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Art Basel: Then and Now

How does this year's fair stack up against the first edition in 1970?

On June 16, Art Basel will open to invited guests for the 45th year running. A lot has changed since the first edition in 1970, when it was founded by art dealers Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner, and Balz Hilt. The above graph tells the story. (Interestingly, the exhibitor list reached its present size of 300 galleries only six years after the fair’s founding.) Beyond the numbers, though, some things remain the same. Basel shared with us the exhibitor list for the first Basel, and a few of the names in this year’s edition are still participating, like Galerie Thomas, of Munich; Marlborough, which has spaces in London, Barcelona, Madrid, Monaco, and New York; and Annely Juda, of London. ARTnews will be on the ground throughout the run of Basel reporting on the action.

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