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Art 39 Basel: El Dorado of the International Art World Set to Open in Switzerland
Thomas Hirschhorn, Hotel Democracy, 2003 (Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery, London).

BASEL.- The 39th edition of Art Basel takes place in the museumrich city of Basel (Switzerland) from June 4 through June 8, 2008. As the world’s premier art show, Art Basel is the annual meeting place of the international art world. This year’s 300 exhibiting galleries from all over the world were selected out of a record number of over 1,000 applications and will be showing works by over 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Art Unlimited hall, with its 60 largescale projects, and Art Basel Conversations, featuring internationally respected panelists, represent further highlights. The Art on Stage platform (presented in association with the Theater Basel) will provide the framework for the performance Drama Queens by artists Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway). The local museums also have fascinating exhibitions (including Chaim Soutine, Andrea Zittel, Monika Sosnowska, and Fernand Léger) and a broad range of events in store.

The 39th edition of Art Basel kicks off with a vernissage for invited guests on June 3 and is open to the general public from June 4 through June 8. This annual reunion of the international art world regularly attracts some 60,000 artists, collectors, gallerists, curators, and art enthusiasts from across the globe, who come to see the largest, most rigorously juried overview of what the international art market has to offer and to meet the stars and insiders of the international art scene. Covered by more than 2,300 media representatives, Art Basel enjoys a formidable reputation based both on the peerless quality and incomparable diversity of the exhibited art works and on the show’s international audience.

Art Galleries
Over 300 of the world’s leading galleries will be exhibiting at Art Basel (for a list of exhibitors, go to Selected in accordance with rigorous quality criteria from a record number of more than 1,000 applicants, they include: 72 galleries from the USA; 49 from Germany; 35 from Switzerland; 29 from Great Britain; 22 from France; 20 from Italy; 10 from Austria; 9 each from Spain and Belgium; 6 from Japan; 4 each from Brazil, China, and Denmark; 3 each from Canada, the Netherlands, and Sweden; 2 each from Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, and South Korea; and one each from Argentina, Australia, Finland, India, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, and Turkey. The galleries were chosen by the Art Basel Committee, an international jury of experienced gallerists, who arrived at their decisions on the basis of comprehensive preliminary information and several days of intense meetings. An independent appeals commission reviewed unsuccessful applications on request. (For a list of jury members and experts, go to

Once again, the world’s leading galleries will be exhibiting at the show, for which 99% of last year’s exhibitors reapplied. This year’s unrivaled roster of participants will be enhanced by a number of distinguished dealers of classical modern art and photography, and diverse young galleries. The galleries presenting contemporary art are joined this year by Beijing Art Now Gallery (Beijing, Shanghai), Ruth Benzacar Galeria de Arte (Buenos Aires), the Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York), the Catriona Jeffries Fine Art Gallery (Vancouver), and the Jack Shainman Gallery (New York). The lineup of galleries showing 20th-century classics is augmented by Galerie Cazeau-Béraudière (Paris), Richard Green (London), Galleria Fumagalli (Bergamo), and Lorenzelli Arte (Milan). The specialists in art editions are joined by Galerie Edition Copenhagen (Copenhagen), and the roster of photographic galleries is enhanced by the addition of the Silverstein Gallery from New York. After a brief hiatus, Galerie Löhrl (Mönchengladbach), Galerie Praz-Delavallade (Paris), and Galerie Martin Janda (Vienna) also rejoin Art Basel’s exhibitors.

Art 39 Basel will be showcasing all forms of artistic expression, the repertoire extending from paintings, drawings, editions, and sculptures to installations, photography, performances, and internet and video art. Works from a few thousand francs by young emerging artists will be on display alongside museumquality masterpieces priced in the millions.

Art on Stage
Initiated last year in association with the Theater Basel, the Art on Stage platform offers an ideal exhibition context for artists who require a large stage and an auditorium for their work. This year artists Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway) will be presenting their performance Drama Queens. Art on Stage is curated by Jens Hoffmann, Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Art Premiere
This year’s special Art Premiere sector will be running under the heading of «Artists in Dialogue». Each of the 16 curated projects showcases a fascinating juxtaposition of works by two artists.

Art Statements
This year’s Art Statements sector will expand to include 31 solo exhibitions of young artists. The projects on display are new and often created specifically for presentation in this highly regarded sector for young artists. Since 1999, the Baloise Insurance Group has awarded its annual Baloise Art Prize of CHF 25,000 each to two outstanding Art Statements projects. The company also acquires works by the prizewinning artists and donates them to important museums such as the Kunsthalle in Hamburg and the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation in Vienna.

