What's Art Basel? Here's A Brief History Of The Winter Event That Takes Over Miami

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Art Basel inMiami Beach kicks off December 1st, and art lovers from all over the world are expected to flock to the Sunshine State to attend the massive art show. This year, 269 galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa will show modern and contemporary art displays ranging from paintings to photographs to films. It’s going to be ~lit~, and there’s a rich history behind it, too.

Art Basel takes place in Miami Beach, Hong Kong, and Basel in Switzerland. It was founded in 1970 by three Basel art gallerists: Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner, and Baltz Hilt. According to the official Art Basel website, more than 16,000 visitors attended the inaugural show, which featured 90 galleries and 30 publishers from 10 countries.

In 1975, five years after its founding, Art Basel reached 300 exhibitors, from 21 countries, and attracted 37,000 visitors. The fair expanded to Miami Beach in 2002, and according to its website, ranks among the favorite winter events of the international art world. In 2013 it expanded to Hong Kong, where half the galleries exhibiting are from the Asia and Asia-Pacific regions.

In Miami, Art Basel has paved the way for multiple mini art fairs all over the city, especially in the Midtown/Wynwood area and it’s an opportunity for publications and restaurants to throw parties at clubs and galleries.

Art Basel itself has different “sectors” under which the galleries are organized, like Nova, where you’ll find works created within the last three years, and Survey, where you’ll find precise art historical projects. Furthermore, the Film sector of Art Basel presents outdoor screenings on the 7,000 foot projection wall of the New World Center.

Art Basel is every modern artsy dream you ever had mixed with high fashion, good food and a wild social scene. If you’re in the area, consider buying tickets. It’ll be running until December 4th at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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