This year, the 42nd edition of Art Basel takes place in Basel, Switzerland, from June 15 through June 19, 2011. As the premier annual art show, Art Basel marks the summer reunion of the international artworld, hosted by the city of Basel, which has been a cultural capital for centuries.
More than 300 galleries from 35 countries on six continents will show works by over 2,500 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. A frequent site of discovery by those seeking emerging artists, Art Statements features 27 one-person stands from rising galleries worldwide. Furthermore, exhibitors will present more than 50 ambitious works in the Art Unlimited sector. Bringing the show into the city, the site-specific projects and performances in the Art Parcours sector will transform a variety of locations throughout the St. Alban neighbourhood.
Complimenting Art Basel’s extensive offerings, the city’s museums and institutions once again stage fascinating exhibitions, featuring the artists Constantin Brancusi, Richard Serra, Francis Alÿs, R.H. Quaytman, Konrad Witz and Henrik Olesen.
Founded by a group of local gallerists, the first Art Basel took place in 1970 and the event has long ranked as the most prestigious annual art show worldwide. The quality and diversity of the artworks exhibited regularly attracts more than 60,000 artists, collectors, gallerists, museum directors, curators, and art enthusiasts. Art 42 Basel showcases every form of artistic expression, including paintings, drawings, editions, sculptures, installations, photography, performances, and video art. Inexpensive works by emerging artists are on offer, alongside museum-quality masterpieces priced in the millions.
More than 300 of the world’s leading galleries exhibit at Art Basel, selected from more than 1,000 applicants by the Art Basel Committee, an international jury of renowned gallerists. These include 73 from the United States; 50 from Germany; 32 from Switzerland; 31 from Great Britain; 23 from France; 20 from Italy; 8 from Belgium; 7 each from Japan and Spain; 6 from Austria; 4 each from Brazil and Poland; 3 each from China, Denmark, India, Norway and the Netherlands; 2 each from Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, Sweden, South Africa and Turkey and 1 each from Argentina, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Lebanon, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea and Thailand.
Art Galleries and Art Edition sectors
Once again, the world’s leading galleries will be exhibiting at the show, for which more than 99 percent of last year’s exhibitors reapplied. This year’s strong roster of returning participants are enhanced by diverse new exhibitors. Appearing for the first time in Art Galleries are Art: Concept (Paris), Blondeau (Geneva), Bortolami (New York), Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin), Cabinet (London), gb agency (Paris), Holland-Hibbert (London), Joanna Kamm (Berlin), Regina (Moscow), Sfeir-Semler (Beirut), Standard (Oslo), and Vintage (Budapest). After a brief hiatus, Moeller Fine Art (New York) and Szwajcer (Antwerp) rejoin Art Basel’s exhibitors in the Art Galleries sector. The multiples specialists in Art Edition are joined by Three Star Books (Paris).
Art Statements Sector
A frequent site of discovery by those seeking to discover emerging artists, Art Statements this year spotlights 27 single-artist projects from younger galleries worldwide. The projects on display are new and created specifically for presentation in Art Statements. Since 1999, the Baloise Group has awarded its annual Baloise Art Prize to two outstanding Art Statements projects. This year, the prize stands at CHF 30,000 for each artist, in addition to which Baloise Group will also acquire works by the prize-winning artists and donate them to the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the MUMOK Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien.
Art Feature Sector
After a highly-acclaimed debut last year, Art Feature focuses on precise curatorial shows. 20 gallery projects – featuring artistic dialogues, solo shows and exceptional art historical material – will be presented on both floors of Hall 2, alongside the Art Galleries sector. .
Art Unlimited Sector
Art Unlimited spotlights more than 50 ambitious works, many of them created especially for Art 42 Basel. With the accent on innovative and large-scale pieces, Art Unlimited offers everything from outsize sculptures and installations to video projections, wall paintings, and performances. The exhibition concept has once again been elaborated in collaboration with Geneva curator Simon Lamunière.
While the inauguration of this sector last year took place around Munsterplatz, this year Art Parcours will transform a variety of unique locations throughout the St. Alban neighbourhood. For the entire duration of the show, from 10 am to 10 pm, the second edition of Art Parcours offers visitors site-specific artworks and performances by internationally renowned artists and emerging talents. This array of high-caliber pieces – selected by Jens Hoffmann, Director of the CCA Wattis Institute in San Francisco – engages with today’s Basel and with its long history, weaving artistic interventions into the fabric of the city.
