Art Basel is often described as the world's top fair for modern and contemporary works and it opens June 15, 2011 with over 300 galleries displaying works for a combined total worth around $1.75 billion, according to specialist insurer Hiscox.

Art Basel features galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in the show's multiple sections. The exhibition includes the highest-quality paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works. Last year, 62,500 people attended Art 41 Basel, including art collectors, art dealers, artists, curators and other art enthusiasts.

In the VIP preview that occurred June 14, 2011 there was well over millions of dollars of art sold. Even if one does not attend the fair or collect the artists represented by the galleries, the sales at the fair are excellent indicators of the market for both price and mood. Although the art market has yet to regain the giddy heights of the boom that preceded the 2009 slump, the million-dollar sales at Art Basel tell that the market is strong and worthy of investment.