Skip to content
Art Works

This Week in the Art Market – Friday 16th February 2024

Art Market News, Editorial

Art Basel 2024 Announces 297 Participating Galleries

Returning to Switzerland in June, Art Basel will be showing 287 galleries from around the world, including 22 first-time galleries. One of the biggest art fairs in the world, Art Basel is notable for hosting a ‘Feature sector’ showcasing historic artists, alongside a ‘Statements’ sector which highlights emerging artists. It is also unique in its commitment to democratising art, most notably through its ‘Parcours’ sector which sets up public art installations throughout the fair’s birthplace, the Swiss town of Basel. Hijacking public spaces such as storefronts, outdoor spaces and even a hotel, Art Basel is set to create an unforgettable experience for both niche art lovers and the broader public. 

See more: 

Venice Biennale’s Korean Pavilion: An Overview

On January 31st, the Arts Council Korea (ARKO) revealed its extensive plans for the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Opening in April, the Korean Pavilion will present two solo exhibitions: first, a comprehensive show of the works of geometric abstract painter Yoo Youngkuk, and second, an exhibition of 20 works by Seundja Rhee, notably one of the only female pioneers of Korean abstract art. The ARKO Art Centre also plans to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Korean Pavilion by featuring 38 artists from the last 27 years of the Pavilion’s operations. Another four artists will join the main Venice Biennale exhibition: sculptor Kim Yun-shin, multidisciplinary artist Lee Kang-seung, and late painters Chang Woo-sound and Lee Quo-de. 

See more: 

Resurgence of Interest for Indigenous Artists

Indigenous artists from the US and Canada have found themselves amidst an unexpected upsurge in popularity, after a series of exhibitions at the Whitney and the Armory featuring daring works by these historically underrepresented groups. In January 2024, the auction house Phillips opened private sales on a series of works by 65 contemporary Indigenous artists, which saw strong collector interest. Deputy chairman Scott Nussbaum has since remarked that he has “never seen a selling show attract greater institutional interest in his more than two decades in business”. This recent success can be attributed to an increased amplification of marginalized artistic voices, as well as Native American artists’ focus on contemporary, important social issues. 

See more: 

Crowds Flock To Morocco for Contemporary African Art Fair 

Though not typically considered a significant art destination, the Moroccan city of Marrakesh has proven its mettle this week with the successful opening of the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair. The city is playing host to diverse international galleries from Africa and beyond, such as the London-based African Art Hub, Lagos-based Ko Gallery and Accra-based Gallery 1957. Amongst the visitors at the opening were eminent cultural dignitaries such as Equatorial Guinea’s minister of culture and Guillaume Cerutti, the Chief executive of Christies’. The fair had initially faced some challenges in securing temporary export licenses, which limited galleries’ ability to ship sold works directly to clients; Morocco had also experienced a devastating earthquake in September 2023. However, these problems did little to dampen the celebratory spirit of 1-54, which saw strong turnout rates and positive sales. 

See more: 

Endless Attacks on Art Leave Climate Protesters In Need of New Tricks

Last month, climate activists splashed the Mona Lisa with pumpkin soup, shouting: “What is more impotant? Art or the right to healthy, sustainable food?” These antics are not new, merely the culmination of a chain of attention-seeking assaults on famous works of art in large-scale museums. Due to the repetitive nature of their activities, these activists fail to generate enough media attention to make a sufficiently large impact in online discourse; a study in 2022 actually showed that such protests turned most people away from lending their support. Though climate change is certainly a worthy cause, the Guardian’s Giovanni Aloi argues that protestors must instead engage in focused and specific demonstrations that target corporations responsible for pollution — rather than generate a whole lot of noise aimed at the wrong sorts of people. 

See more: 

teamLab’s ‘Borderless’ Museum Debuts in Tokyo

Devoid of conventional divides between works, the new museum in Azabudai Hills, Tokyo, presents over 50 digital artworks that blend seamlessly together in a kaleidoscope of colour, motion and sound. Conceptualized by interdisciplinary collective teamLab, the exhibition is one of the most cutting edge ventures that seek to use technology as a tool to enhance art, creating deeply immersive sensorial experiences. An example would be Microcosmoses – Wobbling Light, in which wobbling lights multiply and spread through a seemingly endless space. As artists continue to embrace technology in contemporary exhibitions, it is likely that the art world will see more of such museums emerging in the next few years. 

See more: 

Published on February 16, 2024
Art Works Advisory

Art Works is Asia’s leading contemporary art investment gallery, providing advice to investors seeking to capitalize on the fast-appreciating art market.


Share article on

Consider art as a part of your Investment Portfolio

Learn More →