Art Basel Conversations and Art Salon
Staged every morning (June 15 to June 19), Art Basel Conversations bring together prominent members of the international art scene. The Premiere of the Art Basel Conversations features a legendary artist. Further topics include: ‘Public/Private: How Will Museums Be Able to Collect,’ ‘Collector Focus: Patronage and Politics,’ ‘The Future of Artistic Practice: The Artist as Urbanist,’ and ‘What is Alternative – Alternative to What?’ Additionally, an extensive daily program of artist conversations, book signings, discussion forums, and other presentations will take place in the Art Salon forum every afternoon.
After a successful launch of our Smartphone App last year, this year’s Art 42 Basel app will offer visitors even more functions. Created not only for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touchs, but also Blackberrys and all the other smartphones, the Art Basel App will be ready for download at the end of May.
Museums in Basel
The exceptional lineup of shows this year during Art 42 Basel includes: ‘Francis Alÿs: Fabiola’ presented by Schaulager at the Haus zum Kirschgarten; ‘Konrad Witz – The Unique Exhibition’ at the Kunstmuseum Basel; ‘Constantin Brancusi and Richard Serra’ at the Fondation Beyeler; ‘Henrik Olesen’ at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst; ‘Car fetish: I drive therefore I am’ at the Tinguely Museum; ‘R.H. Quaytman: Spine, Chapter 20’ at the Kunsthalle Basel; and at the Vitra Design Museum, ‘Zoom: Italian Design and the Photography of Aldo and Marirosa Ballo.’
On the evening of 10 May 2011, Sotheby’s will offer one of the most important works by Jeff Koons ever to have appeared at auction. Pink Panther from 1988 draws on many of the themes that have come to define Koons’ output and stands as one of the outstanding achievements of his illustrious career. The porcelain sculpture is the artist’s proof from an edition of three with the other examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and a prominent private American collection, and belongs to the artist’s iconic Banality series that includes Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Bear and Policeman and Ushering in Banality. Pink Panther will appear on the front and back covers of the sale catalogue for the spring Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York and is estimated to fetch $20/30 million.
“Together with Balloon Dog and Bunny, Pink Panther is a 20th-century masterpiece and one of the most iconic sculptures of Jeff Koons’s oeuvre,” commented Tobias Meyer, Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s.
Representing the highest tier of Jeff Koons’ artistic achievement, Pink Panther is immediately identifiable as a masterpiece not only of the artist’s historic canon, but also of the epoch of recent Contemporary Art. It conflates the classic themes that define the artist’s output – materiality and artificiality, eroticism and naivety, popular culture and rarefied elitism – and is the model expression of one of the most innovative and influential artists of our times. Initially unveiled at Koons’ seminal show Banality, held at the Sonnabend Gallery, New York in 1988, Pink Panther has been emblematic of this remarkable series ever since, which is itself regarded as a landmark of Koons’ oeuvre.
In Pink Panther, the display of the woman’s semi-naked body is sensual. However, with the bizarrely incongruous cuddly Pink Panther toy clinging to this literal embodiment of carnal desire, Koons strikes an outrageous contrast between the competing powers of adult and childhood associations. Although the Pink Panther cartoon character was initially created by Hawley Pratt for the opening sequence of the eponymous 1963 film starring Peter Sellers as the bungling Inspector Clouseau, it was only after becoming the protagonist of its own 1960s television show that it entered the mainstream consciousness as a contemporary Pop icon.
The artist’s painstaking selection of media is central to the conceptual project, contributing directly to the importance of the work. The terms of its execution are flawless: the contrasting textures of the porcelain surfaces are rendered in dazzlingly vivid colours that reinforce the object’s artificiality, while the transparent glazes simultaneously evoke the fragility of thin glass and the ethereal nature of a reflective liquid.
Art Dubai was presented Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai.
Welcoming a total of 81 galleries from 34 countries—with one-third of the participants based in the Middle East, one-third in Europe and one-third in the United States and Asia. This year’s Art Dubai, the first organised under the leadership of Fair Director Antonia Carver, is also the most diverse and forward-looking to date for the Middle East’s largest contemporary art event.
