Visiting Basel, Europe’s Art Capital

Kunsthalle, Basel

Internationally renowned art fair Art Basel 2024 is over for another year, but the city of Basel continues to offer a huge variety of art experiences that extend beyond the landmark event – including an innovative new augmented reality tour in collaboration with pharmaceutical company Roche to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

From its impressive museums and galleries to vibrant street art and immersive cultural events, Basel is one of the most art-rich cities in Europe. In fact, the city has over 40 museums in just 37 square kilometres, giving it the highest concentration of museums in the country and one of the highest in Europe. Basel’s world-class institutions such as the Fondation Beyeler, Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Tinguely Museum house everything from classical masterpieces to contemporary artworks, making it one of the most diverse cities for art-lovers to enjoy.

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Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein

Here are some art experiences visitors can enjoy outside of Art Basel:

ARTour

ARTour Basel is a journey between the digital and the real world that brings art to life in new and innovative ways. This 75-minute guided tour has visitors tracking down incredible, fantasy-like 3D artworks spread all around Basel’s most iconic landmarks with the help of the free ARTour app (available on Android and iPhone). The artworks – ranging from huge floating mushrooms to illuminated jellyfish that react to your singing – are themed around the idea of celebrating life, and were commissioned by Basel’s Roche and HEK (House of Electronic Arts). Prices start at £266pp.

Kunsttage Basel, 30th August – 1st September 2024

Every year across three days, around 55 institutions invite the public to discover and experience the regional art landscape across a varied programme of exhibitions and events in the field of modern and contemporary art. Free Art Day Basel tours will run across the three days leading visitors through the Kunsttage institutions.

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Street art in Basel

Street art

Venturing beyond the traditional art spaces, Basel’s vibrant street art scene is well worth exploring. International street art artists are invited each year to urban art festivals and parallel events of Art Basel to decorate the city with their works of art. Invader, The London Police, Espo, Tarek Abu Hageb, Tika, Mr Cenz, Bane, Chromeo, Bustart, amongst many others have all chosen to make Basel their canvas. Street art tours, such as the Urban Art City Tour from £25pp, provide an alternative way to discover Basel’s hidden artistic gems, taking in the city’s colourful murals, thought-provoking installations, and whimsical sculptures.

Performing arts

Beyond the visual arts, Basel embraces the performing arts with open arms. The Theater Basel, renowned for its innovative productions, showcases a diverse repertoire of theatre, opera, and dance. Visitors can immerse themselves in captivating performances that blur the boundaries between disciplines and challenge conventional artistic norms.

Current exhibition highlights:

Summer Show, Fondation Beyeler, running until 11th Aug 2024

For the first time in the Fondation Beyeler’s 25-year history, the entire museum and its surrounding park has been transformed into an experimental presentation of contemporary art. With contributions by Michael Armitage, Anne Boyer, Federico Campagna, Ian Cheng, Elysia Crampton, Marlene Dumas and more, Summer Show creates a “living organism” that changes forms throughout its lifespan. Expect to see paintings, sculptures, films, installations, and performances, all with connections to one another and the existing in-house collection.

Tickets from £17.80 per person, available here.

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Neubau Kunstmuseum, Basel

Marvel: Universe of Superheroes, Messe Basel

The only exhibition of its kind in Europe, Marvel: Universe of Superheroes, running until 31st Aug 2024, showcases more than 80 years of the Marvel universe and its iconic characters. Showcasing collectible objects, original comic and animation art, early comic books and movie props, this hugely immersive, interactive experience is a must-see for any Marvel fan.

Tickets from £24 per person, available here.

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Art Basel

Mika Rottenberg: Antimatter Factory, Museum Tinguely

Running until 13th Nov 2024, Argentinian-born, New York-based artist Mika Rottenberg brings her surrealist style to this new exhibition at Museum Tinguely, which displays a representative selection of Rottenberg’s films and installations, as well as new drawings and interactive kinetic works. Her colourful, painterly films satirise our excessive consumerism, and depicts her absurd protagonists as cogs in an ever-turning wheel.

Tickets from £16 per person, available here.

For more information about Basel and its art experiences, visit www.basel.com

See also: War and Peace With Blek Le Rat

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