Art Unlimited
Art Unlimited will spotlight approximately 60 unconventional works. The platform enables artists to exhibit works that would ordinarily be subject to spatial, temporal, technical, financial, contextual, or conceptual constraints. With the accent on innovative and large-scale works, everything from outsize sculptures and installations to video projections, wall paintings, and performances will be on show and for sale. Many of the exhibited pieces are created especially for Art Unlimited. The exhibition has once again been devised in collaboration with Geneva curator Simon Lamunière. This year, for the first time, the auditorium for Art Basel Conversations and the Art Lobby will be sited within the Art Unlimited hall. A bookstore, café, and comprehensive video library for individual viewing of video works are also on the premises.

Artist Magazines
After focusing on artist records last year, this year’s special show highlights magazines produced or designed by artists. Informational events and presentations featuring the artists themselves are also planned. The exhibition is organized by Zurich curator and publisher Lionel Bovier.

Public Art Projects
The exhibition area in front of the buildings hosting the international art show will once again become an arena for art projects in public space. The interventions promise to engage with the daily lives of passersby in poetic, alienating, or surprising ways. Public Art Projects represents, not a traditional sculpture exhibition, but rather genuine interventions in urban space. Works by the following artists will be on display: Dan Graham, Luca Vitone, Isa Genzken, Roxy Paine, Thomas Baumann, Conrad Shawcross, Subodh Gupta, Sol Lewitt, Tobias Rehberg, and Ugo Rondinone. Some of the projects are being created especially or installed site-specifically for Public Art Projects. The concept of the sector was devised by experienced Basel exhibition maker Martin Schwander.

Art Film
The Art Film sector once again features an outstanding program of films by and about artists, screened at the Stadtkino Basel. Art Film is curated by film scholar Marc Glöde (Berlin). This Brunner, a collector with profound knowledge of the international film scene, and artist John Armleder will each be organizing an evening with special guests.

Art Basel Conversations and Art Lobby
Staged every morning (June 4 to June 7), Art Basel Conversations bring together prominent members of the international art scene, who will be discussing: The Development of Cultural Institutions in Eastern Europe; Collecting and Preserving Media Art; and Gallery Work at the Margins of a Globalized Art Market. The premiere of Art Basel Conversations features a conversation between artists Lawrence Weiner and Jorge Pardo. A daily program of artist conversations, book signings, discussion forums, and other presentations will be taking place in the Art Lobby forum in the afternoons.

Professional Day
Professional Day takes place Friday, June 6. Exhibitors at Art Basel will be staging special activities (solo shows, performances, book signings) at their booths for the occasion. A variety of other events geared to art professionals will be held throughout the day in the context of Art Basel Conversations and Art Lobby.

Last Week News

June 2, 2008

Fondation Beyeler Presents Today in Basel Fernand Léger: Paris - New York

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt Presents "Michael Sailstorfer - 10,000 Stones"

Legendary Designer Yves Saint Laurent Dies In Paris at Age 71

LISTE 08, The Young Art Fair in Basel Opens Its 13th Edition

Harold Cazneaux - Artist in Photography Opens at Art Gallery of New South Wales

Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape at the Neuberger Museum of Art

VMFA Receives $75,000 Grant From NEA To Install Expanded Contemporary Galleries

VOLTA4 Show Opens Today In Basel With Auxiliary Projects and Events

The Michael Hoppen Gallery Presents Photographs by Ruth Orkin

Ohio's Dayton Art Institute Displays The Work of Ken Butler

Green Cardamom Gallery Presents Drawn from Life

Converging Gestures of Lines and Texture Opens

Friedrich Petzel Gallery Announces Maria Lassnig's Exhibition

Allegro Galería Presents Thresholds - Heriberto Mora / Maria Navas

Sendak's 80th Birthday Bash: I'll Be You and You Be Me at the Rosenbach Museum

Anne Tabachnick: Works from the Sixties and Seventies

June 1, 2008

Renaissance Portrait Exhibit Presented at The Museo Nacional Del Prado in Madrid

Dallas Museum of Art Presents Making It New: The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy

Cassab - Landscapes from The Collection at Art Gallery of New South Wales

Kunstmuseum Basel Presents today Robert Therrien - Works on Paper

Althea Thauberger: Chelsea Girls at The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Hysteria: New Art from Finland Opens at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

Jonathan Green: The Artist & The Collector Opens at MB Art Museum

Prints and Photographs Bring More than $2.7-Million at Bonhams & Butterfields in May

Pandemonium in the English Landscape STOT21stCplanB

Minneapolis Institute of Arts hires new curator of African, Oceanic, and Native American Art

Paul Thek's Most Comprehensive Retrospective Exhibit at Phoenix-Hallen in Hamburg

Hugo Bastidas: A Prefect World

Les LeVeque's Hallucinatory Videos Expand the Boundaries of Perception

Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker at The Bruce Museum

Art Basel Conversations: An Inside Perspective on the International Art Scene

May 31, 2008

Photographs by Helmut Newton on View at Weserburg Museum fur Moderne Kunst

Above-The-Fold: Ayse Erkmen, Ceal Floyer and David Lamelas Set to Open at The Kunstmuseum in Basel