“Dubai has been a trading post and meeting point for South Asia, Iran, the Arab world and Africa for hundreds of years,” said Antonia Carver. “Over the past decade, Dubai has become the commercial art centre of the region and a city of ideas and entrepreneurship, providing homegrown support for artists, exhibitions and galleries. Through the fair and our platforms for dialogue, Art Dubai has been an integral part of this development and while rooted in the region, we are committed to looking to the future and continuing our role as a catalyst linking Asia and the Middle East with the rest of the world.”
Antonia Carver continued, “We aim for Art Dubai to be a fair of discovery – for the international collectors, curators, artists, gallerists and museum groups that attend the fair aiming to catch up on all that’s happening in the Middle East and South Asia, and for those based in the region to engage with the most dynamic of international galleries. At Art Dubai, these audiences will be able to discover the work of more than 500 artists, as presented in booths, installations, performances, dispatches, talks and screenings.”
Showcasing paintings, sculpture, photography, works on paper and video installations from a host of first-timers as well as returning galleries, the fifth edition of Art Dubai features exciting work from emerging artists and museum-quality masterworks. The fair features an ambitious range of galleries, with more than a dozen significant, curatorially focused galleries exhibiting in the Middle East for the first time; an increased number of single-artist gallery shows, allowing viewers to delve into an artist’s practice in depth; and the strongest showing of galleries from Turkey and South Asia to date.
This year also sees the debut of MARKER, a new platform for experimental art spaces from Asia and the Middle East showcasing projects by emerging artists. Curated by Nav Haq, this section includes five dynamic project spaces: Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (Alexandria, Egypt), GREY NOISE (Lahore, Pakistan), Liu Ding’s Store (Beijing, China), Makan (Amman, Jordan) and Ruangrupa (Jakarta, Indonesia). Each organisation will present new projects that have been conceived specifically for Art Dubai and that bridge the gap between the commercial and curatorial components of the art fair.
Programming for the fair included Global Art Forum_5, a four-day series of discussions curated by a committee chaired by Shumon Basar, which explored how a changed world has changed audiences for contemporary art, how expectations have affected artists and their work, and how art and fashion collide. The result of a dynamic partnership between Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (ADACH), Ministry of Culture, Kingdom of Bahrain, this year’s forum is the most collaborative yet. Speakers included: Hans Ulrich Olbrist, Co-Director, Exhibitions and Programmes, and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London; Francesco Vezzoli, artist; Germano Celant, Director, Fondazione Prada; Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder, Barjeel Art Foundation; Wassan Al Khudhairi, Director, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art; and Vasif Kortun,Director of Research and Programs, SALT, Istanbul; Curator, UAE Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2011. Natascha Sadr Haghighian, this year’s Global Art Forum Artist-in- Residence, responds to the discussions through a bibliographic journey hosted on this website. 2011 also marks the launch of Forum Fellows, a programme that offers a group of young curators and artists from Abu Dhabi, Antakya, Dhaka, Karachi, Jerusalem and Tehran the opportunity to engage with all aspects of the fair.
In addition to the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai hosted a series of talks including On Collecting, focusing on arts patronage; Art Park Talks, which include performances, conversations and practical workshops; and THE BIG IDEA, a dynamic forum for UAE-based artists and designers, organised by Bidoun Projects.
Art Dubai Projects took an observational, almost anthropological approach to the gallery metropolis created by Art Dubai. The rich programme of new works and performances includes painters Ali Chitsaz and Mounira Al Sohl in collaboration with Bassam Ramlawi taking on the theme of ‘labour’ in a live mural; the commissioning of Oraib Toukan to create a new work within the grounds of the fair while Hrair Sarkissian has adapted an existing work that – in its new state – plays with the façade of Madinat Jumeirah; works created by Abbas Akhavan and Shaikha Al Mazrou during the Delfina Foundation’s eight-week residency programme in Bastakiya, with the support of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Tashkeel; performative tours of the fair by Malak Helmy and Abhishek Hazra; a bank of radio dispatches from artists’ studios curated by The Island (Victoria Brooks and Andrew Bonacina); and Art Park, a series of films, talks and projects curated by Bidoun Projects that features retrospectives of video artists Wael Shawky and Sherif El-Azma.
