The Miami Herald Looks at the Art Market in Advance of Art Basel Miami
Given the signal importance of Art Basel Miami as cultural event, you would think the South Florida press would devote a little serious reporting to figuring out the impact of the credit crisis on the primary art market. Instead, the Herald offers this lackluster story re-capping the New York sales. You could write it yourself: art was over-priced; auctions were disappointing; these artists have no track record; more people bought that the auction houses thought given the circumstances, etc. It all closes with this sensible quote:
Helen Allen, executive director of Pulse Contemporary Art Fair, which will bring together 110 galleries for the show in Miami’s Wynwood district, said she still expected sales, albeit in a more sober buying environment. ”I’m not expecting the kind of frenzied buying that we’ve seen in the past few years,” Allen said. “People are feeling nervous. Obviously these are tougher economic times, but I don’t think it’s as dismal as people make it out to be.”
It might have been useful for the reporter to try to connect ABM to the Frieze or FIAC fairs. Some of the art advisors could have talked about the quiet that has been descending over the galleries. Are buyers waiting for the fairs?
The question is not whether the frenzy will die down. Hello? It died.
The big question is which sectors of the art market will survived an austerity economy. (Feel free to make your predictions in the comments.) Do the economics of art dealing require gallery space? Or could the art fairs substitute the visibility and client relations aspect of owning gallery space? These last several years of the art boom have changed the business in important ways. Can it really go back to what it was?
In time, of course, all will be revealed. Until then, let us know your thoughts
Lackluster auction results raise worries for Art Basel (Miami Herald)