Art 39 Basel: THE International Art World Fair

Tomorrow, Art 39 Basel kicks off with a vernissage for invited guests. The 39th edition of Art Basel takes place in the museum-rich 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 large-scale 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.

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.

Presenting Art Galleries

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.

Features Art 39 Basel

This art fair is well-known for its many specialty exhibits and happenings:

  • Artistic Expression
    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 museum-quality masterpieces priced in the millions.

  • 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. Art, with the accent on innovation.

  • This is just a handful of features and events at the art fair; it has many more: Art Magazines, Art Conversations, Public Art …

In Conclusion

Art Basel is the art world’s most important annual marketplace and offers its visitors the most extensive temporary museum of our day. Art experts and enthusiasts alike can come here to find works they have been looking for, discover new talents, compare prices, and scent out trends. For the artists themselves, it is a prestigious platform with worldwide impact. The intimate atmosphere of the beautiful, art-loving city of Basel adds to the appeal of the event.

Special exhibitions and social functions at the local museums provide further attractions and meeting places. And in the evening, the place to go is the Art Club at the Kunsthalle, featuring DJs flown in by Carhartt from all over Europe.


The art fair is accompanied by a lavish catalog, as it was last year.


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