The History of Art Basel

The History of Art Basel

It all started in 1970, when Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner, and Balz Hilt – Swiss art dealers from Basel, Switzerland, organized an art fair showcasing contemporary art. Striving to sell contemporary art, to potential buyers from across Europe, they invited national galleries to help market their platform. Balz Hilt, and Ernst Beyeler were both Swiss dealers which went on to become top dealers in Europe, and under inspiration from Art Cologne,  decided to venture into new markets, hopefully to attract new buyers from around the world and further their platform.

The event was a first for the Swiss city, situated close to where Switzerland borders on Germany and France, and better known for its biological, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. A convergence of factors – a modern brand of consumer with more leisure time and buying power, coupled with greater gallery activity and extensive mass media reach, fueled interest in modern art and made Basel a cradle of the art industry.

From the beginning, the fair aimed to attract not just leading art collectors, but also newcomers (“In 1972, New York Times critic Hilton Kramer called the event a ‘mammoth indoor flea market of 20th-century art.’”)1. The early years saw the entry of US dealers targeting overseas buyers, the American economic downturn, the entry of more and more countries and very big collectors, and the bubble in the art market in the 1980s. In the 1990s, with Lorenzo Rudolf at the helm, Art Basel witnessed new initiatives like the Art Video Forum, the participation of top New York galleries, sponsorship by UBS, and the Art Basel website (the earliest official Internet address for an art fair).

By the early 2000s, led by Sam Keller, Art Basel forged on, with its entry into overseas markets, opening in 2002 Miami Beach Art Basel, thus penetrating this confluence of Latin and North American currents,as well as focusing on young artists, and hosting panels on art.

In 2013, under the leadership of Marc Spiegler and Annette Schönholzer, Art Basel launched its first fair in Hong Kong. Half of the galleries which participated came from the Asia-Pacific.

Art Basel is involved in several initiatives to advance the arts. These include BMW Art Journey Award, a travel grant for artists,  a Crowdfunding Initiative to marshal support for non-commercial projects in art around the world, and The Art Market, a yearly analysis of the worldwide market for art.

Today, Art Basel has become the central event in contemporary art. It has been described as “Facebook of the Art World” and “the world’s most important family of art shows.”

Art Basel Director Marc Spiegler Group goes beyond this, calling Art Basel “the world’s most important art show.”

Its Miami and Hong Kong shows have become equally important in their respective areas. With Miami attracting a global audience in the December months, and Art Basel Hong Kong, which is a new addition, breaking ground on opening day this year by the sale of Untitled XII (1975) by Willen de Kooning  just an hour into the fair.

Having attending Art Basel Miami several years, it should be noted the impact and influence the fair encompasses. In Miami, other top fairs and exhibits showcase popular artwork from the world as well, during  Art Week –  the several days in December which these fairs run. Scope, Contemporary, Untitled, Aqua and many others all run during art week, attracting tens of thousands of visitors.

Additionally, sites such as Wynwood Walls, has been a popular destination for both visitors and street artists who have depicted their work on the famous walls for many years. The Wynwood area itself is home to many galleries dotted among its numerous street art and murals.

Art Week has many fairs opening Wed, Dec 5th, and goes on until Sunday Dec 9th, though some fairs may start earlier with previews or opening night galas. Check our list of Miami Art Week fairs.

New York International Children’s Film Festival Announces 2018 Call for Entries and Special Award for Stop-Motion Animat ion

For 20 years, the New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) has curated artistically innovative live action, animation, and documentary film programs for young people, building a devoted audience that returns year after year to expand their horizons and explore new genres and worlds.

As a leader in presenting the art of international animation, the Festival is thrilled to be offering a special cash award for the best stop-motion animation film featured in competition in the 2018 program. NYICFF stands in the unique position of sharing the magic and possibilities of stop-motion as a distinctive art form, from its origins as a uniquely hand-crafted medium to one which now also integrates with the latest digital technologies. The winner of the stop-motion award will receive recognition and a cash prize of $2,500 thanks to special corporate support. Additionally, winners of the Festival’s 2018 Grand Prize Short Award and the Jury Awards for Animated Short and Live Action Short will receive one free year of VimeoPRO, courtesy of Vimeo. Jury Award winners for Animated Short and Live Action Short also qualify for Academy-Award eligibility.

