Attack, self-defining attitude or provocation? - At a time when art is predominantly defined by its monetary magnitude, Not For $ale appears as a bold assertion or even affront. On two floors of a former machine factory in the center of Basel, entrepreneur and collector Thomas E. Merian has recently opened a generous exhibition and project space. In his presentation of art, he playfully flirts with the categories of "supply" and "demand" in order to counter market-bound mechanisms of value creation - and appreciation - in an insidious way.
With the capricious caper of a denied availability, Not For $ale seems to lure onto a false trail, only to then slyly display both unsellable and sellable items in an engaging mix of privately owned and freely available art works. The broad-based artistic program, which is meant to grow organically like a family, will present a vital alternation between younger and older generations, between lesser-known contemporary positions and established artists of historical magnitude - between more affordable and more expensive works.
Not For $ale does not want to assert itself so much as a commercial hub, but rather to position itself as a place of encounter, of exchange, of shared art experience. Innovative interventions take place in the basement space of the former factory hall, now known as la cave. Furthermore, the interaction with art is celebrated in casual gatherings in the apartment. In the spacious flat, a series of exhibitions was initiated on the occasion of Art Basel 2022 with "a. gesture," which was celebrated as a holistic event. The aim of this is to address art lovers with all their senses, to offer them an agreeable setting for viewing and dialog, to generate an awareness of quality in foregrounding the valorization of art based on its stimulating intellectual content, so that its status as a cultural asset beyond its seemingly predominant importance as a status symbol and luxury item is not neglected.