We recently wrote about Art Basel. However, there are several events of similar character organised at the same time in Basel. One of them is LISTE fairs. As opposed to Art Basel, LISTE fairs are directed at young artists and young galleries. And so they draw a slightly different group of fairgoers. It is also a very prestigious event with a unique climate. The fairs take place in the Werkraum Warteck building which also houses an art workshops collective. It was set up as a result of a youth movement in Basel, which aimed at creating a place open for everything new. The gallery stands are arranged in the building in a slightly crammed fashion, the exhibition areas are quite irregular, they are scattered all over the labyrinth of corridors on the four floors of the building. It is very easy to get lost there or to inadvertently miss certain galleries. So, the whole thing is a slightly underground and a bit unpredictable.
There were 66 galleries present at this year’s fairs. In is not a huge number, if we compare it with other similar events and taking into account that the list of applicants is a lot longer. This harsh selection allows the organisers to guarantee high quality of the young artists’ works. There were also Polish accents at LISTE. Two galleries form Poland took part in this 18th edition of the fairs – Raster from Warsaw and Stereo Gallery from Poznań. Both galleries mostly showed artists who have been cooperating with them for a long time. Raster presented the newest works by Rafał Bujnowski, objects of Slavs and Tatars and the photographs of a young artist Milena Korolczuk. While Galeria Stereo presented Wojciech Bąkowski, Piotr Bosacki, Gizela Mickiewicz, Piotr Łakomy and Mateusz Sadowski. After the conclusion of LISTE we had a chance to talk to the owners of the galleries about their impressions and results.
“The fairs were very successful for us”, say Zuzanna Hadryś and Michał Lasota form Stereo Gallery. “The general mood was good, and our friends from other galleries also confirm that this year was particularly good. Financially good, naturally. This is the key matter with fairs. We had the pleasure of selling the work of Piotr Łakomy to the Speyer Family Collection from New York –interestingly enough the same collector bought from us a work of Wojtek Bąkowski last year. [note: Mr. Speyer, is the vice chairman of the Museum of Modern Art in New York]. Later our friends from New York said that this is quite extraordinary, as all American galleries compete for this collector’s attention. Apart from that works of our artists went to Japan, Greece, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.”
Also the owners of Raster gallery are very pleased with the outcome of the fairs.”This year’s fairs have been a huge success for us. All the artists showed by us enjoyed a lot of interest from the fairgoers at LISTE. This year we presented the works of Rafał Bujnowski and the Slavs and Tatars collective, so rather well known artists, as well as the photographs of Milena Korolczuk – a young artist whose first individual exhibition in Warsaw took place a week before the fairs (and still could be viewed at our gallery). Works of our artists have travelled to collections in USA Japan Switzerland and Turkey”
Lastly, it bears motioning that the last year’s edition was also attended by Stereo Gallery, which arranged an individual exhibition of Wojciech Bąkowski, including a stunning minimalistic sound installation entitled “No One’s At Our Place”. LISTE is said to be the first step towards the participation in Art Basel – which statement may be supported by the fact that Raster participated in in the Art Statements section at these fairs last year and the Slavs and Tatars formation could also be encountered there. We keep our fingers crossed for next year.
words: Dobromila Blaszczyk
translation: Ewa Tomankiewicz