The VOLTA team dubbed their 2017 edition in Basel “Lucky 13”,
BASEL'S ART FAIR FOR NEW INTERNATIONAL POSITIONS
BASEL, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21: The VOLTA team dubbed their 2017 edition in Basel “Lucky 13”, going against the grain of superstitious qualities around the number, which simply did not quantify when considering the staying power of an international art fair, particularly a satellite to the mighty Art Basel. Likewise, maintaining a high level of consistency and quality while introducing a growing clientele to an ever broader international contingent of new positions is not simply “luck”; it is sheer willpower, effort, and passion by the seven-member team and the 70 galleries who constitute VOLTA13.
“We are always appreciative of the effort our galleries and the artists put into every edition, but this year was truly a standout,” Amanda Coulson, VOLTA Artistic Director, praised the 2017 Basel participants. “Perhaps the spectre of the mighty ’13’ compelled galleries to create especially good juju. We had wonderful projects and an audience who was responsive and engaged. Most of the dealers reported long, intense, and fulfilling conversations, leading to solid sales — and, for the first time in many years, it didn’t even rain!”
image: Mauro Piredda (second from left) and Silvia Borella (seated, co-owners of PRIVATEVIEW, Torino) discusses their solo project of Ted Larsen with collectors
New discoveries equalled immediate success for galleries throughout Markthalle. In their Basel debut, PRIVATEVIEW (Torino) presented a stark and minimal installation of 10 mixed-media wall sculptures by mid-career American artist Ted Larsen, featuring reclaimed metal and other objects rendered in elegant geometric arrangements. By Thursday the gallery had sold out the booth, plus, according to co-owner Mauro Piredda, “Many people optioned for other pieces from the catalogue!” Added co-owner Silvia Borella, “We’ve had a great reaction and met many nice and serious collectors.” “Many Nordic people!” added Piredda, “kindly and young in mind!” Reflecting on the week, Borella said “Many collectors have been telling us that they leave the other satellite fairs behind. VOLTA is the next parallel fair after Art. It’s not overly experimental, but it is quite clean and concrete. And we agree!” Next door, VOLTA veteran Galerie Heike Strelow (Frankfurt am Main) enjoyed considerable attention throughout the week for her, shall we say, more colorful than usual booth. Beyond the three Florian Heike paintings, rendered in the Frankfurt artist’s signature black on untreated cotton, the gallery debuted and nearly sold out of Venezuelan wunderkind Starsky Brines, moving all of his works on paper and all but one painting to an avid international clientele. “He’s in a really hot spot here!” commented Strelow. “We’ve had an amazing quality of collectors this year. It was already always good, VOLTA, but this year it’s even better.” Reflecting in Winter/Hörbelt’s massive Pixelbild mirrored work dominating the floor, the gallery recorded a commission from an Australian private collection for the German duo. Across the Halle, The Hole (New York) were very pleased in visitors’ reactions to young American artist Drake Carr, selling six of the young artist’s 10 cut-canvas painted dancers to all new clients from Switzerland, Germany, and the United States. “This is Drake’s first time showing his art, really,” noted owner Kathy Grayson, not counting the gallery’s big debut with him in group show Post-Analogue Painting II this past spring, “and he’s been super well received.” “It’s been an amazing fair,” said Tomas Umrian, director of SODA gallery (Bratislava), taking a pause from his busy week receiving guests around three distinct positions, between contemporary talents Lucia Tallová and Jaro Varga and the late great Slovakian all-star Stano Filko. All told, the gallery recorded multiple sales of Filko’s crucial works from the ‘70s, including an additional 20 works situated at the gallery, plus Umrian noted intense interest from guests, including an Italian collector specializing exclusively in works from the 1970s, who came up on the booth 15 minutes past closing time earlier in the week and returned the next morning, ready to buy. “So let’s say it’s been fabulous!”