The largest and most diverse edition to date, Art Dubai experienced strong sales during its 2011 presentation from 16-19 March and attracted more than 20,000 guests, with a 30 percent increase in international visitors. Underscoring its role as a vital cultural meeting point connecting the Middle East and Asia with the rest of the world, Art Dubai 2011 was attended by curators, collectors, gallerists, artists, museum directors and more than 60 museum groups.
Of the 81 participating galleries, the majority experienced strong sales from the outset with major purchases from international and regional institutions in addition to established and first-time collectors from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the United States. A number of participating galleries, including Chatterjee & Lal and Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai), BISCHOFF/WEISS (London), Kalfayan Galleries (Athens /Thessaloniki), Sutton Gallery (Melbourne), Mah Art Gallery (Tehran), AB Gallery (Lucerne/Zurich), Grey Noise (Lahore), Gandhara-art (Hong Kong/Karachi), Pilar Corrias (London), Dirimart (Istanbul), Priska C. Juschka Fine Art (New York) and GALLERY ISABELLE VAN DEN EYNDE (Dubai) among others sold most of their available works at the fair.
“Spring 2011 marks a shift in the cultural life of the Gulf,” said Fair Director Antonia Carver, who is in her inaugural year leading Art Dubai. “Never before has there been such a level of international interest in the arts scenes of the MENASA or such a level of regional support for artists and their projects. Galleries at Art Dubai 2011 reported strong sales and the fair offered an unprecedented level of innovative artists’ projects and educational events, which we feel are part of what makes this fair unique.”
Exhibitors offered positive reports of their experience at the fair, including:
“Art Dubai has been really successful for us,” said Paola Weiss of BISCHOFF/WEISS (London). “I’ve noticed that there is now a solid Middle Eastern collector base, which has grown immensely over the past two years and now stands out to me. In general people seem more interested in collecting. Furthermore, arts patronage has really started to show.”
“We’ve had a great experience here,” said Adrian Turner, Senior Director, Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York). “Everyone seems very warm and inviting and we’ve accomplished more than we’d hoped. We’re coming back.”
“I had a great experience here at Art Dubai and really met a lot of people who are very interested in our work,” said Sappho Ma, Gallery Director, Connoisseur Contemporary (Hong Kong). “And equally important—the fair was satisfying as a human experience; great people, great parties and a great spirit.”
“Despite showing an artist with a proven track record in the region, we were overwhelmed by response both in terms of critical reception and sales,” said Mortimer Chatterjee of Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai).
This year also saw particularly strong attendance from the more than 400 exhibited artists representing 57 countries, including Diana Al-Hadid, Liu Ding, Shezad Dawood, Hrair Sarkissian, Raafat Ishak, Slavs and Tatars, Timo Nasseri, Oraib Toukan, Wafaa Bilal, Sebastian Lütgert, Farhad Moshiri, Charlie Koolhaas, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Kamrooz Aram, Nabil Nahas, Abhishek Hazra, Kader Attia, Walid Raad and Nadia Kaabi-Linke.
Coinciding with Sharjah Biennial 10, the fifth edition of Art Dubai was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Her Royal Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum hosted Ladies Day at Art Dubai.
The international art world turned out to Art Dubai 2011 in record numbers, including museum groups and representatives from Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Qatar), Qatar Museums Authority, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation (New York), MoMA (New York), Tate Modern (London), Hong Kong Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Sotheby’s Institute, Performa (New York), and Cartier Foundation (Paris).
Art Dubai Live, a new ongoing initiative, launched on 19 March at http://www.artdubailive.ae. All galleries’ booths are represented on the site with interviews filmed throughout the fair. Visitors to the site can also watch footage of the programmes that took place during this year’s physical fair, as well as those in the past.
Fresh Paint contemporary art fair, Tel Aviv,will be held between 5-9 April in the Botanic Gardens in the southern part of Tel Aviv. The fair provides a meeting-place for art lovers, artists and art professionals,and an opportunity to purchase the work of top contemporary artists.
