On Wednesday, Art Basel launched the second iteration of its revamped digital fair, “OVR,” which features six-work presentations from 100 galleries. In its first wholly digital endeavor, the fair placed a focus on work made in 2020. For this edition, named “OVR:20c,” Art Basel has spotlighted art made in the 20th century.
“Art Basel, as an entity within the art world, is known not just for contemporary work but also for historical work,” Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s global director, told ARTnews of the digital experiments that have replaced the now-canceled main Swiss fair. “I’ve always felt that the historical material is important in terms of grounding the contemporary material, and the contemporary material is important in making the historical work feel topical.”
This second version of Basel’s online concept saw sales trickle in more slowly compared to its counterpart in September. In both editions, mega-galleries like Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, and Gagosian were absent from the roster of participants, making room for midsize and smaller local galleries from 23 different countries in this edition.
Blue-chip galleries with international branches like Lévy Gorvy and Blum & Poe were part of the lineup, though neither had confirmed sales during either of the first two days. Almine Rech, which has locations in Paris, Brussels, London, New York, and Shanghai, sold a 1998 piece depicting a floral still-life, Study for Mixed Bouquet by Tom Wesselmann, in the price range of $120,000–$150,000.