Art Basel
Art Basel is an international contemporary
Contemporary art
Contemporary art can be defined variously as art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced...

 art fair
Art fair
An art fair is a commercial exhibition that shows the work of artists or art dealers. Each entrant has to pay a fee.Art fairs are not to be confused with art exhibitions. Exhibitions are organised by curators....

 held each June in Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. Similar to the Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy. The Venice Film Festival is part of it. So too is the Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is held in even years...

, it has been called "the Olympics of the art world". Art Basel features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Special sectors are devoted to recent artworks, curated exhibitions, video- and sound-based works, performances, and art in public spaces.

Co-founded by local gallerists Trudi Bruckner, Balz Hilt, and Ernst Beyeler, and initiated by Lorenzo Rudolf, the first Art Basel was held in 1970 as an alternative to Art Cologne
Art Cologne
Art Cologne is an art fair held annually in Cologne, Germany and was established in 1967 as Kölner Kunstmarkt. It is regarded the world's oldest art fair of its kind. The fair runs for six days and brings together galleries from more than 20 countries...

. In 1973, only three years after its founding, Basel superseded Cologne as the largest art show in the world. In 2010, more than 62,500 people attended the exhibition. Since 2002, a sister exhibition, Art Basel Miami Beach has been held in the USA at Miami, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...


For both fairs, the selection of galleries is made by a committee – composed of twelve renowned international gallerists – which convenes up to 30 days out of the year. The jurors, who are selected by the directors, typically serve for five to ten years. Dealers must submit proposals to the committee. In the past, Art Basel aimed to include about 25 new galleries each year.

UBS has been sponsoring Art Basel since 1994, as well as its sister fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, from its inception in 2002.

Recent history

In 2007, Annette Schönholzer, Marc Spiegler, and Cay Sophie Rabinowitz took over for the former director of the exhibition, Sam Keller. Rabinowitz became artistic director, Schonholzer became charged with the organization and finances, and Spiegler became responsible for strategy and development. Rabinowitz became the artistic director for both festivals.

In less than a year, at the end of April 2008, the resignation of Rabinowitz was announced. Its leadership has been given to her former co-directors, Annette Schönholzer (formerly director of operations and finance) and Marc Spiegler (formerly director of strategy and development), each with the new title of co-director, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach.

The owners of Art Basel have just signed an agreement with Asian Art Fairs to purchase a majority stake in the Hong Kong fair ART HK.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Miami Beach is an annual contemporary art
Contemporary art
Contemporary art can be defined variously as art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced...

 exhibition held in Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

 each December, which is a sister event to Art Basel in Switzerland. The Miami exhibition has been held annually since 2002, as a city-wide event. Along with promoting adjoining fairs and associated events, organizers of Art Basel Miami Beach boast that it has eclipsed the original Art Basel in size and popularity, if not importance, even though they have not surpassed the attendance figures for the original.

Some of the events for the festival are held in art galleries in the Miami neighborhoods of Wynwood
Wynwood, Miami, Florida
Wynwood is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida, United States. It is north of Downtown Miami and Overtown, and adjacent to Edgewater. Wynwood has two major sub-districts, the Wynwood Art District in northern Wynwood, and the Wynwood Fashion District along West 5th Avenue...

 and the Miami Design District
Miami Design District
The Design District, historically a part of the Buena Vista, is a neighborhood of greater Midtown, Miami, Florida, United States, south of Little Haiti...

. Events in Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami is an urban residential neighborhood, and the central business district of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and South Florida in the United States...

 are held in coordination with the Miami Art Museum
Miami Art Museum
The Miami Art Museum is an art museum located in Downtown Miami, Florida, in the United States. It was founded in 1984 as the Center for the Fine Arts, and in 1996 became the Miami Art Museum...

 and downtown area associations at Bicentennial Park
Bicentennial Park
Bicentennial Park may refer to:In Australia:* Bicentennial Park, Homebush Bay in Sydney, New South Wales* Bicentennial Park, Rockdale in the Sydney suburb of Rockdale* Bicentennial Park South Football Stadium in the Sydney suburb of Rockdale...

 and Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park is a public, urban park in Downtown Miami, Florida on Biscayne Bay.-History:The park began construction in 1924 under the design plans of Warren Henry Manning and officially opened in March 1925. Beginning in 1980, it underwent a major redesign by Japanese-American modernist artist...

, as well as at downtown theaters such as the Gusman Theater.

Larger exhibits are held in the Miami neighborhood of South Beach
South Beach
South Beach, also nicknamed SoBe, is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida, United States. It is the area south of Indian Creek and encompasses roughly the southernmost 23 blocks of the main barrier island that separates the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.This area was the first...

 with free, public exhibits held along the beach and in various parks throughout South Beach. More private events are held at the Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami Beach Convention Center is an indoor arena in Miami Beach, Florida and it is currently the largest convention center in the Miami area. It now features 4 large rooms each holding about 12,000 people.- History :...

with expositions of artists from around the world. The Lincoln Theatre, Colony Theatre, and local bookstores also are hosts to many Art Basel movie showings and expositions. Most art galleries and studios in the area host public events in correlation with exhibition that showcase the work of local Miami artists. Many local galleries and artists also have special events and exhibitions before and after the official festival dates, to take advantage of the increased media coverage and the influx of art patrons to the community. These factors have increased the popularity of the Miami exhibition to the international art community.

The Miami exhibition attracts more than 40,000 attendees a year, a third of whom are visitors to Miami.

External links

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