Submissions are currently open through November, and a special reduced rate is available to stop-motion entries. The Festival will be held February 23 through March 18, 2018 at venues throughout New York City. In addition to stop-motion film entries, the Festival open call also seeks submissions for innovative, compelling, and visually and thematically original short and feature animation, live action, and documentary films for audiences ages 3-18

Now in its 21st year, the NY International Children’s Film Festival was originally founded to support the creation of a more dynamic film culture for children and teens. As such, the Festival often presents films that were not originally created with young audiences in mind, but resonate among children and families nonetheless. It is this bold and thought-provoking approach to programming that has made the Festival a distinctive cultural touchstone in New York City.

An Oscar® – qualifying Festival in the Best Live Action and Animated Short Film categories, the Festival’s prestigious jury includes filmmakers and producers Sofia Coppola, James Schamus, Gus Van Sant, Christine Vachon, and Taika Waititi; actors/producers/directors Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, and Uma Thurman, and distinguished animator and animation history scholar John Canemaker, among others. NYICFF’s selects films that result in Oscar®-nominations as well as premiere or showcase the year’s acclaimed nominee films, including most recently in 2017, nominated films from the Best Feature Animation (My Life As A Zucchini), Best Short Animation (Blind Vaysha), and Best Short Live Action categories (Sing).

Deadlines to submit U.S. and international films through Withoutabox for the 2018 New York International Children’s Film Festival are as follows:

November 20, 2017: LATE DEADLINE (EXTENDED) for short film entries-$75 fee ($40 student fee); 20% discount for stop motion entries with the promo code “StoMoNYICFF”

December 1, 2017: LATE DEADLINE for feature film entries-$125 fee ($80 student fee)

Complete eligibility information, submission fees and official rules and regulations for 2018 can be found at

Call for Entries in the Alternative Havana Biennial May 2018

The Museum of Politically Uneasy Art, alongside a group of independent Cuban spaces, artists, theorists and curators are calling for entries for the #00 Havana Biennial which will take place from May 5-15, 2018 in the Cuban capital.

This event was conceived in the wake of the decision made by the Ministry of Culture, the National Council of Visual Arts and the Wilfredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art to postpone until 2019 the XII Havana Biennial (scheduled to take place from October 5th to November 5th 2018), as a result of the damages caused by hurricane Irma.

That’s why, independently and with the intention of supporting the development of Cuban culture, at a time when the country is experiencing a serious crisis of faith, when banalities and despair are on the rise, and taking art’s demanding and emancipatory power as our banner, we believe it’s imperative that this event isn’t delayed and to put it on with the minimal resources available.

The #00 Havana Biennial with no set theme and international projection is calling upon artists of all nationalities, with no age restrictions to participate. A team of curators will be responsible for choosing the projects that will be featured in the program, a selection that will be made using inclusive criteria and dialogue.

The #00 Biennial has no state or private funding. Its organizers will work voluntarily. It will take place via personal initiatives to collect funds, exchanging experiences and materials among participants and collaborators themselves. There will also be a crowdfunding campaign to print catalogues, programs, merchandising and for other production expenses.

Requirements for Cuban artists and/or curators who live on the island:

-To work in any art form. (We are especially interested in giving priority to artistic expressions such as graffiti, performance art, public interventions, art on the internet, etc. as the event doesn’t have many exhibition venues)

-To present one to three proposals (curatorial project or art piece) in a digital format with high resolution (300 dpi) images, technical notes, statement, specific requirements for assembly, a brief biography (max. 200 words), personal contact information and photo of the artist.The artist’s career won’t be taken into account, nor will the short biography and other information that is being requested, this is only needed so it can be included in the event’s catalogue. Projects that don’t have all of this information won’t be accepted.

-Projects don’t need to be unpublished.

-To have an exhibition space or try to find one (a private home, public space that is open to being taken over. In both cases, the social impact the intervention can have is the artist’s, curator’s and organizing team’s sole responsibility.) During the preparation phase of the event, the organizers will establish links between artists, curators and independent spaces so that possible work connections can be created, but they won’t be responsible for setting up the artist’s work in any way.

-Participants must take charge of setting up their own works.

-The selected piece can’t be replaced by another during the duration of the event.

Requirements for Cuban or foreign artists and/or curators who live abroad:

-The event organizers will not be responsible for bringing artists to Cuba or moving works from one country to another. Nor will the organizers be responsible for getting entrance visas to Cuba.

– Present one to three proposals (curatorial project or art piece) in a digital format with high resolution (300 dpi) images, technical notes, statement, specific requirements for assembly, a brief biography (max. 200 words), personal contact information and photo of the artist. Projects that don’t have all of this information won’t be accepted.

-The artist’s career won’t be taken into account, nor will the short biography and other information that is being requested, this is only needed so it can be included in the event’s catalogue.

