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During the third week of June, the world art market gathers in one place and one place only -- at the world's most prestigious modern and contemporary art fair, Art 36 Basel, the International Art Show, June 15-20, 2005. This year, over 275 galleries from more than 25 countries were on hand, including the U.S. (64 galleries), Germany (49), Switzerland (37), France (26), Britain (24), Italy (14), Spain (8), Belgium (7) and Austria (7) -- see below for a complete list. In addition to the gallery booths, Art 36 Basel organized several other special events and exhibitions:

Art Unlimited. A special hall dedicated to large and innovative projects, presenting everything from outsize sculptures and installations to video projections, murals and performance art. Approximately 72 works were on view, by artists from 27 countries. Among the attractions was a new performance by Marina Abramovic (courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York), a 90-minute-long drumming performance by Doug Aitken (Galerie Presenhuber, Zurich, and 303 Gallery, New York), a 1984 stainless steel sculpture by Walter de Maria (Peter Freeman Inc., New York), and a replica -- in transparent acrylic -- of Le Corbusier's "Cabanon" living unit by Olaf Nicolai (Eigen + Art, Berlin).

Art Statements. A special section, always good for discovering new talent, featured 17 solo shows by young artists from six countries. The artists were Ian Kiaer (Alison Jacques Gallery, London), Wade Guyton (Galerie Francesca Pia, Bern), Cheyney Thompson (Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York), Ryan Gander (Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam), Jim Drain (Greene Naftali, New York), Christine Rebet (Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris), Katja Strunz (Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin), Michael Beutler (Neff, Frankfurt am Main), Katy Dove (Hales Gallery, London), David Colosi (Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels), Alexander Wolff (Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna), Scott King (Rosso, Turin), Nate Lowman (Maccarone Inc., New York), Damien Deroubaix (In Situ, Paris), Joanne Tathamne & Tom O'Sullivan (Sutton Lane, London), John Korner (Wilson, Copenhagen) and Kristina Solomoukha (Thibault & de la Châtre, Paris).

Artists books. For the first time, Art Basel had a section devoted to artists' books, organized by Geneva-based curator and publisher Lionel Bovier in collaboration with Basel gallery owner Diego Stampa. Works by over 100 artists were on display, including Kai Althoff, Fiona Banner, Christian Boltanski, Monica Bonvicini, Sean Landers, Rita McBride, Lucy McKenzie, Olaf Nicolai, Gabriel Orozco, Raymond Pettibon, Wolfgang Tillmans, Ai Weiwei and James Welling.

Public Art Projects. Ten artworks were displayed on the public square in front of the Art Basel exhibition hall in a section of the show organized by Basel curator Martin Schwander. Among the attractions were a 270-cm-high fountain by Manfred Pernice (Galerie Neu, Berlin, and Anton Kern Gallery, New York), a Happening involving a pavilion built of ice by Allan Kaprow (Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich & London), a message projected into the sky via laser by Jonathan Monk (Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe) and, from Atelier van Lieshout (Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna), "Bar Rectum," a fully-functioning watering hole set up in an outsized plastic intestine.

Art Film. Every evening during the fair, the Stadtkino Basel screened films in a program selected by Gianni Jetzer, director of the Kunsthalle St. Gallen. Among the premieres was the first full-length movie by Tracey Emin. Also presented were films and videos by Yayoi Kusama, Anri Sala, Chrisoph Bchel, Jeremy Deller and Steven Parrino.

Art Basel Conversations. The series of panel discussions, featuring top artists, curators, dealers and collectors, kicked off this year with a special performance by artist Martin Creed and his band.

The prestige of Art Basel has, over the years, attracted enough attention to the Swiss city that it has spawned a second, major fair that runs at the same time, the 10-year-old LISTE Young Art Fair, June 14-19, 2005, catering exclusively to young (under 40) artists. Held in a former brewery at Burgweg 15, LISTE 05 brought together some 48 galleries from 22 countries, with new galleries from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and Sweden joining the fray this year at the ever-growing festival. Exhibitors returning to the fair included New York's Cohen and Leslie, Daniel Reich, John Connelly Presents and Team, Los Angeles' Daniel Hug and peres projects and Chicago's moniquemeloche. New York's Swiss Institute was special invited guest, presenting assorted projects by their stable of artists in the Druckwerkstatt, or Printing Workshop, in the fair's Wartek building. These included San Keller's San Dance Company, a piece in which the artist attempted to enlist audience members to join him in dance, and a Werner Reiterer piece that encouraged visitors to write messages that were attached to helium balloons and launched into the sky through the building's chimney.

Also drawing visitors this year was the VOLTAshow at Voltastrasse 27, held to run parallel to Art Basel and LISTE, June 14-19, 2005. Founded by Friedrich Loock (Wohnmaschine, Berlin), Ulrich Voges (Voges + Partner, Frankfurt) and Kavi Gupta (Kavi Gupta, Chicago), the non-profit fair came to Basel with the noble goal of producing a fair that promoted fresh work by keeping down the prohibitive costs of international exhibition. The event admitted exhibitors by invitation only, and sought to present only galleries "who choose as their mandate to work with the most exciting emerging artists." The galleries that made the cut for VOLTA's debut year were Artcore/Fabrice Marcolini, Bellwether, Black Dragon Society, Spencer Brownstone, Dogenhaus Galerie, f a projects, Zach Feuer Gallery (LFL), Foxy Production, Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Kavi Gupta, The Happy Lion, nicolas krupp contemporary, Galerie Herv Loevenbruck, Milliken, Espacio Minimo, Taro Nasu Gallery, Thomas Rehbein, David Risley, Roebling Hall, STORE, Torch, Voges + Partner and Wohnmaschine.

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