The Outsider Art Fair to Launch First Basel Edition This Summer

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The Outsider Art Fair will launch its first Basel edition this summer. With around 25 international exhibitors, such as Hirschl & Adler Modern of New York and Creative Growth of Oakland, the fair will run 13-17 June, one day longer than Art Basel, at the nearby Hotel Pullman at Clarastrasse 43.

The New York-based gallerist Andrew Edlin, of Wide Open Arts, acquired the fair in 2012 and has been credited with broadening the fair’s purview, which for decades was centred on folk art, as well growing the contemporary market for Outsider art. In 2016, both Christie’s and Sotheby’s organised sales of vernacular art, with Christie’s setting the record for any Outsider artist with a limestone sculpture by the African American artist William Edmondson called Boxer (1936), which made $785,000 (est $150,000-$250,000).

As with the New York and Paris (since 2013) iterations the inaugural Basel edition will feature a series of talks on art brut and a curated exhibition. According to Edlin, the Basel programming may nod to the tradition of Swiss art brut, in institutions such as the Collection de l’Art Brut of Lausanne and the Museum im Lagerhaus of St. Gallen; and important Swiss curators like Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Beatrix Ruf, who have incorporated the genre; as well as Swiss Outsider artists such as Aloïse Corbaz and Adolf Wölfli.

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