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 worlds 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 Basels 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 worlds leading galleries will be exhibiting at Art Basel (a list of exhibitors can be found at www.artbasel.com/galleries
. 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 years exhibitors reapplied in the Art Galleries sector. This years strong roster of participants is reinforced by the additions of Johann König (Berlin), Dvir 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 Basels exhibitors.
A frequent site of discovery by those seeking emerging artists, Art Statements this year features 27 single-artist projects from rising galleries worldwide. The projects on display are new and created specifically for presentation in this highly regarded sector. Since 1999, the Bâloise Insurance Group has awarded its annual Bâloise Art Prize of CHF 25,000 each to two outstanding Art Statements projects. This year, the prize has been raised to CHF 30,000 for each artist, to a total amount of CHF 60,000. The company also acquires works by prize-winning artists and donates them to two important museums in Europe.
The Art Premiere sector, which focuses on the curatorial aspects of the gallerists practice, this year presents 19 gallery projects, featuring either an artistic dialogue juxtaposing two artists from all generations, a presentation by a single artist of any age or exceptional art historical material a new possibility within the sector.
Art Unlimited will spotlight 60 ambitious works. Many of the exhibited pieces are created especially for Art 40 Basel. The platform enables artists to exhibit works that do not fit in standard display booths due 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. The exhibition has once again been devised in collaboration with Geneva curator Simon Lamunière.
Public Art Projects
The exhibition area on the exhibition square in front of the buildings hosting Art Basel will again serve as an arena for art in the public space. Displayed on Messeplatz, the sector places art in the urban context and encourages interaction with the general public. Eight works by internationally renowned artists Valentin Carron, General Idea, Mark Handforth, Jeppe Hein, Gabriel Kuri, Mathieu Mercier, John McCracken and Ken Price will be installed. The sector is again curated by Basel curator Martin Schwander.
Il Tempo del Postino
One of the most spectacular events at this years Art Basel will be the presentation of Il Tempo del Postino at Theater Basel. The Independent called this unique show The world's first visual arts opera after its first and only presentation at the Manchester International Festival in 2007, where a group of the worlds leading visual artists created a major experimental presentation. 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. Each of the twenty artists has created an act of different length.
In Basel Il Tempo del Postino will be directed by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala and Rirkrit Tiravanija. In addition to the artists who participated in Manchester in 2007 - Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney & Jonathan Bepler, Tacita Dean, Trisha Donnelly, Olafur Eliasson, 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 - Il Tempo del Postino in Basel will include new contributions by Thomas Demand and Peter Fischli / David Weiss.