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Art Fair
VOLTA opened its fifth edition this past Monday with reports of terrific sales (12.6.2009)
  VOLTA opened its fifth edition this past Monday with reports of terrific sales and high praises

VOLTA5 opened its doors to its new location at the Markhalle, smack in the heart of Basel proper. As the next station on the summer art train, collectors and aficionados made their way to the Swiss art fair Mecca, gearing up for new cultural adventures at the start of the Basel Arts Week.

With more than 8.000 registered guests, VOLTA kick started its fifth edition at its third and most dramatic location yet in Basel - the Markthalle. Right in the very center of Basel, VOLTA's new home has delighted both visitors and exhibitors with its spacious set-up and remarkable architecture.

The opening day couldn't have started better for London's One in the Other gallery, which sold two works by James Wright to the Zabludowicz Collection. The good vibes continued for Galeria Nara Roesler from Sao Paulo, which sold works by Alberto Baraya - featured at this year's Venice Biennale- to American collector Estrellita Brodsky. Further sales were recorded in the first hours of the fair by Rhys/Mendes gallery, namely the sale of Steve Locke's installation and also works by Shaun El C. Leonardo. Kavi Gupta Gallery reported sales of works by Clare Rojas, Chris Johanson and Melanie Schiff. Enthusiastic sales were also reported by Conner Contemporary, which sold works by Leo Villareal, Erik Thor Sandberg and Koen Vanmechelen to private collections. David Risley Gallery from Copenhagen closed the day with the sale of 8 pieces by painter Anna Bjerger and Galería ADN from Barcelona sold 3 pieces by Eugenio Merino and a big wall installation by Carlos Aires. Galleries with solo presentations were thrilled by the overall response: Michael Lyons Wier from New York, happily reported the sale of 3 of Fahamu Pecou's works, Andreas Grimm from Munich, had strong sales of works by Daniel Robert Hunziker and Motive Gallery from Amsterdam sold 4 photographs and a video work by artist Aurélien Froment. Additionally, Christoffer Egelund from Copenhagen sold 5 pieces by artist Theis Wendt's to an important German collector.

In short, steady sales have been reported during the first few days of the fair: In addition to the above activity, Kuttner Siebert from Berlin sold 4 pieces by Terry Haggerty; Riflemaker from London recorded sales in excess of 100.000 £ by Wednesday including work by José María Cano, Kara Walker and William S. Burroughs; Bitform's mechanical, interactive sculpture by U-Ram Choe was sold for 80.000 USD, Manchester's The International 3 from Manchester reported sales of the work of Alison Erika Forde and Rachel Goodyear; V1 Gallery sold works of Peter Funch and Troels Carlsen steadily; and a very satisfied Laurent Godin reported sales of works by Henrik Samuelsson, Claude Closky, Aleksandra Mir and Vincent Olivet.

VOLTA has been honored with the attendance of several important collectors in the last few days, among them Americans Jerry Speyer, Susan & Michael Hort and Cota Cohen. French collectors who crossed the border to come to VOLTA 5 included Thomas Olbricht as well as Marc & Josée Gensollen from Marseille and Didier Grumbach and Jean Claude Marian from Paris. The fair was a must-see for Swiss collectors Ladina Knoch and Jean Pigozzi. Other collectors seen at VOLTA are Ole Faarup and Karl K. Aegidius from Denmark, Albert Groot and Galila Barzilai-Hollander from Belgium, Pieter and Marieke Sanders, Carla and Hugo Brown as well as E.J. Dommering from The Netherlands, Nobuhiro Nishitakatsuji from Japan, Luiz Augusto Teixeira de Freitas from Brazil and Yoshua Gessel from Israel.

Institutions in attendance include the Moscow Museum of Art, the Australian Council of the Arts and the MOCA Shanghai, MoCA San Francisco, MOT Tokyo, Haus Marseille and the Museum Villa Rot.

VOLTA5 has also maintained its cutting-edge approach with its Edition Series, featuring specially commissioned work by Zilvinas Kempinas, who currently represents Lithuania at this year's Venice Biennale. Light Formation is the title of the VOLTA 5 Edition, which has a limited run of 20 - 8 editions having been sold by the end of the first day. The sculpture Flux, also on show in Venice, is specially featured at VOLTA in a solo presentation booth. Zilvinas Kempinas is represented by Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York.

Parallel to the fair's general programme, the VOLTA Open Forum has invited different personalities of the art world to get together in several discussions: collector Karl Kostyal, art critics Kevin Power and Barry Schwabsky, and the artist Jota Castro, who has curated The Fear Society - Pabellón de la Urgencia at the Venice Biennial. A detailed talks program, as well as high-res pictures and other information can be found online at, Press Section.
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