-The work can be in any art form (We are especially interested in giving priority to artistic expressions such as graffiti, performance art, public interventions, art on the internet, etc. as the event doesn’t have many exhibition venues).

The artist does NOT have to be in Cuba when producing their work, they should only send a proposal taking into account the minimum human and material resources they need, as the organizers will be responsible for setting them up and finding a venue to exhibit them. Nevertheless, any artist that can, needs to or wants to produce a more complex piece of work in terms of cost, will have access to an account where they can send money to be specifically used for their work. The Biennial team will be voluntarily responsible for arranging the production of the work according to conversations with the artist.

-A project that is selected for the event cannot be replaced by another.

Selection criteria:

The jury will take into account the aesthetic and conceptual aspects of each project and their cost of production, while the organization team will be open to all kinds of negotiations with the artists who send in proposals.

Closing date for applications

Proposals will start being received on November 1, 2017 until January 2, 2018.

Work conversations between artists and curators in pursuit of an ideal production of each accepted proposal will begin as soon as projects are accepted by the selection committee.

Projects selected to take part in the event will be made public on February 1, 2018.

Cuban artists who are scheduled to have an exhibition at an institution-owned venue during the time of the #00 Havana Biennial (May 5-15th 2018), can include this exhibition within the event program if they wish to do so, as long as it meets the event’s selection criteria.

Cultural institutions or venues, both government-run and private, who want to participate in the event can do so in a climate of respect and dialogue.

The biennial includes a theoretical event that will have its own separate call for entries.

The memoir of the event will be collected in a book/catalogue and in a program, which is why it’s essential that closing dates are respected so that every proposal can be featured.

*For further information, those interested can send an email to: which is where proposals for the event should also be sent.

5 Pointz artists awarded damages for whitewashed art

5 Pointz artists awarded damages for whitewashed art

5 Pointz has been a landmark for graffiti mecca and has been largely discussed for the past few years. Starting several yrs ago on Aug 21, 2013 the New York City Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve plans to build condos on the property. Because art onsite was less than 30 years old, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected a landmark status nomination by the artists.

Two months later, on the night of November 19th, the exterior of 5 Pointz was whitewashed suddenly overnight. The next day, a ruling by a federal judge stated that the whitewashing could result in the Wolkoff family having to pay damages to 5 Pointz artists.

Fast forward to this past week when a Brooklyn federal jury ruled favorably this on Tuesday, for several artists in the dispute over 5 Pointz, an art mecca for many graffiti artists which was recently “whitewashed” to make way for a graffiti inspire rental building.

Developer and owner of the site, Jerry Wolkoff, was sued by 21 of the artists who state that their work, which included 49 pieces that were legally protected works. The attorney for the artists, state that every artist was awarded damages, though it may not potentially be per each piece on site.

Eric Baum, the attorney representing the artists states that “This is a clear message from the people that the whitewash of the building by its owner Gerald Wolkoff was a cruel and willful act.”

Though the jury ruled favorably, Judge Frederic Block will make the final ruling to the case to what could turn out be a landmark case for future disputes between artists and property owners.

The artists sued under the Visual Artists Rights Act, a 1990 law that protects art work of “recognized stature.” The act has not been tested with a jury previously, and until final ruling from the judge comes in, everyone is unsure how this can all end. The trial, which began about a month ago, will be seen as a vital and landmark case since it would decide the fate of graffiti and whether it could attain federally protected art status.

The artists have argued that the art put in place is highly known and essentially put 5 Pointz on the map, changing the dynamic of the neighborhood. After the neighborhood improved, along with higher property values, Wolkoff  “senseless[ly] and malicious[ly]” whitewashed the site to take advantage of the site to turn it into a graffiti inspired upscale condo and office building.

However, Wolkoff  has argued that the site was temporarily and that the artists knew that their art would not be permanent and that they took no action to preserve their works of art.


Kresge Arts in Detroit offers $25,000 fellowships to artists

Artists working in film, music, dance, theater and performance art can apply for $25,000 fellowships through Kresge Arts in Detroit.

Eighteen fellowships are available to artists living and working in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Two $5,000 emerging artist awards also will be awarded in live arts and a second category, film and music.

The application deadline is Jan. 18, 2018.

Selections will be announced in June. Recipients are selected by independent panels of local and national artists and arts professionals. New panels are convened each year for the review process.

Kresge Arts in Detroit is funded by the Kresge Foundation and administered by the College for Creative Studies. It has contributed $4 million to the local creative economy through the Kresge Eminent Artist awards and through Kresge Artist Fellowships.

Read more and apply at

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!