Lindsay Pollock on Bloomberg:
Sales were strongest for younger dealers with rising artists.
“We had zero expectations, and this fair performed the same as fairs before the recession,” said New York dealer Zach Feuer. He sold eight colorful Jules de Balincourt paintings with prices ranging from $24,000 to $65,000. New York real-estate developer Arthur Zeckendorf nabbed two: a surfing scene for his East Hampton house and a Lincoln Center vista for his New York apartment.
Zeckendorf said he wasn’t cowed by the economy. “You gotta buy for the long-term,” he said.
The Miami Herald gets some last licks in:
”The energy is off,” quickly became the week’s refrain. And it may have seemed true at the Sagamore. But if you paid attention, you could still spot the wheeling and dealing on the sidelines.
New York art consultant Kimberly Marrero quietly sipped Evian with a collector from Australia at a poolside table. He was pretty sure he wanted something he saw at the Miami Beach Convention Center. She agreed it would be a good addition to his collection and told him she was pretty sure she could talk it down from its $20,000 list price. It’s relatively easy to score a 10 to 20 percent discount this year, she said.
”I had angst coming into Basel week, but it feels good to have more time to sit and talk about a work of art,” said Marrero, echoing what so many others trying to make a living from the decelerating art market said during the course of the week. [ . . . ]
”Did you see the show at the Rubell Collection? It so rocks!” said a jazzed Wendy Wischer after she arrived at CasaLin to hang out with other local artists at the alternative backyard space across the street from the Rubell’s Wynwood warehouse, which is featuring 30 Americans, some of the edgiest African-American art in the country.
”The work is just incredibly strong. I thought the Russian exhibit at the Bass was also very strong. Both shows are very fresh, very sophisticated,” Wischer said. David Castillo, her dealer, had called toward the end of the week to say her own work was doing well.
An earlier Miami Herald story also captures the new mood:
”On its worst day, Miami is still better than all the other fairs on their best day,” Los Angeles art dealer Mark Moore said from his booth at the PULSE Miami fair in Wynwood. “This might be its worst day and it’s still not bad.”
Just over 50 percent of those surveyed described smaller crowds this year. With fewer would-be buyers, galleries had less leverage to force quick sales — ending the frenzied seller’s market that defined Art Basel week for most of its seven years in existence.
”There is more negotiating,” said Serra Pradhan, a director at New York’s Richard Gray Gallery, one of more than 250 exhibitors at the Art Basel Miami Beach show. “At earlier fairs, there was a sense of urgency among buyers.”
‘The Art’s the Thing’–Basel Fans Focus on Art, not Sales (Miami Herald)
Art Basel Sales Show Slowdown in Tough Economic Year (Miami Herald)