The fair, which takes place every year at a new, surprising location in Tel Aviv – the beating heart of the Israeli cultural world – brings together all the significant forces of the Israeli art world and enjoys the support of leading international art institutions.
All the leading Israeli galleries will be taking part in Fresh Paint 4, along with The Independent Artists’ Greenhouse which will present the works of dozens of promising up-and-coming artists. The fair will feature a solo exhibition of the work of Nivi Alroy, winner of the Most Promising Artist award for 2010, and present new works of art, installations and video exposed for the first time. Again this year, the fair will initiate and implement a number of artistic community projects including its successful Secret Postcard Project, and will offer enrichment programs featuring video screenings, lectures, discussions with artists and workshops.
The first 5 people who will request an invitation, will get one for the preview day!
The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) Gala Party in conjunction with made.com have joined forces in an upcoming event featuring several customized pieces of art work based on utilitarian products. Such well-known artists such as Damien Hirst and Chinese artist Ai WeiWei have come on board to work their personal styles over items such as bicycles. Other artists involved have been given mediums such as Piggy Bags, Arche Lamps, Champion Pro Football Tables and Hollander Bikes for their own interpretation. A full list of artists and information can be seen over at made.com. The preview exhibition will be held from March 23 – 27 at the ICA with a fundraising auction on March 29.
With hopes for recovery in fine art prices running high, attention is trained on second-tier markets such as Russian collecting for signs of renewal. Sotheby’s conducts the season’s first Russian art sales next week, led by a pair of important collections including one of 86 works by Ukrainian avant-garde artists being sold as a single lot. The auctions come on the heels of strong Asia Week sales at both Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s in New York, and last month’s Hong Kong results, where salesrooms were filled to capacity, estimates were exceeded and records fell.
“This market has been booming for quite some time” and is seeing a renewed confidence, said Sonya Bekkerman, Sotheby’s director of Russian paintings.
The financial crisis that struck in 2008 made collectors “more selective, but they’re buying consistently,” she added. The relatively recent phenomenon of Russian collecting has drawn widespread attention, as oligarchs emboldened with seemingly limitless cash snapped up top works at auction at often astounding prices for established and newer mid-emerging artists.
Bidders gasped in 2006 as an anonymous bidder paid more than $95 million for Picasso’s “Dora Maar with Cat.” The mystery man, unknown to even auction regulars, had not even secured a seat at Sotheby’s and conducted his audacious bidding from the standing area at the rear. Reports, unconfirmed by Sotheby’s, have since focused on a Russian mining magnate as the buyer.
Philip Hoffman, founder and CEO of The Fine Art Fund Group investment house, said that while the Russian market is somewhat unpredictable, “collectors have become more savvy and are doing more research. The wealthy people coming into the market have the confidence now to do it, and they have the money,” he said.
Bekkerman concurred that “there is a level of sophistication that’s very different from when this market began to boom. They’ve caught up.”
Accordingly, Sotheby’s has estimated its two star collections conservatively, with the single-lot Yakov Pereman collection estimated at only $1.5 million to $2 million for all 86 works. The late actress Ruth Ford’s collection of art by Pavel Tchelitchew, who was her brother’s companion, is expected to fetch about $2 million.
Other works by Russian masters including Boris Grigoriev and Natalia Goncharova raise the sales’ total expectations to $11 million to $15 million. An exhibition, including many pieces never seen in the U.S., begins on Saturday ahead of next week’s auctions.
Bekkerman, who just returned from Moscow and Kiev, said the offerings had generated great interest in Russia, the Ukraine, and in the U.S. and among Americans of Russian descent. Taken with the Asian sales results, the Russian auctions could generate heat going into next month’s critical sales in New York.
“This market is a gateway,” Bekkerman said. “The collectors have an interest in their own heritage and artists, then channel into other areas such as modernism and post-impressionism.”
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The 40th edition of Art Basel closed on Sunday, June 14, 2009. This year, the annual reunion of the international artworld attracted 61,000 artists, collectors, curators, and art lovers from around the globe, slightly more than last year and the highest number ever. The participating galleries, art connoisseurs, and the media were unanimous in pronouncing this a strong year for the show. Art 40 Basel demonstrated the health of the high-quality segment within the art market: Collectors rewarded excellent material and strong booth presentations with unexpectedly strong sales throughout the week.
