A large crowd of people waits to enter the Art Basel fair.

Despite slightly weaker market conditions last year, the organisers of Art Basel are very optimistic about the upcoming days of the fair.

The world's most important art fair, Art Basel, opens its doors on Monday for its 54th edition. Despite a 4% slowdown in the global art market last year, the organisers remain optimistic about the success of this year’s event.

The slight decline in the art market was anticipated following the post-pandemic upswing, according to the latest art market report by Art Basel and UBS. For Art Basel Director Maike Cruse, this edition will serve as a benchmark for assessing the current state of the market. She expressed confidence in the fair's success, citing excellent gallery programmes and a strong presence of important collectors.

Held in Basel, Switzerland, the birthplace of the fair, Art Basel remains the largest and most significant of its network, which includes events in Miami, Hong Kong, and Paris. This year, 285 galleries from 40 countries are participating, including 22 newcomers. Cruse highlighted the importance of generational change in the art world, emphasizing the inclusion of fresh talent.

Cruse also emphasized the fair’s deep connection to the city of Basel, praising the unique combination of intimacy and art affinity that the city offers. She likened this blend to the experiences found at the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel, which are held every two and five years, respectively. This unique environment is highly valued by the international art community.

Art Basel opens on June 10 and 11 for VIP guests. After a preview day on June 12, the fair will be open to the general public from June 13-16. Additionally, the “Art Parcours,” a free trail of exhibitions from the Mittlere Brücke to the Messeplatz, will be open to the public starting today.

As Art Basel kicks off its 54th edition, the fair’s organisers remain hopeful despite a slightly slower art market. With a strong lineup of galleries and collectors, and a deep connection to its host city, Art Basel continues to be a cornerstone of the global art scene. Photo by Art Comments from New York City, USA, Wikimedia commons.