See the Art-World VIPs and the Monster-Sized Sculptures of Basel's Art Unlimited Kick-Off Event

Art Basel opens with preview of Art Unlimited and Art Statements
(Courtesy Art Basel)

BASEL — Monday's auspicious unveiling of Art Basel's enlarged and re-invigorated Art Unlimited program of supersized art projects proved a satisfying mix of super-star power and lesser-known talents (see ARTINFO's interview with curator Gianni Jetzer, the man who oversaw this year's Unlimited program, here). The outstanding program was dominated in part by "Untitled (Paula)” (2012), a stunning, super-scaled Rudolf Stingel appropriation of an anonymous photo portait of gallerist Paula Cooper, as well as a wild, pretzel-like contorted and welded aluminum Franz West sculpture painted a shocking shade of lipstick pink. 

The latter seemed to catch the momentary attention of the American hedgie Steve Cohen and his small entourage of art appreciators. Cohen was just one of the many VIPs who turned up for the evening's twin openings of Art Unlimited and Art Statements. The week's main event — the 300 gallery strong Art Basel — had yet to open, but the smiling faces here boded well for the big fair, despite the choppy waters of Europe's economy.

To see images from the openings of Art Unlimited and Art Projects at Art Basel, click on the slide show.