Art Fair Galleries

Art Basel Impressions – Interview with Sofia Komarova

 Sofia Komarova, Director of “Artvera’s” Gallery, Geneva is talking to Irina Vernichenko, about Art Basel art fair. 

What is your overall impression of Art Basel 2018?

There was a focus on design, handmade craft, I think I have never seen such a great amount of ceramics on Art Basel’s stands. I noticed very rare ceramics of Lucio Fontana (in Karsten Greve Gallery, Galleria Dello Scudo).  As in life itself people are tired of high-tech style, cleaned, “well- groomed” spaces, they need craft, modelling. Ceramics had commercial success. Talking about commercial aspects, Art Basel 2018 was very successful, prices remain very high. Another trend: some galleries previously located on the upper floor, showing works of ultramodern artists, and that have more affordable prices, have moved to the ground floor, which is a place for classic modern art of the first half of the 20th century and more expensive art.

What are your impressions of the “Unlimited” sector?

I liked it. As a trend or recurring motif, I noticed multiplication, repetition of many small cells, filled with very different objects, and combined into one impressive panel (for example, the installation of Rashid Johnson, etc).  It reminds me of our community.  Maybe I’m under the impression of visiting China, where some families live in apartments with one window. We live in the time of globalisation, in the world of large brands: high fashion brands and brands like Zara, H&M, Ikea, food chains, although the collections are slightly different in each country.

Was there a lot of Asian art at Art Basel 2018?

Now this is going the other way. Europe brings art to China, which will be one of the major consumers of art.  It was announced in China that by the year 2020 the number of museums will double, there will be 6,000 museums instead of 3,000.

What was your favorite stand at Art Basel 2018?
I liked the collection of drawings of Egon Schiele and Klimt combined with contemporary art at the stand of Galerie St. Etienne (New York).

What do you think will be different at Art Basel 2019?

I think there will be no modernists from the first half of the 20th century, only artists like Picasso, Chagall,  so to say “names-bridges”, that go through the entire 20th century. Gallerists will take out half-forgotten artists of the second half of the century to combine with contemporary art, to give prestige to new names or to state special vision.  Globally, we are moving forward into the second half of the 20th century. We “risk” to see art of the 1970-80s at Art Basel 2019.


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