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Art Basel

Art Basel is a for-profit, privately owned and managed, international art fair staged annually in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach; Hong Kong and from 2022, Paris.
Art Basel
Leadership team

Noah Horowitz (Chief Executive Officer)

Lorraine Baker (Chief Financial Officer)

Maike Cruse (Director, Art Basel in Basel)

Vincenzo de Bellis (Director, Fairs and Exhibition Platforms)

Clément Delépine (Director, Paris+ par Art Basel)

Bridget Finn (Director, Art Basel Miami Beach)

Craig Hepburn (Chief Digital Officer)

Jonathan Isenring (Director of Innovation)

Adeline Ooi (Director Asia)

Hayley Romer (Chief Growth Officer)

Angelle Siyang-Le (Director, Art Basel Hong Kong)

Andrew Strachan (General Manager, Fairs and Exhibition Platforms)

Headquarters
Art|Basel, MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd. Messeplatz 10, Basel, 4005, CH
Region served
worldwide
Year stablished
1970
Address
Art|Basel, MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd. Messeplatz 10, Basel, 4005, CH
Social Media
Summary

Art Basel is a for-profit, privately owned and managed, international art fair staged annually in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach; Hong Kong and from 2022, Paris. Art Basel works in collaboration with the host city's local institutions to help grow and develop art programs. While Art Basel provides a platform for galleries to show and sell their work to buyers, it has gained a large international audience of art spectators and students as well.

Founded by gallerists in 1970, Art Basel stages the world's premier art shows for modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, Hong Kong, and Paris. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, the artworks on display and the parallel content programming produced in collaboration with the local institutions. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show's singular exhibition sectors and artistic events spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration and new contacts in the artworld.


History

Art Basel, one of the world's most prestigious art fairs, had humble beginnings when it was founded in 1970 by Basel gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudl Bruckner, and Balz Hilt. In its inaugural year, it featured 90 galleries from ten countries and attracted over 16,000 visitors. Over the years, the fair grew steadily, reaching nearly 300 exhibitors from 21 countries by 1975 and welcoming 37,000 visitors.

Under the leadership of Samuel Keller from 1999 to 2006, Art Basel introduced "Art Unlimited," a section dedicated to monumental artworks, sculptures, installations, video art, and performances. This initiative expanded the fair's artistic scope. The fair continued to flourish, and under Marc Spiegler's stewardship, the 2019 show in Basel hosted 290 galleries from 35 countries, showcasing the work of over 4,000 artists and drawing 93,000 visitors.

In 2020, Art Basel Basel's 50th edition faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, initially postponing the event to September before eventually canceling it. However, in July 2021, Art Basel announced its triumphant return for September 2021, featuring 273 exhibitors, including over 20 participating for the first time.

Art Basel's influence expanded globally, with the introduction of Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002 under the direction of Sam Keller. It also ventured into Hong Kong, first as Art HK in 2008, before becoming Art Basel Hong Kong in 2013. The Hong Kong edition grew significantly, drawing international attention with a record attendance of 88,000 visitors during the 2019 exhibition, featuring 242 galleries from 35 countries and territories. The fair faced a setback in 2020 due to the pandemic but returned in May 2021, continuing its mission to showcase art from around the world.


Goals and Purpose

Art Basel aims to provide a global platform for the presentation and promotion of contemporary and modern art. It serves as a meeting point for the world's leading galleries, artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts. By bringing together diverse artists and galleries from around the globe, it fosters cultural exchange and creativity.

Another key purpose of Art Basel is to facilitate the sale of artwork and support the commercial aspects of the art market. Galleries participating in the fair have the opportunity to showcase their artists' work to an international audience, attracting collectors and buyers. This promotes economic growth and sustains the art industry.

Art Basel also serves an educational role. It provides a space for intellectual discussion, artistic exploration, and the exchange of ideas. Through curated exhibitions, panels, and discussions, the fair promotes a deeper understanding of art and its significance in society. It encourages the appreciation of art and contributes to the development of the art community.

Furthermore, Art Basel plays a role in expanding the international reach of the art world. Its editions in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong serve as bridges between different cultural and geographical contexts. This interconnectedness fosters a more inclusive and global art landscape.


Impact

One of its key initiatives is "Art Basel Cities," a collaborative project with cities worldwide. This program aims to create cultural events and programming throughout the year, aligning with the cultural development goals of each partner city. This initiative fosters cultural exchange, creativity, and long-term cultural development in various urban centers. Buenos Aires, the first partner city, has already benefited from this collaborative effort.

The "BMW Art Journey Award" is another impactful initiative that supports emerging artists. This grant allows promising artists to embark on artistic journeys of their own design, exploring new ideas and themes worldwide. It provides them with the freedom to create and innovate, contributing to the evolution of contemporary art. This award is presented twice a year during Art Basel shows in Hong Kong and Miami Beach.

Additionally, Art Basel's partnership with Kickstarter in the "Crowdfunding Initiative" promotes innovative artistic projects by non-profit organizations globally. This collaboration enhances the visibility and support for various art-related projects, including artist residencies, education programs, and public installations. It empowers non-profit art initiatives and contributes to the diversity of artistic expressions.

Art Basel's "The Art Market" annual global art market analysis serves as a valuable resource for art professionals and enthusiasts. It comprehensively covers developments in the international art market, providing insights into the ever-evolving art landscape.

Furthermore, Art Basel's executive-education program, "Collecting Contemporary Art in Hong Kong," in collaboration with HKU SPACE Centre for Degree Programmes and Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, offers a unique educational opportunity for art collectors and enthusiasts. This program equips participants with knowledge and insights into contemporary art, contributing to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art world.


References
Art Basel
Leadership team

Noah Horowitz (Chief Executive Officer)

Lorraine Baker (Chief Financial Officer)

Maike Cruse (Director, Art Basel in Basel)

Vincenzo de Bellis (Director, Fairs and Exhibition Platforms)

Clément Delépine (Director, Paris+ par Art Basel)

Bridget Finn (Director, Art Basel Miami Beach)

Craig Hepburn (Chief Digital Officer)

Jonathan Isenring (Director of Innovation)

Adeline Ooi (Director Asia)

Hayley Romer (Chief Growth Officer)

Angelle Siyang-Le (Director, Art Basel Hong Kong)

Andrew Strachan (General Manager, Fairs and Exhibition Platforms)

Headquarters
Art|Basel, MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd. Messeplatz 10, Basel, 4005, CH
Region served
worldwide
Year stablished
1970
Address
Art|Basel, MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd. Messeplatz 10, Basel, 4005, CH
Social Media