The show drew 61,000 visitors and 2,800 media representatives. A great many artists also attended the event, among them Stefan Balkenhol, Matthew Barney, Elmgreen and Dragset, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Subodh Gupta, Joan Jonas, Jeff Koons, Mark Leckey, Sigmar Polke, Ed Ruscha, Nedko Solakov, Not Vital and Franz Erhard Walther. And over 50 museum groups visited Art 40 Basel, as did major private collectors from North and South America, Europe and the emerging markets of the artworld.
In this 40th edition of the show, more than 300 galleries from 29 countries exhibited works by over 2,500 artists. Participating galleries displayed their most interesting pieces and presented them in carefully curated booths. Many stands featured thematic exhibitions and one-person shows and many galleries presented video works, installations and large sculptures. Paintings, works on paper, and photography continued to be strongly represented. Private collectors came from all continents, as did representatives of almost all the world’s major museums. Many exhibitors reported excellent results given the current conditions, adding that they also made valuable new contacts for the future of their program, and look forward to Art 41 Basel, which takes place June 16 through June 20, 2010.
One of the most spectacular events at this year’s Art Basel was the presentation of “Il Tempo del Postino” at Theater Basel. All three nights were completely sold out and many art lovers extended their stay to experience this unique presentation, which many viewers aftewards described as a “historical artworld event”. Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno as a group exhibition that would occupy time rather than space, “Il Tempo del Postino” (Postman Time) presented a sequential display of timebased art on the theatre stage. The Basel edition of “Il Tempo del Postino” was directed by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala and Rirkrit Tiravanija; each of the twenty artists – Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney & Jonathan Bepler, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Trisha Donnelly, Olafur Eliasson, Peter Fischli / David Weiss, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Koo Jeong-A, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala, Tino Sehgal and Rirkrit Tiravanija & Arto Lindsay – created an act of different length. “Il Tempo del Postino” was organized by Art Basel, Fondation Beyeler and Theater Basel and was originally co-commissioned by the Manchester International Festival and Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris for the World Premiere in Manchester in July 2007.
Art Unlimited spotlighted 60 ambitious works and once again drew a huge audience. Many of the exhibited pieces were created especially for Art 40 Basel and the 10th edition of this special exhibition was especially strong this year. Highlights included major works by legendary artists such as Sigmar Polke, Lawrence Weiner, Franz Erhard Walther, Mel Bochner, Bruce Connor, Daido Moriyama, Nan Goldin, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Roni Horn and Jesús Rafael Soto, joined by pieces from younger and emerging stars as Thea Djordjadze, Ayse Erkmen, Bharti Kher, Mai Thu Perret, Falke Pisano, Banks Violette and Andro Wekua.
The Art Premiere sector was of extraordinary quality and showed an interesting mix of carefully curated exhibitions in the booths of the galleries. Art Premiere featured artistic dialogues juxtaposing two artists such as Reneé Green and Adrian Piper (Elisabeth Dee Gallery), Joan Jonas and Sung Hwan Kim (Wilkinson Gallery), presentations by a single artist such as Kerry James Marshall (Jack Shainman Gallery) and exceptional art historical material – a new possibility within the sector – featuring seminal works by Gino di Dominicis (Galleria Lia Rumma), Mario Merz (Tucci Russo Studio per l’Arte Contemporanea) and General Idea (Galerie d’Art Contemporain Frédéric Giroux).
With its 27 single-artist projects from young galleries and artists from around the globe, this year’s Art Statements was often described by viewers as ranking among the strongest editions the sector has ever produced. The two Bâloise Art Prizes of CHF 30,000 per artist were awarded to Nina Canell and Geert Goiris, and Bâloise Insurance Group will acquire works by both artists and once again donated them to the Hamburger Kunsthalle und the MUMOK Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation in Vienna.
The exhibition area on the exhibition square in front of the buildings hosting Art Basel again served as an arena for the Public Art Projects. The sector on Messeplatz placed art in the urban context and encourages interaction with the general public. The eight works by internationally renowned artists Valentin Carron, General Idea, Mark Handforth, Jeppe Hein, Gabriel Kuri, Mathieu Mercier, John McCracken and Ken Price delighted both visitors and passerby.
