Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires will be the first partner city for new Art Basel initiative

Published on 9/8/2016 by Dorothee Dines

Art Basel announced today that it will partner with the city of Buenos Aires for its Art Basel Cities initiative. Together with the city, Art Basel will develop and host a vibrant and content-driven program of events. Carefully curated with Art Basel, these events will celebrate the local art scene and build lasting relationships between Buenos Aires and the international art world. The program, which commences in late 2017, will be mutually enriching in the sense that it will bring world-class programming to Buenos Aires and will spotlight the city’s rich cultural scene for the international art world. Buenos Aires is committed to further establishing itself internationally as a leading arts destination, and the partnership will enable the city to draw upon Art Basel’s knowledge and network.

A gateway into Latin America, Buenos Aires has historically been at the forefront of innovative thinking. Buenos Aires’ avant-garde tradition has been the basis of its cultural wealth – from fashion and literature to design, architecture and art. Today, it boasts a lively and vibrant art scene with more than 80 art galleries, and an array of world-renowned art museums and public collections. In the last few years Buenos Aires has brought to life an ambitious development project of a new art and design district in La Boca and Barracas, which has enhanced the city and created many artistic opportunities for the local communities.

Launched in March 2016, Art Basel Cities is a new initiative that expands Art Basel's engagement in the art world. Going beyond the staging of art fairs and into working directly with cities and government bodies, Art Basel Cities will develop high-profile cultural events with international resonance. In addition to hosting a unique art program in the partner city, this initiative will bring projects from the city to the Art Basel shows, providing Buenos Aires with additional opportunities to engage with Art Basel's international audience.

‘This represents a major milestone for Art Basel,’ said Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s Global Director. ‘The partnership will be the first example of Art Basel’s commitment to making further use of its significant experience in staging premier art events beyond the fairs. We aim to engage with cities, like Buenos Aires, which already have fascinating and multi- layered cultural scenes and are interested in amplifying their own commitment to arts and culture even further.’

The Mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said: ‘Art has been one of the historical pillars of the city of Buenos Aires, and that is why we proudly celebrate that one of the most important names in the art world, on an international level, has chosen to work with Buenos Aires as the first city to become part of its new Art Basel Cities initiative.’

‘We are delighted to be entering a partnership with Buenos Aires, and we cannot wait to work with the local institutions in the city’ said Patrick Foret, Art Basel's Director of Business Initiatives, who is spearheading this initiative. ‘Since announcing the launch of Art Basel Cities in March 2016, we have engaged in many conversations with great cities around the world. We are hugely excited to present Buenos Aires as our first city partner and the only one in South America. Through this partnership we want to celebrate what Buenos Aires has to offer and its even greater potential as an international cultural destination.’

Over the coming months, Art Basel and the city of Buenos Aires will work on designing a bespoke program, the first part of which will be hosted in the city in late 2017. The program will take into account the city’s current cultural landscape, programming, infrastructure, and resources, and how they align with its urban and economic vision.

Image: Courtesy of the City of Buenos Aires

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Dorothee Dines  
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