Art Basel opened this week its doors and on top of all the excitement for the first sales we – finally – noticed – a real take-up of digital within the art market. There is a wider range of initiatives worthwhile mentioning going from the rather functional mobile and tablet application from the ArtBasel fair to the lifestyle iPad app from Gagosian… but the real cherry on the cake is definitely the launch of the long awaited app.

Let’s start the overview with the Art 42 Basel, if we remember well, this is the first year the fair has an application. We checked out the iPad app and were pretty amused with it. The focus is clearly on improving the visitors experience of the art fair by providing information about galleries, artists and the event programs. The 3D map of the fair is really nice and app contains about 3000 artworks with detailed info about artist and gallery. Nice Job!

The second application is from another level. Gagosian Gallery took the Art Basel momentum to launch its own Gagosian Gallery app. And as the market is used from Gagosian Gallery, it is an impressive one. A beautiful, magazine style ipad app, with premium photography and information about the artists in the Gagosian stable; the shows in the galleries and the events where Gagosian Gallery is present. They even managed to integrate a shop (with payment module) and as “special treat” a 360° view of the Gagosian Shop at Madison Avenue.
Just when you start thinking that this app is a bit too much a copy of the website, you stumble upon the calendar which is one of our favorite elements: a sleek designed grid of items with very intuitive horizontal and vertical interaction possibilities.

The last app we would like to mention is the app. got quite some coverage because they are pushing the boundaries of the existing art market. Rather than just informing about events or showing the catalogue of a gallery, want the users of the tool to identify work at participating galleries on the fair, help them to learn more about the work, and discover related art at the fair. The mobile app Powered by The Art Genome Project. Apart from a sound understanding of where the art market is going, the team – which is among others backed up by Dasha Zhukova and Wendi Murdoch – showed yesterday in Basel they also know how to party :=)

As most of the apps require an internet connection, visitors can buy access to the Swisscom “MOBILE” Wifi network at the fair. Smart move from the art fair organizers!