In the wake of a year of online events and art fairs Art Basel made a glorious return on the 24th of September, providing a stunning survey of contemporary art both online and off. The hybrid event saw galleries and art lovers unite in the bustling hub of Basel in Switzerland and in an array of online viewing rooms around the world.
This year our technicians were able to travel over the Italian border to install our collaboration with artist and activist Ai Weiwei in person. The intricate hanging sculpture made with jet black Murano glass uses the traditional form of the Venetian chandelier and contorts it with its morbid skeletal features. The unique artwork featured as part of the neugerriemschneider gallery booth and its powerful presence was felt by many who visited.
In fact we were honoured that the publication Artsy featured the work in its analysis of this year’s Art Basel as one of its highlights of the fair. In the article “The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Basel 2021”, journalist Josie Thaddeus-Johns described the mood of the neugerriemschneider booth perfectly:
“The environment is collapsing, the human-made structures we’ve relied on are breaking, and a global pandemic is still splitting the world. After the last two years, we likely don’t need any more reminders of precarity. And yet neugerriemschneider’s beautifully curated booth is here to offer them anyway. From the early Olafur Eliasson work Moss room (1994), where a niched enclave in the booth is covered completely with moss; to the ominous black murano glass chandelier by Ai Weiwei; to Rirkrit Tiravanija’s bonsai plant, which sits on a mirrored pedestal opposite a ghostly white, polyamide version of itself, there is plenty here to remind us of what is – and could still be – lost. James Benning’s crates of earth from the American South, dotted around the booth, nod to the artist’s film project in the Unlimited sector, PLACE (2020), also presented by neugerriemschneider.”