A performance piece by the US artist Pope.L, The Problem (2016, Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery), which saw a white gorilla emerging from a stretch limo (in unplanned pouring rain) to open Art Unlimited on 13 June, was the most outlandish moment during an otherwise conservative 47th Art Basel art fair week.
Some major sales were made, although many showed a preference for the tried and tested over the experimental art that has previously been in vogue. Seven-figure prices were reportedly paid for some works including Gerhard Richter’s 930-7 Strip (2015, Marian Goodman gallery), which sold to the Long Museum in Shanghai, China, and Brice Marden’s First Window Painting (1981, Mnuchin Gallery, $3m).
Sales were also made in the ever popular Art Unlimited hall, organised by Gianni Jetzer, including a room of works by Mike Kelley, Reconstructed History (1989, Skarstedt gallery, $1.5m). Elmgreen & Dragset’s installation, Secondary (2015, Helga de Alvear gallery), which features two auction rooms, empty of people, but with the sound of clashing auctioneers, went to a private collection in Denmark for €200,000.