Sarah Morris' Black Beetle on View at Fondation Beyeler

William Massie: An American House 08 at Cranbrook Art Museum

The Belgian Museum Opens New Wing Beside the Carmelite Convent

New Record Set at Sotheby's for Artist Helen Schjerfbeck at $5.3 Million

Association of Art Museum Curators Announces the Recipients of the 2007 Annual Awards for Excellence

Exhibition of Silver Jewelry Designed by Legendary Modernist Art Smith on View at Brooklyn Museum

Jim Campbell: Home Movies Opens at The Berkeley Art Museum

Art Gallery of Ontario has unveiled a distinctive new logo

Girls and Company: Feminist Works from MMoCA's Permanent Collection

MoMA will Stay Open Late on Thursdays in July and August, with Live Music in the Sculpture Garden

Sotheby's Sponsors Ming and Other Things, an Appraisal Event

Nell Dorr: From Everlasting to Everlasting at The Amon Carter Museum

Highest Total Ever for an Evening Sale of Latin American Art at Sotheby's

55 Days in Valencia. An Encounter with Chinese Art at Instituto Valenciano de Art Moderno

The Dayton Art Institute Appoints Chief Curator

Grants to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Support its Missions

May 30, 2008

Jeff Koons: First Major US Museum Survey in Fifteen Years at Chicago's MCA

In its Only North American Stop, Exhibition Explores Incredible Legacy of The Greeks

Sotheby's New York to Hold Sale of Important 20th Century Design on June 14

Bill Brandt: Shadows and Substance to Open at The Akron Art Museum

Yellow Mountain: China's Ever-Changing Landscape at Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Portland Art Museum Presents Thirty Year Klaus Moje Retrospective Exhibit

Lightbox's Architects Win RIBA Award in the South East

Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line at The Austin Museum of Art

Duane Hanson Sculpts the American Dream at Fundacion Canal in Spain

Laurie Rolland Installation at Burlington Art Centre in Canada

Deckchairs by Tracey Emin, Raymond Briggs, Joanna Lumley and Other Stars Unveiled in London's Hyde Park

AXA Art Insurance Offers $25,000 Reward for Missing Picasso Artworks

First International Meeting of Photography Centres in Spain

Christie's Leads Asia with Spring Sales of US $310.7 Million

Metropolitan Museum Explores Relationship of Art and Science during First Annual World Science Festival

Getty Exhibition Opens Window Into the Society of Dilettanti

Groundbreaking Exhibition Explores Transformation of China's Cultural Landscape

May 29, 2008

International Dealers Have $1.6 Billion of Art on Offer at the Moscow World Fine Art Fair

Rufino Tamayo's $7.2 Million Trovador Sets New World Auction Record for Latin American Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art Presents Work by Internationaly Renowned Sculptor Anish Kapoor

Jean Nouvel's Design for Signal Tower at Financial District La Defense Selected

Warhol: Larger Than Life Set to Open at The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900 at Tate Gallery Liverpool

Utopia/Dystopia: The Photographs of Geoffrey James at The National Gallery of Art in Canada

MoMA Presents The Bourne Trilogy of Thrillers as Part of Inaugural World Science Festival

Charlotte Houman's Waterdreams at the Museum of Decorative Art in Copenhagen

Psycho Buildings Opens at The Hayward Gallery in London

Sotheby's to Hold its African and Oceanic Art Sale on June 11 in Paris

In and Around the Garden: Perspectives East and West on View at The Ackland Art Museum

Nordic Moods: Landscape Photography of Our Time at Arken

Trailing Sisi: Carriages, Clothes, Curios of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria at The Kunsthistorisches Museum

Cleveland Museum of Art Commissions New Ad Campaign

May 28, 2008

Moscow World Fine Art Fair Celebrates its Fifth Edition with a Return to the Historic Manege

Sotheby's to Hold Latin American Art Sale in New York

Bill Wood's Business Exhibited at International Center of Photography

Ethnopassion: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection on View at Galleria Gottardo

Sotheby's Sale of Contemporary Art in Paris Sets World Auction Record for Georges Mathieu

Goya: 3 Rediscovered Drawings Presumed Lost for Over 130 Years to be Offered at Christie's

Remix Recent Acquisitions Opened at Albright-Knox Art Gallery

MoMA Presents Five Features Including Isaac Julien's Derek

Serge Spitzer: Still Life on View at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Arabian Nights: Early DIA and Film Art From the Collection of the Kunstmuseum Bonn

Focus: Mario Ybarra Jr. Take Me Out...No Man Is an Island at Art Institute in Chicago

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

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6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

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