Gagosian Will Open a Permanent Outpost in Basel—the 17th Location in the Gallery’s Growing Global Empire

The new branch will be located in the same space where the gallery is holding an Art Basel-adjacent pop-up show.

"Continuing Abstraction," 2019, Installation View. © Artists and Estates. Courtesy of Gagosian. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion.

Last week, Gagosian detailed its plans to mount a pop-up show in a street-level, river-adjacent location during Art Basel. Now, just a day after the show’s opening, the gallery has revealed that the space is more than just a temporary home—it will become the 17th permanent location in Gagosian’s growing global empire.  

Despite being home to the art world’s most prestigious fair, Basel isn’t an obvious choice for a blue-chip gallery. The town’s population hovers around 170,000 and Gagosian already operates a branch in the more populous Swiss town of Geneva.  

But there is precedent. The dealer points to Ernst Beyeler, a Basel native who himself founded a powerhouse gallery in the city (and later established the Beyeler Foundation to show off his own collection). “Ernst Beyeler was a close friend,” Gagosian told the Art Newspaper. “His legacy continues to animate Basel, and Sam Keller [the former director of Art Basel and the Beyeler Foundation] has continued where he left off. Why wouldn’t I want to be part of this?”

(One of Gagosian’s artists, the New York-based Italian painter Rudolf Stingel, is currently the subject of a mid-career survey at the Beyeler.)

"Continuing Abstraction," 2019, Installation View. © Artists and Estates. Courtesy of Gagosian. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion.

“Continuing Abstraction,” 2019, Installation View. © Artists and Estates. Courtesy of Gagosian. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion.

The new space will allow Gagosian to offer clients a plum art-viewing location beyond the fair and gives the gallery an opportunity to display more inventory than a mere booth can accommodate. It will also enable staff to engage with Basel and Zurich-based clientele year-round. (Other prominent galleries, including Hauser & Wirth, Mai 36, and Galerie Eva Presenhuber have opted to operate in the latter city, which is around an hour away by train.)

The lease was nearly finalized last week when “Continuing Abstraction,” Gagosian’s pop-up exhibition exploring the evolution of abstraction in painting, was announced. Located at Rheinsprung 1, the building is situated in Basel’s Old Town, overlooking the Rhine, and is just a short walk from the city’s most collector-friendly hotel, the five-star Les Trois Rois.

“Continuing Abstraction” will close on Sunday as scheduled, when the fair also wraps up. After renovations, the gallery will reopen as a more traditional brick-and-mortar locale in September. Details, including who will direct the space and what the first exhibition will be, are still being settled, according to a Gagosian representative.

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