Yesterday, June Art Fair
, a gallery-led alternative to the conventional art fair viewing experience, opened its fourth edition in Basel, returning to an iconic concrete bunker designed by Pritzker Prize winning architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. By obviating booths altogether and prioritizing an open format, June Art Fair distinguishes itself with a highly-selective, intergenerational group of 19 galleries and 5 special projects amongst whom dialog and collaboration is encouraged. The fair remains on view to the public free of charge until June 19, 2022.
Were so pleased to have returned to the site of Junes original location, the Herzog and de Meuron bunker, because it perfectly reflects the ethos of the fairintimate, and a breath of fresh air from the more corporate machinations of the art worldallowing for a more convivial air of dialog and exchange comments co-founder, Christian Andersen. The exchanges Ive had thus far, by only day two of the fair, have not only made clear how much people appreciate the unique experience that June has to offer as a highly-curated, joint exhibition but also that it serves as a successful sales model.
The turnout and all-around experience of opening day is beyond anything I could have imagined. The conversations I had with patrons, collectors, and artists visiting from across the world speak to the quality of the work exhibited and energy that the fair brings to Basel, continued co-founder Esperanza Rosales. I believe such interactions underscore the success of our alternative model, and how it has effectively made space for mid-career galleries that dont necessarily receive the same thoughtful, dedicated attention in larger fair models.
Highlights this year include: Please dont leave me (1969/2022), a seminal installation by elusive Dutch conceptual and performance artist Bas Jan Ader (b. 1942 missing at sea 1975), presented by Meliksetian | Briggs (Los Angeles); rare video works by new media pioneer Rebecca Allen (b. 1953)who for the past four decades has addressed issues of gender, identity and what it means to be human as technology redefines our sense of realitypresented by Arcade (London & Brussels); a multi-media installation by Tobias Bradford (b. 1993), who employs puppets, kinetic sculptures, and robots to delineate the parameters of sentience, free-will, and the uncanny, presented by Fabian Lang (Zurich), among others.
Etablissement den facea rigorously conceptual, artist-run, non-commercial exhibition space located in Brussels for the past 30 yearsis using the opportunity provided by the fair to hold an emergency fundraiser exhibition after learning that they will no longer receive structural funding from the Flemish Ministry of Culture. The international art community has banded together in an overwhelming show of support for Etablissement, as over 30 artists have donated artworks to their presentation at June Art Fair, including Judith Bernstein, Jutta Koether, Marlie Mul, and Thomas Ruff, to name a few.
The sense of community at the fair is thus felt through such modes of collaboration and support but also through the outdoor cafe concept that sources ingredients from a communal garden, which offers nearby residents free access to fresh produce year-round. The garden also plays host to a sculptural installation by Jared Madere alongside an NFT exhibition he has curated for Juneart.io featuring works by Darja Bajagić, Ben Schumacher, Sam Anderson, Jake Cruzen, Jasper Spicero, Joanne Robertson, Valerie Keane, Alake Shilling, Amalia Ulman, and Wretched Worm.
The opening day attracted an international group of collectors and museum directors, including: Steen Bakmann, Eleanor Cayre, Susan & Michael Hort, Ole Faarup, Krist Gruijthuijsen (KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Josef Dalle Nogare, Alden Pinnell (The Power Station, Dallas), Carole Server & Oliver Frankel, Ed Tang & Jonathan Cheung (Art Bureau), Rob Teeters (Front Desk Apparatus, New York), and Poul Erik Tøjner (Director, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art), among others.
June Art Fair has earned a reputation for making steady and consistent sales throughout the week through its unconventional and collaborative model. Some of those made at the fairs 4th edition included:
On opening day, Misako & Rosen (Tokyo) sold a monumental painting by J. Parker Valentine for $65,000. Valentines practice is characterized by its relationship to drawing; through the act of erasure and self-renewal. Said Jeffrey Rosen, We couldnt be more pleased with the response to Junes return to Riehenstrasse. Happy to take part in a true alternative to the trade fair model of sharing and selling together with our colleagues. Wonderful, also, as a context to show a major new work by our artist, J. Parker Valentinewhich, after the first day, has found a perfect home!
Founder Esperanza Rosales of VI, VII (Oslo) sold a painting by Eliza Douglas for $25,000, whose canvases combine realism, abstraction, and humor.
Foxy Production (New York) sold a number of paintings by Petra Cortright to collections in the U.S. and Germany, ranging from $15,000 to $32,000. Titled fleurs d'oranger darabie, the works are part of a new series of digital paintings on linen by Cortright, whose core practice is the creation and distribution of digital and physical images using consumer or corporate softwares.
Parisa Kind (Frankfurt) sold two paintings by Los Angeles based artist Benjamin Echeverria, priced at $17,000 and $15,700, one of which went to a new client in Japan. Echeverria creates paintings in which the roles of the materials are bent, reversed and consolidated. After creating a first composition and prior to being stretched, the artist cuts apart the canvas and reassembles the parts, creating a new composition which Echeverria glues together solely by using oil paint.
Within the first few hours of the fair, Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam) sold a video work by Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz to a major museum collection, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Titled The Right to Have Rights (2019), the work shows a performer (MPA) who speaks the text of the so-called 1951 Geneva Convention (Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees), a protocol by which 145 states guaranteed wide-ranging rights to people on refuge and which in theory is still valid at present.
Stigter van Doesburg (Amsterdam) had a strong opening day, and sold two paintings by Melissa Gordon to a private collection, in addition to selling a video work by Daya Cahen to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Titled NASHI (OURS) (2008), Cahens video documents how Vladimir Putin prepared Russias youth for his dreams of a Great Russian Empire, filmed fifteen years ago when the artist was allowed exclusive access inside the summer training camp of 'Nashi' ('Ours'), the radical and patriotic youth movement instigated by Putin.