acts delve deep into the essence of sound and the creation of music, emphasizing the shared experience between the artist and the audience. Going beyond the performances themselves, the various islands and stage settings within this extraordinary exhibition space invite the public to actively engage. It becomes a platform for individuals to express themselves through singing, poetry recitals, knowledge sharing, or simply finding solace and relaxation.

art basel 2023: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
Latifa Echakhch’s work at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, 2022 | image courtesy of Mennour





Bringing together emerging artists from around the world, the Statements sector at Art Basel promises an engaging and diverse experience. This year, visitors can explore 18 solo presentations, including 10 new entries that add fresh perspectives to the mix. Among the standout works is ‘Rare Tilt,’ an immersive sculptural-video installation by Chinese artist Stella Zhong, presented by Chapter NY. In addition, American sculptor and performer Gordon Hall presents a series of captivating new sculptures, courtesy of newcomer Hua International. Georgian artist Tolia Astakhishvili presents an immersive installation that invites visitors to step into a different world. SMAC Art Gallery showcases a never-before-seen piece by South African artist Bonolo Kavula, known for her monumental and intricate tapestry work. 

art basel 2023: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
Diamond Stingily, How Did He Die, 2016. | image courtesy of the artist and Cabinet Gallery





Under the curatorship of Emily Butler, Conversations at Art Basel assembles an impressive lineup of influential cultural figures. With over 50 participants, this series provides a platform for engaging dialogues that explore the most pressing issues shaping the realms of art and culture. The 2023 edition will focus on the subjects of care, collectivity, and connectivity and will feature panels focusing on artist-led spaces on the African continent, parenthood in the arts, the more inclusive architecture of museums in the future, and the ethical and artistic implications of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.


Notable highlights from this year’s Conversations series include Lina Ghotmeh discussing the Architecture of the Future Museum (find out more about Lina Ghotmeh’s appointment as one of the lead architects for two major museums in AlUla, here), alongside Klaus Biesenbach, Kulapat Yantrasast, and Jacques Herzog. In addition, Lubaina Himid will be discussing her 1986 installation ‘A Fashionable Marriage’, Khanyisile Mbongwa, curator of Liverpool Biennial 2023, will delve into the Biennial’s central theme ‘uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things,’ alongside artists Nolan Oswald Dennis and Belinda KazeemKamiński, Gallerist Amrita Jhaveri, economists Dr. Clare McAndrew and Sophie Perceval will reflect on the findings of The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report 2023. Additionally, during Unlimited Night on Thursday, June 15, there will be a sonic performance by Julianknxx. Singer Anaiis and a choir accompany the poet and multidisciplinary artists’ short film, ‘In A Dream We Are at Once Beautiful’, which portrays the experiences of African diasporic communities in Switzerland. 

art basel 2023: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
Lina Ghotmeh portrait | image © Gilbert Hage





The upcoming 2023 edition of Liste Art Fair in Basel has announced the 88 galleries that will be participating. This satellite event of Art Basel will be held from June 12 to 18 in Hall 1.1 at Messe Basel, the same venue as Art Basel.

‘We are dealing with a keenly observant generation of artists on the Art Fair Basel 2023 list, who are increasingly using time-based media such as video, sound, smell, and performance to make socio-political statements. Art is becoming more political again,’ says Joanna Kamm, director of the Liste Art Fair. 


A total of 20 galleries will be making their debut at the fair, including Blue Velvet Projects from Zurich, diez from Amsterdam, E.A. Shared Space from Tbilisi, PHD Group from Hong Kong, Regards from Chicago, Crooked teeth from Berlin, Theta from New York and Wanda from Warsaw / Understructures from Kyiv. A total of 66 solo and 18 group presentations will be featured as well as two joint booths.

art basel 2023: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
Liste Art Fair will be held from June 12 to 18 in Hall 1.1 at Messe Basel, the same venue as Art Basel





During the fair week, Basel will provide visitors with a rich and diverse program of events and special projects. Alongside the fair itself, the city’s top-tier museums and foundations will showcase a remarkable variety of exhibitions. Notable among these are ‘Doris Salcedo’ and ‘Basquiat: The Modena Paintings’ at Fondation Beyeler, as well as ‘Out of the Box – 20 Years of Schaulager’ at Schaulager, coinciding with Art Basel.

art basel 2023: designboom's guide to the swiss art event
Klara Lidén, Warm-up: State Hermitage Museum Theater, 2014 | image courtesy of Schaulager



project info: 


name: Art Basel 2023
location: Messe Basel exhibition center, Basel, Switzerland
dates: June 15 -18, 2023