The organization changed its name to the Biennale Foundation in 2009, while the exhibition is also called the Art Biennale to distinguish it from the organisation and other exhibitions it organizes. The Art Biennale, a contemporary visual art exhibition, is so called as it is held biennially; is the original biennale on which others elsewhere in the world are modeled. The Biennale Foundation has a continuous existence supporting the arts. The Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors.
Role in the art market
When the Venice Biennale was founded in 1895, one of its main goals was to establish a new market for contemporary art. Between 1942 and 1968 a sales office assisted artists in finding clients and selling their work. Sales remained an intrinsic part of the biennale until 1968, when a sales ban was enacted. An important practical reason why the focus on non-commodities has failed to decouple Venice from the market is that the biennale itself lacks the funds to produce, ship and install these large-scale works. Therefore, the financial involvement of dealers is widely regarded as indispensable. Furthermore, every other year the Venice Biennale coincides with nearby Art Basel, the world's prime commercial fair for modern and contemporary art. Numerous galleries with artists on show in Venice usually bring work by the same artists to Basel.