Top Art Basel Booth Vortexes

by Paddy Johnson on December 2, 2010 · 2 comments Art Fair

Art Basel installation view

Why is it every art fair has a vortex booth? You know, the booths you visit repeatedly, not because you like them, but because the fair design inevitably bring you back to those spots. Here are this year’s top vortex booths.

Marlborough Gallery

One fair attendee I spoke to yesterday claimed to have visited Marlborough five times. Nobody I know likes this gallery, but they always seem to manage a top vortex spot — usually simply by securing a large booth near the front of the fair. I notice they have the same Otterness bronze teddy bear on a sculpture and doll house they were selling at the New York Armory earlier this year. Vortexes can only do so much apparently, when dealing with crappy art.

Jack Shainman Gallery

I’m not sure why Jack Shainman is such a vortex, but the Nick Cave Sound Suits he has outside the gallery probably help draw people in. They are always a crowd pleaser. I ran into Cave yesterday and asked him why he put shoes on his suits. He told me it was because he wanted to present “complete object” whereby he “separates identity”. Upon further explanation I learned that this meant he wants them to be raceless and genderless.

Pace Gallery

I visited Pace Gallery several times yesterday despite having little interest in the booth. Total vortex.

John Baldessari at Gemini

Gemini is close to the bathrooms, a fail-proof means of ensuring you receive a little foot traffic. Unfortunately, I failed to take an installation shot of the Gemini booth, so I have to make do with this John Baldessari. Somehow this seems appropriate though.


Caio Fern December 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Finaly , a descent post about the event . All over internet i’ve seen only ridiculious self-promotional posts about .This is the first one that made me feel like to keep reading and looking .

MATTHEW ROSE December 4, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I’m surprised no one has bought up the toilets at these art fairs. It’s a sure-fire winner to get looks and probably serious ones. All the fairs I attended (especially here in Paris) have long lines at the kybos. I think there’s a hidden vortex there some intrepid art dealer will soon exploit.

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