Art Basel- Anything but Neutral
By Clara Rose Thorton
Art is a reflection of human life as lived. The tenuous process of creating art mirrors life’s path: projection, uncertainty, connection then disconnection, and navigating surprise. Thus it makes sense to look to collections of contemporary art and individual pathways through the market as vibrant manifestations of a zeitgeist, the mime’s shadow we cannot see.
At noon on June 15 in Dublin, Ireland, I received an unexpected Facebook message from the managing editor of this magazine. Several years had passed since writing for artscope in Vermont; full of discovery, the years offered attempts to uncover not only what lay at the core of artists’ minds, but also what their creations expressed of any discernible New England art-world ethos as a whole. Later, as the magazine’s New York City correspondent, I chronicled the effect, culture and lifestyle of New-England-born artists living or exhibiting in the city, and what the city’s denizens brought north.
In New York, the movement of contemporary art market air — its currency, both physical and psychological — is faster and smells distinctly of an attempt to disperse and freshen yesterday’s mold. What followed was an independent year of visiting European museums and galleries from Croatia to Denmark to England to France, where, perhaps, a moody, centuries-old respect for timelessness trumps America’s teenaged smirk, its consistent search for the new.