Art Basel 2017 By the Numbers

Art Basel 2017: By the Numbers

Beautiful Basel.


With Art Basel winding down in Switzerland, it is time to begin looking back. Below, a numerical guide to the action of the past week in the canton of Basel.

371: Miles by car from Münster, where the fifth Skulptur Projekte opened last weekend, to Basel.

$3,400,000,000: The insurance value of the thousands of works on offer at Art Basel, according to Bloomberg.

$69,600: The current value of an artwork by Tomo Savić-Gecan that is part of a show at the Kunsthalle Basel and that is slowly declining—it will hit $0 on the day the exhibition closes.

$0: The price of ice cream at the Mövenpick stand in the Art Basel VIP lounge today.

44 B.C.: The year that Rome founded a colony just east of Basel called Augusta Raurica.

1970: The year that Basel dealers Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner, and Balz Hilt founded Art Basel.

116: Private jets that were scheduled to land at Basel’s airport on Tuesday, according to the AFP, up from 98 last year.

Still from Ragnar Kjartansson’s World Light—The Life and Death of an Artist, 2015.


20 hours, 45 minutes, 22 seconds: The total runtime of Ragnar Kjartansson’s four-channel video World Light – The Life and Death of an Artist (2015), on view in the Unlimited section of Basel.

$61.60: Price for a one-day ticket to Basel (CHF 60), when purchased at the door; online, it’s CHF 50 or about $51.30.

$0: Price for riding the buses and trams in Basel with a VIP card.

$10.20: Approximate price for an unlimited one-day ticket on Basel city trams and buses (9.90 CHF) without a VIP card.

Philip Guston, Scared Stiff, 1970.


$15 million: Asking price for a Philip Guston that sold on Tuesday at Hauser & Wirth’s booth.

76: number of works on view in the Unlimited section, which is comprised of very large pieces.

24: Percent of works in Unlimited made by women.

15: The number of minutes that Chris Burden’s 40-foot-long zeppelin sculpture in Unlimited can stay aloft.

300: The maximum height, measured by feet, of the inflatable fabric in Otto Piene’s Blue Star Linz (1980), on view at Unlimited.

40,000: The number of golden bullets that form the ceiling of Cildo Meireles’s installation Amerikkka (1991/2013).

20,000: Amount of wooden eggs that form the floor of the work.

Installation view of Pruitt’s work.


169: Total count of diptychs in Rob Pruitt’s delightful “Official Art World/Celebrity Look-Alikes” series, which is on view in Unlimited.

Unknown: The number of people featured in Pruitt’s work that are in the Basel right now—but it’s safe to say that it’s a decent percentage.

372: Miles by car from Basel to Venice, where many are headed for the Biennale after the close of the fair.

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