Click Over to These 9 Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms You Definitely Don’t Want to Miss

The marquee Swiss art fair may be an online-only experience this year, but there is not shortage of great art to see.

Gisela McDaniel, Look back/Look forward (2020). Courtesy of Pilar Corrias.

This summer Art Basel is an online viewing affair. After some minor hiccups with the inaugural edition of its Hong Kong viewing rooms earlier this year, art enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the latest iteration is by and large a smooth experience. 

Though some collectors are undoubtedly missing their white asparagus and champagne toasts, for those who have never made the trip to Basel before—or are simply happy without the hoopla—the online experience offers a new level of accessibility. All you need to do is sign up and log in

With 282 galleries participating, one could certainly spend a whole day clicking away and still miss a virtual room or two. To get you on your way, here are nine of our favorite gallery viewing rooms we recommend clicking on over to. 

Sean Kelly Gallery

Kehinde Wiley, Rumors of War. Courtesy of Sean Kelly.

Kehinde Wiley, Rumors of War. Courtesy of Sean Kelly.

What’s On View: Sean Kelly Gallery is often regarded for its intellectually rigorous programming, and this viewing room is no exception. In light of recent events, a dramatic photograph of the unveiling Kehinde Wiley’s already iconic 2019 sculpture Rumors of War in Times Square—which is now installed along Richmond’s infamous Monument Avenue—seems oddly prescient. Other viewing room must-sees include vibrant new works by Sam Moyer and Janaina Tschäpe.


Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Jules de Balincourt, City People and Country Roads. Courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac.

Jules de Balincourt, City People and Country Roads. Courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac.

What’s On View: Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is showing a wide range of the gallery’s programming for this presentation of important works spanning the past 30 years, including major works by Georg Basetlitz, Jack Pierson, and Antony Gormley. Be sure not to miss a magenta gem-like Donald Judd sculpture and this vibrant, expressive painting by Jules de Balincourt.


Pilar Corrias

Shara Hughes, The Natural Fences. Courtesy of Pilar Corrias.

Shara Hughes, The Natural Fences. Courtesy of Pilar Corrias.

What’s On View: This room packs quite a punch with bold figurative works by a rising generation of artists including Christina Quarles, Tschabalala Self, and Shara Hughes. Look out for the work of up-and-coming artist Gisela McDaniel, whose depictions of reclining figures in plant-filled rooms are sure to impart some inspiration for the ideal summer quarantine.


Peres Projects

Paolo Salvador. Courtesy of Peres Projects.

Paolo Salvador, Costa Verde. Courtesy of Peres Projects.

What’s On View: Here viewers will find a timely cross-section of offerings from Peres Projects artists, including new works by Austin Lee, Li Shuang, Dorothy Iannnone, and Paolo Salvador, each of which hint, in their own ways, to the complicated, at times comical, reality of contemporary life.


Karsten Greve

Louise Bourgeois, The Couple. Courtesy Karsten Greve.

Louise Bourgeois, The Couple. Courtesy of Karsten Greve.

What’s On View: Karsten Greve is devoting much of its online presence solely to the spider mother of feminist contemporary art, Louise Bourgeois herself. Here, visitors will find a mix of abstract aluminum works from the lates 1990s, as well as a 2003 version of her suspended-in-air embracing figures in The Couple, along with a set of drawings. The gallery will also be offering a selection of works by Pierre Soulages, famed creator of “outrenoir” or “beyond black” paintings. 


Howard Greenberg

Jodi Bieber, Babalwa. Courtesy of Howard Greenberg.

Jodi Bieber, Babalwa. Courtesy of Howard Greenberg.

What’s On View: The photography stalwarts at Howard Greenberg have put together a sophisticated grouping of mainly black-and-white photographs from across the past century. Despite disparities in time and place, there is a cohesion to the works on view with inconspicuously daring figural compositions by Bill Brandt, Aaron Siskin, and Jodi Bieber. For those who are disappointed they didn’t catch the Dorothea Lange exhibition at MoMA, the gallery is offering a rare selection of prints of her famous Migrant Mother photograph.



Takashi Murakami, Kiki. Courtesy of Gagosian.

Takashi Murakami, Kiki. Courtesy of Gagosian.

What’s On View:  If you’re looking for an upbeat pick-me-up, head to Gagosian, which has two viewing platforms for the week—an Art Basel viewing room and Gagosian online. In the Basel viewing room, the gallery goes for high-octane fun with a Takashi Murakami sculpture, a blue Jeff Koons balloon dog, and zingy Ed Ruscha work on paper.


Fraenkel Gallery

Sophie Calle, North Pole. Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery.

Sophie Calle, North Pole. Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery.

What’s On View: Photography lovers should be sure to click over to Fraenkel Gallery’s room. The longstanding San Francisco gallery presents range of evocative and sometimes haunting photographs by the medium’s leading contemporary practitioners including Sophie Calle, Adam Fuss, and Richard Misrach. An electrically colorful Hiroshi Sugimoto work from his “Opticks” series is another pleasant surprise. 


Simon Lee Gallery 

Clare Woods, Nowhere Fast (2020). Courtesy of Simon Lee Gallery.

Clare Woods, Nowhere Fast (2020). Courtesy of Simon Lee Gallery.

Simon Lee Gallery artists have all been hard at work over the past few months with gallery artists including Eric N. Mack, Paulina Olowska, Jim Shaw, and Clare Woods all presenting new works for the fair. Many of these works directly or indirectly attempt to capture the fleeting, unusual experience of life at this time, perhaps most directly Clare Wood’s painting, Nowhere Fast, an image of a window, as seen from the interior. Alongside these, the gallery is offering a range of pertinent works by Sherrie Levine, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Christopher Wool, among others.

Art Basel online is on view through June 26. 

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