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The 33rd edition of the Basel art fair, otherwise known as Art 33 Basel, opens in the central exhibition halls of the Swiss city, June 12-17, 2002, boasting works by over 1,000 artists presented by 268 dealers (selected from a record number of some 900 applications, according to fair organizers). Both a huge contemporary art market and an art-world family reunion (according to Art Basel director Samuel Keller), the fair anticipates about 50,000 visitors in its short six-day run. The numbers on national representation: Germany (61), U.S. (51), Switzerland (39), France (25), Great Britain (20), Italy (15), Spain (9), Belgium (7), Austria (6), the Netherlands (4), Canada (3), plus two each from Sweden and Luxembourg, one each from Portugal, Denmark, Greece and Ireland, seven from Latin America, eight from Asia and two from Australia.

In addition to the booths, Art Basel includes individual exhibitions by 17 new artists in its Art Statements section (sponsored by the Bâloise insurance company), and 66 unusual art projects, organized by curators Martin Schwander and Simon Lamunière in the 12,000-square-meter Art Unlimited exhibition hall (sponsored by UBS).

Spectacle is the rule in the Art Unlimited section -- visitors can expect to find, for instance, a monumental swing by Jan Baracz, giant cast-resin monkeys in pornographic poses by Bjarne Melgaard, a stuffed bison in a cart by Mark Dion, a perfume room by Peter Hopkins, a series of 20 large photos of the interiors of collector's apartments by Monserrat Soto -- and performance artist Skip Arnold in a glass-covered hole in the floor. Also on view are paintings by Rémy Zaugg, Lisa Ruyter, Paul Morrison, and Petra Mrzyk and Jean-François Moriceau; sculpture by Claude Lévéque, Martin Boyce, Kwang-Ho Cheong and Ettore Spaletti; and videos by Pipilotti Rist, Rodney Graham, Mathilde ter Heijen, Lidwien van de Ven, Julia Koktev with Vito Acconci, and Magnus Wallin. The opening reception is to feature Burn Out, a motorcycle-painting performance by Swiss artist Lori Hersberger.

Basel is a city of museums, and exhibitions on view in town during the art fair include "Marcel Duchamp," organized by Harald Szeemann at the Museum Jean Tinguely, Mar. 20-June 30, 2002; "Claude Monet . . . up to digital impressionism," Mar. 28-Aug. 4, 2002, featuring more than 30 late Monet paintings juxtaposed with 80 modern and contemporary works, at the Fondation Beyeler; and the massive "Painting on the Move," May 25-Sept. 8, 2002, a show that is being shared by three museums: "Painting on the Move I: A Century of Contemporary Painting (1900-2000)" at the Kunstmuseum Basel, "Painting on the Move II: There is no final picture -- Painting after 1968" at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, and "Painting on the Move II: After Reality" at the Kunsthalle Basel. Additional attractions include "Gaguguin's Nafea" at the Kunstmuseum Basel, "Princely Textiles from Bali" at the Museum der Kulturen Basel, and "City of the Celts" at the Historisches Museum Basel.

Art Basel Miami Beach, by the way, is scheduled to take place Dec. 5-8, 2002, with 155 galleries, a video lounge, a sculpture park and public art projects.

The Basel art fair is so successful that it has spawned a smaller fair specializing in still newer art. Liste 02 is the seventh installment of the self-described "young art fair," slated to open in Basel, June 11-16, 2002, at the Wartek Brewery building. Liste restricts itself to galleries younger than five years and artists under 40 years of age. Every young gallery wants to be part of the Liste," said director Peter Bläuer. U.S. participants are China Art Objects and Goldmann Tevis from L.A., Andrew Kreps, Lombard-Freid, and Ten in One from New York, and Parlour Projects from Brooklyn.

The freelance art critic and art historian John A. Walker has written Left Shift: Radical Art in 1970s Britain, (I.B. Tauris, 2002), a history of radical political art in Britain during the 1970s. Examining the intersection of avant-garde art with left-wing politics, women's liberation and the gay movement, Left Shift covers artists ranging from Rasheed Araeen and Art & Language to Joseph Beuys, Gilbert & George and Stephen Willats. "Many of the radical artists challenged the art institutions of the time, such as the Arts Council," Walker writes, "and they often established alternatives, such as the Artists' Union." The 304-page book, organized on a year-by-year basis to reveal how the events of the decade unfolded, is $59.50 (hardcover) and $19.95 (paper).

Artist Janet Echelman, who shows in New York at the Florence Lynch Gallery, has received a $1 million commission for a seaside sculpture in Cidade San Salvador in Portugal. Echelman's 50-meter-tall sculpture features a knotted and colored net that hangs from a suspended ring, blowing in the winds that come off the Atlantic ocean. The site, an 80 by 60 meter oval plaza, is jointly owned by the city of Porto and its neighboring city of Matosinhos. The sculpture is done in collaboration with architect Eduardo Souto Moura and is slated to be completed by the end of the year.

Aljira, the contemporary art cent in Newark, seeks participants in Emerge 2003, a fellowship program designed to provide qualified artists with 12 free seminars on expanding and advancing their art careers, including an exhibition at the center's gallery. The program begins Sept. 30, 2002. For more info email Aljira at

The National Foundation for Jewish Culture has named its 2002 laureates, including ecofeminist artist Helene Aylon, whose edited Old Testament (sans patriarchal pronouncements) was included in the Jewish Museum's "Too Jewish" exhibition in 1997.

After five years in Chelsea, Rupert Goldsworthy Gallery at 453 West 17th Street, is closing with an exhibition of Goldsworthy's own work, Apr. 27-June1, 2002 (12 of the works, which reproduce images from the radical 1970s, have sold at prices ranging from $650 to $3,000). The peripatetic artist and dealer, who has run a gallery in Berlin and launched an alternative art fair there in 1996, now plans to open a gallery in New Delhi. On 17th Street, Goldsworthy has exhibited works by Lutz Bacher, David Bowie, Christopher Brooks, Richard Hell, Jane Kaplowitz, Elisabeth Kley, Larry Krone, Stephen Tashjian and the Bank collaborative from London.