The 40th edition of Art Basel takes place in the culturally rich city of Basel, Switzerland, from June 10 through June 14, 2009. As the world’s premier art show, Art Basel marks the annual reunion of the international artworld. This year, more than 300 exhibiting galleries from all over the globe were selected from a record number of more than 1,100 applications, and will be showing works by over 2,500 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Art Unlimited hall, with its 60 large-scale projects, and the Public Art Projects on the exhibition square offer further highlights.
The most spectacular event this year will be the presentation of “Il Tempo del Postino” at Theater Basel. Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno as a group exhibition that would occupy time rather than space, “Il Tempo del Postino” (Postman Time) presents a sequential display of time-based art on the theatre stage. Participating artists will include Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney & Jonathan Bepler, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Trisha Donnelly, Olafur Eliasson, Peter Fischli / David Weiss, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Koo Jeong-A, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala, Tino Sehgal and Rirkrit Tiravanija & Arto Lindsay. Furthermore Basel’s museums once again feature fascinating exhibitions, and will host a broad range of events.
Founded by a group of local gallerists, the first Art Basel took place in 1970 and has since then become the most prestigious art show worldwide. This 40th anniversary edition of Art Basel begins with a vernissage for invited guests on June 9 and opens to the general public from June 10 through June 14. The premier annual event regularly attracts some 60,000 artists, collectors, gallerists, curators, and art enthusiasts from across the globe, eager to see the most rigorously chosen overview of the international art market and to meet key movers of the international art scene. Covered by more than 2,300 media representatives, Art Basel earns its strong reputation based both on the quality and diversity of the exhibited art works.
Art 40 Basel will showcase all forms of artistic expression, including paintings, drawings, editions, and sculptures, installations, photography, performances, and internet and video art. Works costing a few thousand Swiss francs, by emerging artists, will be on display alongside museum-quality masterpieces priced in the millions.
Over 300 of the world’s leading galleries will be exhibiting at Art Basel. The galleries were chosen by the Art Basel Committee, an international jury of renowned gallerists, in accordance with strict quality criteria. Selected from a record number of more than 1,100 applicants, the sectors Art Galleries, Art Statements, Art Premiere and Art Edition include 75 galleries from the United States; 56 from Germany; 33 from Switzerland; 28 from Great Britain; 26 from France; 22 from Italy; 9 from Spain; 8 from Belgium; 7 from Austria; 5 from Japan; 4 each from Brazil, China and Poland; 3 from the Netherlands; 2 each from Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Mexico, Norway and South Korea; and one each from Argentina, Finland, India, Israel, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Once again more than 99 percent of last year’s exhibitors reapplied in the Art Galleries sector. This year’s strong roster of participants is reinforced by the additions of Johann König (Berlin), Dvir Gallery (Tel Aviv), Raw Art Gallery (Tel Aviv),Vitamin Creative Space (Guangzhou), Nils Staerk Contemporary Art (Copenhagen) and J Crist Gallery (Boise, Idaho, U.S.). The line-up of galleries showing 20th-century classics is augmented by Knoedler & Company (New York), Galerie Zlotowski (Paris), and Galerie Susanne Zander (Köln). The specialists in Art Edition are joined by Galerie Helga Maria Klosterfelde (Hamburg) and Galerie de Multiples (Paris), and the roster of photographic galleries is enhanced by the return of the Galerie Zur Stockeregg (Zürich). After a brief hiatus, David Nolan Gallery (New York), Galleria Raucci / Santamaria (Napoli), Greene Naftali (New York), Stuart Shave / Modern Art (London) and Team Gallery (New York) also rejoin Art Basel’s exhibitors.
The 53rd International Art Exhibition, entitled Making Worlds, directed by Daniel Birnbaum, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, and chaired by Paolo Baratta, will open to the public from Sunday June, 7th to Sunday November, 22nd 2009 in the Giardini (50,000 m2) and the Arsenale (38,000 m2) as well as in various other locations around the city. The Director of the 53rd Exhibition, Daniel Birnbaum, has been Rector of the Staedelschule Frankfurt/Main and its Kunsthalle Portikus since 2001. Making Worlds, presented in the renewed Palazzo delle Esposizioni in the Giardini and in the Arsenale, is a single, large exhibition that articulates different themes woven into one whole. It is not divided into sections. Considering collectives, it comprises works by over 90 artists from all over the world and includes many new works and on-site commissions in all disciplines.
