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By Nicola Mafessoni

The 49th edition of Art Basel opened yesterday morning to VIP guests and a very responsive Market. Look Lateral team was there with a special eye on art galleries, first-day sales and must-see works

Sol Lewitt - Open Geometric Structure IV (1990) - Art Basel 2018

Sol Lewitt – Open Geometric Structure IV (1990)

A wonderful fair. As usual for Art Basel. We are queuing at 11 am at the main entrance under the famous clock, among collectors, curators, journalists, museum directors… the complete excited worldwide art scene. All of them looking for the right piece, a historical masterpiece or the new artist on demand. Finally we are there. Turning on the right we face some wonderful Picasso’s paintings at the booth of Beyeler Foundation.
Philippe Parreno - Happy Ending (2015) - Art Basel 2018

Philippe Parreno – Happy Ending (2015)

Turning on the left we get to know an amazing oil on canvas – “Untitled (Knife and Dish)”, from 1964, by Vija Celmins at Matthew Marks Gallery. Then Ellsworth Kelly, Anne Truit, and other great artists… what a beginning! Let’s go ahead. Randomly we reach a crazily crowded Gagosian booth with Franz Kline, Ed Rusha, Damian Hirst and so la la.
Ed Ruscha - One Nightstand (1993) - Art Basel 2018

Ed Ruscha – One Nightstand (1993)

Larry is there, sat on a bench in the corridor, carefully watching, shaking hands. From time to time someone from the staff comes out to say something is sold: 2.5 millions, few hundreds and other numbers which unfortunately we can’t get. Let’s move. We are impressed by Annely Juda’s grey wall with many Kazimir Malevic drawings and we wonder how possible is to have so many Egon Shiele as Galerie St. Etienne. Congratulations!
We find a wonderful painting by Marlene Dumas on display at Zeno X Gallery and we get to know the “Three Women With Heads Cast Down” by a young Richard Prince. In a corridor, once again we come across the “Lobster” by Jeff Koons which we saw last year, and we can’t seem to get that much the point with Rudolf Stingel at Mnuchin Gallery.
Francis Bacon - Seated Figure on a Couch (1959) - Art Basel 2018

Francis Bacon – Seated Figure on a Couch (1959)

Oh. We think we just got lost… but we don’t! – Simply, Jan Mot got his booth in a different, better position this year: well deserved!
Petit Rouge en bas” is the little jewel by Alexander Calder from 1972 which Van De Veghe Fine Art is “offering” us; furthermore, here it is the funny “Spectacles” on canvas (1970) by William Copley at David Nolan.
Jiro Takamatsu - Shadow (No. 1445) (1997) - Art Basel 2018

Jiro Takamatsu – Shadow (No. 1445) (1997)

But now… let’s talk about sales!
Cheim and Read, Lisson Gallery and David Zwirner are making a fortune. But also Dvir Gallery and Esther Shipper said it’s being a fantastic day – so everything seems perfect: gallerists are thrilled, collectors too, and so we are. Art is beauty-full!