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Indepth Arts News:

"Opening Today: Meeting Place of the International Art World"
2005-06-15 until 2005-06-20
Art 36 Basel
Basel, , CH Switzerland

The 36th edition of Art Basel, the international art show, takes place in Basel, Switzerland, from June 15 through 20, 2005. The Art Basel Committee has selected 270 leading galleries from all continents to participate. They will be showing works by over 1,500 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Special sectors present one-person shows of young artists, prints, outdoor projects in urban spaces, and filmwork. The "Art Unlimited" hall offers artists and galleries an opportunity to exhibit seemingly impossible projects unlike any other art fair. For the first time, the "Art Unlimited" hall will also feature a special exhibition of artist books. "Professional Day," aimed at museum professionals, dealers, and collectors, is on the agenda again. Introduced with great success last year, it will be held on Friday, June 17, this year. "Art Basel Conversations," with leading figures of the international art world, will also be returning.

The 36th edition of the international art show Art Basel runs from June 15 through 20, 2005. 50,000 art collectors, gallerists, artists, curators, and art lovers from all over the world are expected to visit. Art Basel is regarded as the most important annual meeting of the art world and is indisputably the biggest and most important fair for modern and contemporary art, figuring alongside the Venice Biennale as the highlight of the 2005 summer art season. The reputation enjoyed by Art Basel is based on the high quality and unique diversity of the works on show, not to mention the international audience attracted by the event.

"Professional Day," which was introduced with great success last year, will be held on Friday, June 17, this year. It is aimed at museum professionals, dealers, and collectors. On "Professional Day," the exhibiting galleries will be presenting special exhibitions and events between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Before 2 p.m. on that Friday, admission to the international art show is only by invitation from the exhibiting galleries and the Show Management. In the morning there will also be panel discussions and events geared specifically to professional visitors.

270 of the world's leading galleries will be exhibiting at Art 36 Basel (the list of exhibitors will be published in January). They were chosen from over 800 applicants. The selection was made by the Art Basel Committee, composed of gallery owners Victor Gisler (Galerie Mai 36, Zurich), Xavier Hufkens (Xavier Hufkens, Brussels), David Juda (Annelie Juda Gallery, London), Claes Nordenhake (Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Berlin), Esther Schipper (Galerie Schipper & Krome, Berlin), and Gianfranco Verna (Annemarie Verna Galerie, Zurich). Patrice Contensin (Galerie Lelong Editions, Paris) was the expert for "Art Edition". Alain Paviot (Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris) was the Art Basel Committee's advisory expert on photography. The presiding experts for the "Art Statements" sector, which introduces young artists to an international audience by way of one person show, were Florence Bonnefou (Air de Paris, Paris) and Toby Webster (Modern Institute, Glasgow). The Art Basel Committee was provided with comprehensive preliminary information and then met for several days to arrive at its decisions. 99% of last year's exhibitors had reapplied. Once again, it is the crème de la crème of the international gallery scene that will be exhibiting at Art Basel.

"Art Basel Conversations" are back again this year. Fostering direct encounters with leading figures from the international art world, "Art Basel Conversations" offer privileged access to first-hand information on a multitude of aspects of collecting and exhibiting art. The "Art Basel Conversations" forum encourages the exchange of ideas by means of panel discussions and personal contact with the panelists and guests. Participants include prominent art collectors, museum directors, biennial curators, acclaimed artists, architects, publishers, and well-known art-world personalities.

All mediums of art will be represented at Art 36 Basel: The repertoire runs the gamut from paintings, drawings, photography, and multiples through sculptures and installations, and all the way to performance, internet, and video art. The works that can be viewed and purchased extend from museum-quality masterpieces to new pieces by established artists to young and as yet undiscovered talents. Prices start at a few hundred francs for original prints, multiples, and works by young artists and range into the millions for museum-quality masterpieces.

Special sectors at Art 36 Basel present solo shows of young artists ("Art Statements"), prints and multiples ("Art Edition"), outdoor projects in urban spaces, and artist films ("Art Film"). For the first time this year, the "Art Unlimited" hall will be giving publishing houses throughout the world an opportunity to present artist books, an art form that is otherwise marginally represented at art fairs. Over 50 international art magazines will also be making an appearance. The "Art Unlimited" platform, where colossal artworks - available at no other art fair - are shown, is sure to cause a sensation again at Art 36 Basel. "Art Unlimited" offers artists and gallerists an opportunity to show works that go beyond the scope of exhibition booths at art fairs and frequently also of galleries, museums, and other traditional locations for the presentation of art. Once again, "Art Lobby" - the communication platform in the "Art Unlimited" hall, where artists, collectors, art mediators, and the public can exchange information - and "Art Basel Conversations" are sure to be ideal vehicles for fostering exchange and networking in the art scene.

Art 36 Basel and "Art Unlimited" are generously supported by UBS, which has been involved in Art Basel as a sponsoring partner since 1994. "Art Basel Conversations" will again be organized in association with Bvlgari. Since 1999 the Bâloise Insurance Group has been supporting outstanding projects in the special sector "Art Statements" with its Bâloise Art Prize.

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