Our full sentiment survey about Art Basel and the upcoming June sales in London is available to AMMpro subscribers.
The industry both loves and loathes Art Basel, it’s the granddaddy of art fairs where galleries bring their absolute best works to attract the most serious buyers. If there are complaints, they really come down to the intensity of the event itself.
Our sentiment poll was clicked upon by nearly 150 respondents from a wide range of positions within the industry. You can see from the graph above that although there are some who love the event and others who can no longer bear it, the bulk of respondents reinforce that Art Basel is the essential art fair.
When asked about their view of the market, respondents fell into two bullish camps. Nearly 88% of respondents were looking to buy in one form or another.
Following the strong sales in New York, 44% of those who answered were encouraged to keep spending. An additional 33% are looking to buy but trying to uncover works they consider value buys. And 11% have revised their plans and are now prepared to spend more money.
More than half of the respondents (55%) believe that the historical artists with under-valued markets are the best sources of value. The next 42% of the group were evenly split between Emerging Artists, New Chip ($5m+ living artists) and Blue Chip Masters in the $10-20m range. Only 3% felt the works above $30m were good value.
Living artists were preferred by 61% to 39% for artists who are no longer with us. A slight majority of 51% prefer to spend a smaller sum on an emerging artist as opposed to the 49% who would spend more on an established one. Concentrating your buying power is the preferred strategy of 58% while 42% would play it safer by spreading the money around on smaller works.
A whopping 78% say they buy where they find good works instead of sticking to a small coterie of gallerists. (This may be more bluster than fact if the gallerists have any power to wield through their waiting lists.) Another 55% of respondents say 5-10 artists is what a collector can meaningfully pursue. A third said collectors could go after more than 10 artists without losing the thread; and, only 14% said that one could keep their collecting universe below 5 artists.
Finally, the enthusiasm isn’t confined to Art Basel, the overall expectations for London’s auctions are for the sales to be successful.