“The title of the exhibition, Making Worlds – says Director Daniel Birnbaum – expresses my wish to emphasize the process of creation. A work of art represents a vision of the world and if taken seriously it can be seen as a way of making a world. The strength of the vision is not dependent on the kind or complexity of the tools brought into play. Hence all forms of artistic expression are present: installation art, video and film, sculpture, performance, painting and drawing, and a live parade. Taking ´worldmaking´ as a starting point, also allows the exhibition to highlight the fundamental importance of certain key artists for the creativity of successive generations, just as much as exploring new spaces for art to unfold outside the institutional context and beyond the expectations of the art market. Making Worlds is an exhibition driven by the aspiration to explore worlds around us as well as worlds ahead. It is about possible new beginnings—this is what I would like to share with the visitors of the Biennale.”
For the direction of the exhibition Daniel Birnbaum is supported by Jochen Volz, artistic organization. Additional advice is provided by an international team of correspondents consisting of Savita Apte, Tom Eccles, Hu Fang, and Maria Finders.
On occasion of the 53rd International Art Exhibition – the Foundation La Biennale di Venezia inaugurates a number of important structural and organisational developments:
At the Arsenale, the Italian Pavilion has been enlarged from 800 to 1,800 square meters, now opening out to the Giardino delle Vergini and adjacent to a new public entrance. Here a newly constructed bridge links the far side of the Arsenale to the Sestiere di Castello. This renewed Italian Pavilion will be reserved for exhibitions organised by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs. The Italian participation at the 53rd International Art Exhibition is curated by Beatrice Buscaroli and Luca Beatrice. Furthermore, the Arsenale’s exhibition spaces have been extended by developing a larger part of the Giardino delle Vergini (Garden of the Virgins), now measuring 6.000 square meters and offering an enchanting new exhibition space for the main exhibition.
In the Giardini, the historic Italian Pavilion has been renamed Palazzo delle Esposizioni della Biennale and extensively transformed, now providing a permanent exhibition and multi-functional venue opened to the public throughout the year. The transformed Palazzo delle Esposizioni includes a newly refurbished wing housing the library of the Historic Archive of Contemporary Arts (ASAC), made available again to the public after ten years of closure. The Archive comprises documents, books, catalogues and periodicals, freely consultable by researchers and exhibition visitors. Apart from exhibition spaces, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni also comprises a new bookstore, a new café and new spaces for educational activities, respectively designed by three artists participating in the main exhibition. The Palazzo delle Esposizioni will therefore become an important platform for the Foundation’s permanent activities and a point of reference for the other Pavilions in the Giardini.
Ca’ Giustinian, the beautiful 15th century palace on the Canale Grande near San Marco and the traditional site of the Foundation’s headquarters, will reopen in June after several years of renovation. Apart from housing the offices of the Biennale, it will then also become an “open house” for the general public, among others boasting a café on the Grand Canal.
The National Participations of the 53rd International Art Exhibition, presented in the historical Pavilions in the Giardini, in selected areas of the Arsenale and in numerous venues throughout the city, are this year amounting to the record number of 77 Nations participating, including first-time participations of Montenegro, Principality of Monaco, Republic of Gabon, Union of Comoros, and United Arab Emirates.
Furthermore there is a record number of 44 Collateral Events, proposed by international organizations and institutions, which will organize their own exhibitions and initiatives in Venice during the occasion.
An exhibition dedicated to the venetian artistic glass will be held at the Venice Pavilion. The exhibition organized by the Region of Veneto, in concomitance with the 53rd Exhibition and curated by Ferruccio Franzoia, is titled … fa come natura face in foco.
Inaugurating the renovated headquarters of the Biennale as yet another exhibition venue, The Vision Machine: Futurists in the Biennale will be presented at Ca’ Giustinian from June to November 2009. The exhibition explores the presence of Futurist artists, ideas and works in the Biennale. Curated by IUAV, International Semiotics Laboratory Venice, it is the result of a research undertaken at the Historic Archive of the Contemporary Arts (ASAC).