The next day, Art Basel in Basel opened to a flurry of activity at the Messe Basel hall. Some booths were too crowded to enter; many dealers were reticent to speak with me until the halls calmed down—“come back tomorrow” was a common refrain. As Gagosian
announced its new gallery outpost in Basel, film crews swarmed the booth.
On Wednesday, I went back to speak to Lisson executive director Alex Logsdail about how his booth was faring. After the first day, the gallery reported sales of four works by artist
, priced from €4,000–€10,000 (around $4,500–$11,200). Prouvost is now representing France at the Venice Biennale. “I think it’s attributable to Venice and also her kind of general rise,” Logsdail said about the sales, also nodding to a recent write-up
on the artist in the New York Times
. Though busy, he’d found time to visit Unlimited, Art Basel’s specially curated exhibition organized by Gianni Jetzer. There, Logsdail enjoyed a
installation in which her large-scale canvases form the walls of a small room. “I thought her ability to make a sculptural structure out of her paintings was very interesting,” he offered.
Unlimited also served up Art Basel’s biggest scandal
of the week. News broke on Wednesday that participating artist
had appropriated Twitter photographs of Helen Donahue—a journalist who was physically abused—without her consent. Bowers’s installation Open Secrets Part I & II
(2018, 2019) listed details about and images of approximately 200 people, mostly men, who were recently accused of abuse and harassment during the #MeToo movement. Bowers removed the image of Donahue from the installation.