VOLTA, Basel's art fair for new international positions, debuted in 2005 as a collaboration between dealers and friends. The aim was to secure a platform for international galleries beyond young art stalwart Liste and market heavyweight Art Basel. Concerns and aspirations of the exhibiting gallerists have been first and foremost since VOLTA's inception; in combination with the curatorial mind of Artistic Director Amanda Coulson, eclectic and dynamic presentations with a strong focus on solo presentations find a stage as refined as at the main fair.
VOLTA has already created a brand known and respected for its strict selection of exhibiting galleries and artists, including a growing list of alumni who have graduated to the main fairs. Former exhibitors like espaivisor (Valencia), A Gentil Carioca (Rio de Janeiro), STEVENSON (Cape Town / Johannesburg), Taro Nasu (Tokyo), One and J. Gallery (Seoul) and bitforms gallery (New York) ascended to Frieze and Art Basel after exhibiting at VOLTA. Likewise, artists including Theaster Gates, Tiffany Chung, Zilvinas Kempinas, Cameron Platter, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Cevdet Erek, and Adrian Williams have shown in prestigious events like the Venice Biennale, the Orangerie (Paris), dOCUMENTA, Art Basel's Art Parcours and Art Unlimited, following their featured showings at VOLTA.
Encouraged by the response of collectors and institutional representatives to the fair's solo presentations and curated booths, VOLTA continues to highlight single-artist projects and dynamic configurations of two or three artists in dialogue as the backbone to its program. In doing so, VOLTA returns the focus of the art fair atmosphere back to its most crucial component: the artists and their works.
Situated within Basel's landmark cupola venue Markthalle in the city center, VOLTA confirms its position as a mature player in Basel’s art week, elevating its exhibitors’ respective platforms for an experience mutually beneficial to fair visitors and the galleries alike. Showcasing the highest calibre of new art — from rediscovered historic works to recent commissions alike — bearing salient positions within an elegant environment: this is VOLTA's mission.