By 11:30 a.m. today in Basel, Switzerland, the street outside the former Warteck brewery, which is currently home to the Liste art fair, was jam-packed with people trading tales of travel and art events of the past weekend in Zurich as they gingerly darted around one another, angling for glasses of wine, big hunks of cheese, and cured meats. Art Basel week had officially begun, and as the fair’s gates opened, everyone made their way up the building’s Escher-like staircases, dodging bursts of rain to see the work brought by Liste’s 79 exhibitors, which tend to be young and venturesome.
Liste is the fair that everyone likes to like—even if it’s hot as hell inside and quite humid; even if it is almost impossible to find some of the galleries in the maze of spaces on one’s first, or even second, try; even if you sometimes literally can’t move for a few minutes because a space is so crowded. It is one of the art world’s genuine proving grounds—a rite of passage for emerging dealers with certain ambitions. The booths are hit or miss. Big, bad, bold ideas die here, or get picked up but are gone by next season. But some will endure. It’s a thrill getting to sift through it all.
Below, a look at some of the highlights at this year’s edition of Liste, which runs through Sunday.
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