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Wednesday 16 June.

Getting around the second floor of Art Basel, now open to the general public so not quite such a high density of billionaires. Highlights include a huge new mural size piece by Cindy Sherman at Metro pictures, some original vintage contact prints from Brassai’s Paris at night series, complete with crop marks – and work by a photographer I was not familiar with – Adam Fuss. Another NZ connection, a solitary Billy Apple piece from the 1960’s.

Billy Apple circa 1962

A new Damien Hirst marble sculpture of an angel with anatomical cutaways was getting a lot of interest, and as on Tuesday, the galleries with “Fine Arts” in their names that had early 20th century masters like Matisse, Miro, Picasso etc were still crowded with the well heeled.

Damien Hirst plays with marble

I did manage to get away to see a recommended museum, the Fondation Bayeler, which has a Renzo Piano designed building housing a permanent collection of fine examples of the afor-mentioned 20th century masters, plus an ongoing programme of temporary shows. Currently exhibiting large retrospectives of Basquiat and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, whose work included pieces made up of constantly replenished supplies of posters and sweets. It was surprising how much of an effort of will was required to break the “do not touch” rule of museums and actually take part of the installation.

Lily ponds by Renzo Piano (foreground) and Claude Monet (background)

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