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Indepth Arts News:

"Art 33 Basel: The Center of the International Art World"
2002-06-12 until 2002-06-17
Art 33 Basel
Basel, , CH Switzerland

From June 12 to 17, 2002, Art 33 Basel, the world's leading art show and the annual meeting place of the international art world, will take place in Basel, Switzerland. A total of 262 galleries from Europe, North and Latin America and Asia will be participating, presenting works by over 1,000 artists of the 20th and 21st century. Specialist galleries will mount one-person shows and exhibit prints and films. The list of participants is as impressive as ever and has been extended with the inclusion of interesting young galleries.

The 'Art Unlimited' hall shows special art projects and now also features a lounge uniting an art bookshop, a video library and the E-Lounge, which provides a place for artists to mingle with the public. Over 50,000 visitors (2001: 55,000 visitors) and over 1,000 representatives of the media (2001: 1,500 journalists) are expected for the 33rd annual art show. A number of special events and exciting exhibitions are being staged around Art 33 Basel in the city's cultural institutions.

Art collectors, gallery owners, artists, curators and art lovers from countries all over the world have already marked the dates of the annual family meeting of the art world in their diaries. From June 12 to 17, Art Basel, the International Art Show, will take place in the city of Basel (Switzerland) for the 33rd time. Art Basel is undisputedly the worldís largest and most important show for modern and contemporary art and constitutes the highlight of the art summer of 2002 together with the Documenta 11, which opens on the preceding weekend. The high acclaim of Art Basel is based on the high quality and unique variety of the works exhibited as well as its international audience. Once again, over 50,000 visitors (2001: 55,000 visitors) and more than 1,000 media representatives (2001: 1,500 journalists) are expected from all continents. They come to see the most cosmopolitan and most select offerings of the international art market and to meet the insiders and stars of the art scene.

A total of 262 leading galleries from Europe, America, Asia and Australia will exhibit at Art Basel (see enclosed list of participants). They have been selected according to strict quality criteria from a record number of approximately 900 applications from every continent. Of the galleries, 39 come from Switzerland, 61 from Germany, 25 from France, 20 from Great Britain, 15 from Italy, 9 from Spain, 7 from Belgium, 6 from Austria, 4 from the Netherlands, 2 each from Sweden and Luxembourg, 1 each from Portugal, Denmark, Greece and Ireland, 51 from the USA, 3 from Canada, 7 from Latin America, 8 from Asia and 2 from Australia. The galleries were admitted by the Art Committee, a jury of experienced gallery owners, which studies comprehensive preliminary information and holds consultative meetings lasting several days before reaching decisions on admissions. An independent appeals commission reviewed the admission decisions when requested to do so by rejected applicants.

Once again, the creme de la creme of the international gallery scene is exhibiting, and 99% of last year's exhibitors reapplied. Some renowned galleries and various young hopefuls supplement the selection of galleries that is unparalleled worldwide. The newly admitted galleries include 303 (New York), SCAI The Bathhouse, Shiraishi Contemporary Art (Tokyo), CampaÒa (Cologne) and Contemporary Fine Arts (Berlin). In the modern art department, the new additions are Joan T. Washburn (New York), The Mayor Gallery (London), Zabriskie (New York) and Berinson (Berlin). Eigen + Art (Berlin), Flay (Paris), ArsFutura (Zurich) and Kicken (Berlin) are exhibiting again after a short interruption. Counter Editions (London) and Galerie Patrick Cramer (Geneva) are enriching the 'Art Edition' sector. The 'Art Statements' will include one-person shows of 17 artists presented by the following galleries: Shugoarts (Tokyo), GalerÌa Nina Menocal (Mexico), Team Gallery (New York), Casey Kaplan (New York), Pierogi (Brooklyn), Greene Naftali Gallery (New York), Galerie Michael Neff (Frankfurt), Galeria Toni Tipies (Barcelona), Spencer Brownstone Gallery (New York, Paris), Nicole Klagsbrun (New York), Artcore Gallery (Toronto), Galeria Elba BenÌtez (Madrid), The Project (New York), Low (Los Angeles), griedervonputtkammer GmbH (Berlin), Galleria Giu Marconi (Milano) and The Modern Institute (Glasgow). (A press release on 'Art Statements' will follow next week). "We wanted to take the quality another step further, and we succeeded. Art-lovers can look forward to Art 33 Basel, which promises to be an unparalleled art event", comments Samuel Keller, the director of Art Basel.

Last year's extension of the infrastructure (new exhibition walls) and the range of services offered (gourmet restaurant Stucki, kindergarten 'Art Kids' and wellness studio) was well received by exhibitors and visitors alike and will be available to guests again this year. This year will also see the introduction of new elements in the lamps to improve the quality of the lighting. Moreover, Art Basel is the first art show to introduce an ombudsman for questions regarding quality. This new service to visitors is supported by a respected art expert and museum manager, and will enable questions regarding the authenticity and condition of a work of art to be clarified. The Art Loss Register, the largest database for lost and stolen works of art, is being presented for the third time now. By offering these facilities, Art Basel underlines its commitment to top quality and service.

The main focus of Art Basel is always on art. All artistic means of expression are represented at Art 33 Basel. The repertoire ranges from paintings, drawings and editions to sculptures and installations as well as photography, performance, internet and video art. Museum-quality masterpieces are being presented as well as new works by more than 1,000 renowned and up-and-coming artists.

The Art Unlimited exhibition hall offers a platform for works of art that could hitherto only rarely be exhibited at shows because of limitations in time, space, concept or budget. In Art Unlimited, visitors will, in particular, be able to see and buy innovative and outsize works of art in all kinds of media. These are being displayed together in the form of an exhibition rather than in individual gallery booths. (A press release on 'Art Unlimite' will follow in March). A separate catalogue for Art Unlimited is being published in a limited edition to coincide with the opening of Art 33 Basel. Art Unlimited and Art 33 Basel are generously supported by UBS Finacial Services Group, which has been a committed sponsoring partner of Art Basel since 1994.

Basel is the art world's most important annual market and offers visitors the largest 'temporary museum' in the world. Here art experts and enthusiasts can discover much sought-after works of art and new talent, compare prices and spot new trends. For the artists themselves, it is a recognized platform of worldwide appeal. The intimate atmosphere in the beautiful city of Basel is a wonderful setting while special exhibitions and events in the museums provide further attractions and opportunities for meeting friends. The place to be at night is the Art Club with its bar, lounge and disco in the Kunsthalle. The Carharrt fashion label is flying in DJ talents from all over Europe. On the night of June 15, 2002 a free cultural celebration, the ArtZappening, is being organized for visitors from near and far.

Art 33 Basel has the backing of an attractive catalogue. Every year, this publication offers the largest overview of what is on offer on the international art market and provides comprehensive information on the most important annual event in the art world. The catalogue will be lavishly illustrated and contain pictures of about 500 works of art from the classical moderns to the latest in contemporary art.

Yoshimoto Nara
'Light my fire', 2001
Courtesy 'Tomio Koyama Gallery' Tokyo, and photo courtesy of Art Basel

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