Art calendar highlights: the must-see shows of 2010

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The Independent Culture

Art fans will be treated to a rich visual feast of major art festivals and events in 2010. From CONTACT -- the world's largest photography exhibition -- in Toronto to Paris's famous contemporary FIAC art fair, these are the must-see art events of 2010.

(Relaxnews) -

Art fans will be treated to a rich visual feast of major art festivals and events in 2010. From CONTACT - the world's largest photography exhibition - in Toronto to Paris's famous contemporary FIAC art fair, these are the must-see art events of 2010.

Sydney Festival 2010
January 9 - 30
Various locations in Sydney, Australia

January is a great time to be in Australia, summer is in full swing in the land down under and there are many events taking place under the guise of the Sydney Festival, an annual festival that attracts over 1 million people across all of its events. The festival has been running since 1977 and aims to showcase local and international talent while at the same time celebrating Australian culture and the vibrant state of New South Wales. More than 500 artists in the fields of dance, theater, music, visual arts, and cross media platforms will be involved in the 2010 Sydney Festival. Many of the events will be free to the public.

ARCO Madrid 2010
February 17 -21
Feria de Madrid in Madrid, Spain

The 29th edition of the Spanish-based arts festival aims to provide a truly global perspective on modern art and emerging creative expression. ARCO welcomed more than 190,000 people through its doors in 2009 and in 2010 it aims to feature the best and most cutting-edge contemporary art. There will be a strong representation of galleries hailing from Los Angeles in 2010 as the US-based city will be ARCO's "special invited guest."

April 21 - 25
Cologne Trade Fair Centre (Koelnmesse) in Cologne, Germany

Almost 200 leading local and international galleries will showcase classical 20th century art, post-war art and contemporary art at the 44th edition of ART COLOGNE. A selection of special projects under the banner of Open Space and New Contemporaries will feature works by young and cutting-edge artists. In 2009, 56,500 people attended the ART COLOGNE.

CONTACT 2010 Toronto Photography Festival
Various locations in Toronto, Canada

CONTACT is the world's largest annual photography festival with more than 1,000,000 visitors each year. The month-long festival is organized in collaboration with galleries throughout Toronto and is comprised of exhibitions, public installations, lectures, films and events. In 2010 CONTACT will explore the ways in which photography "informs and transforms human behaviour."

June 9 - July 25
Madrid, Spain

PHotoEspaña is a major international annual photography and visual arts festival that attracts more than 650,000 visitors per year. In 2010, 70 up-and-coming photographers will be selected and offered the opportunity to showcase their work to curators, gallery owners and editors as part of the 2010 Descubrimientos PHE portfolio review program.

Art Basel
June 16 - 20
Basel, Switzerland

Art Basel is heralded as the world's premier international art show for modern and contemporary art. Works from more than 2,500 artists - from the great masters of modern art to fresh-faced contemporaries creating the trends of tomorrow - will be shown at the 41st edition of Art Basel in 2010. 61,000 people attended the previous edition of Art Basel.

Art Taipei
August 20 - 24
Taipei, Taiwan

The longest-standing art fair in Asia, Art Taipei touts itself as the most professional Art Fair dealing in Chinese art and a hot-spot for international collectors looking to invest in young Asian artists. Approximately 72,000 people attend Art Taipei every year.

Gwangju Biennale
September 5 - November 10
Gwangju Biennale Hall in Gwangju, Korea

Founded in 1995, the Gwangju Biennale has quickly established itself as the largest contemporary art Biennale in Asia with over half a million viewers each year. The 8th edition of the Gwangju Biennale will be directed by Italian-born Massimiliano Gioni - the youngest artistic director in the Biennale's festival.

Turner Prize
October 5, 2010 - January 2, 2011
London, UK

The Turner Prize is a contemporary art award given to a British artist under the age of 50. Four artists will be shortlisted in April 2010, of which only one can win the prestigious Turner Prize when it is announced in December 2010. A selection of works created by the shortlisted artists will go on show at the Tate from October 5 until January 2, 2011.

October 21 - 24
Grand Palais & Cour Carrée, Louvre Museum, Paris, France

This famous contemporary Art Fair showcases the best in modern and contemporary art and is one of the leading launch-pads for up-and-coming artists. In 2009 more than 200 galleries showcased contemporary art works by 3500 artists and managed to attract 80,750 visitors. In 2010 FIAC will again be presented within the Grand Palais, the Tuileries Gardens and in the Cour Carrée at the Louvre Museum. Artworks ranging from electronic arts through painting, sculpture, installations, soundworks and conceptual art will be showcased alongside large-scale outdoor projects.