Robin Pogrebin asked ArtBasel’s management about the VIP Vernissage attendance and they confirmed that the numbers were off a substantial 9.4%. That’s pretty big news. With further reports of hotels slashing their rates and vacancies, the visitor numbers for the public access to the fair may be well off the past numbers too.
Pogrebin summarized the welter of causes assumed to account for the drop:
The reason, many agreed, had to do with several factors: fear of the Zika virus, a tentativeness in the art market around the presidential election and too many art fairs. But the result was a general sense of relief — turmoil in the world has winnowed out some of the dabblers, and purchases are more deliberative.
Nonetheless, reported sales remained relatively strong—though with private sales there is no reliable information to go by—which bolster’s Pogrebin’s point about the art market. It remains dependent upon a relatively small group of buyers. Does that mean the art market is better off when the less committed don’t show up? Or do buyers need the audience to validate their purchases?Continue Reading
- Gagosian: Steve Wynn bought a 1980s Lichtenstein painting, asking price of $900,000.
- Eli Broad bought a 1988 Koons sculpture of an almost- life-size Buster Keaton. The asking price was between $5 million and $5.5 million.
- Barbara Gladstone sold pieces by Rosemarie Trockel, Anish Kapoor and Mike Kelley ranging from $125,000 to $1 million for Kapoor.
- Pace gallery quickly sold out the entire edition of a 2012 Michal Rovner video titled “Crossing,” with each of three units priced at $150,000.
White Cube: Tracey Emin monoprints and a $140,000 painting made with charcoal and wax by Magnus Plessen; Theaster Gates cabinet filled with folded fire hose for $150,000; Georg Baselitz painting for $500,000
Acquavella Galleries: lower-priced primary market work by Damian Loeb and Enoc Perez
D’Amelio Gallery: pieces by Heather Rowe ($24,000) and Tamar Halpern ($12,000)
Rhona Hoffman Gallery sold a striped watercolor by Spencer Finch for $28,000
Kavi Gupta sold a fused-wood wall piece by Theaster Gates for $125,000
Franklin Parrasch: a wall relief of a staircase by Joe Goode that hadn’t been seen publicly since 1971 for mid-six figures alongside two voluptuous Ken Price ceramics in the $165,000 range.
Galerie Lelong sold a wooden Jaume Plensa head sculpture for a price in the mid-six figures
Galerie Thomas: a painting by Fernand Léger, “Les deux femmes a l’oiseau (Two women with a bird)” sold for $1.6 million
Paul Kasmin sold over a dozen works exclusively to new clients. Diddy took home an Iván Navarro sculpture with the word “Scream” reflected in a mirrored tunnel for approximately $65,000, a painting from Deborah Kass’s Warhol-inspired “Yentl” series for $84,000 and a whopping 13 more Navarros.
Since it’s inception in 2011, Art Auction Guarantee (based in Los Angeles and London) has been providing traditional third-party guarantees. At the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach 2012, the company will launch it’s new service, offering guarantees to buyers as opposed to sellers for works in the $10,000 to $500,000 range.
According to AAG’s website, their objectives are to:
Offer our clients (being private individuals, dealers/ galleries, art funds and/or auction houses) the peace of mind of obtaining a minimum amount agreed upon in advance from the buy/ sell of a piece of art:
- Either as a guarantee for a price paid when buying an art piece (either in auction or privately)
- Or as an auction guarantee for a piece that a seller will present in auction.
Blouin Artinfo reports on how this service works:
AAG charges clients a fee of 5 to 7.5 percent of a work’s acquisition price in exchange for a guarantee. If a collector decides to sell the guaranteed artwork at auction two or more years after purchasing it and the work fails to sell above its reserve, AAG will buy it back for the same price he or she originally paid. (Inflation, exchange rates, and auction house fees aren’t factored into the total.) If the work sells above the original acquisition price, AAG receives 15 percent of the profit and the collector keeps the rest.
“It’s a competitive rate,” noted Aquizerate. By comparison, most third-party guarantors take at least 50 percent and as much as 80 percent of the upside. To entice dealers to recommend the service to their clients, AAG will be offering them approximately 1.5 percent of its initial fee and a small portion — approximately 5 percent — of the resale profit.
However, skepticism remains regarding the comfort level the company can offer in it’s services.
According to Jeff Rabin, co-founder of art investment firm Artvest Partners.
“I don’t know what they own or the scope of their guarantees. But if all their clients try to cash in at once, they might be forced to go into bankruptcy and liquidate. And if that happens, what happens to all the people they guaranteed?”
Founder of AAG, Arnault Aquizerate, says that he:
is planning to approach investors at the beginning of next year to provide an additional backstop, but “for the time being we have not had the need to invite in our shareholding structure any private investors or investment bank.”
Kenny Schachter publishes his diary from ArtBasel Miami Beach:
In the morning I had an anemic run, thinking that I was barely keeping pace with Jeffrey Deitch, noted former dealer and now director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, when for about the 10th year in a row he came from nowhere and passed me on the beach. Even taking a jog is a social event, eavesdropping on fast-walkers collecting proclivities and greeting acquaintances while, in my case, gasping for breath.
Finally it was time for the big tent to open. […] [W]hat made the biggest impression […] was the abundance of absolutely phenomenal, glorious, spectacular art.
Paintings by the lyrical abstractionist Larry Poons, who for his “throw paintings” series did just that with goops of paint; sculptures by Ai Weiwei ranging in price from €30k to €300k; buckets of Gerhard Richter (after his stellar auction performance of late); more Andy Warhols than you could shake a stick at; and, one of my favorites (a great buy ahead of his Museum of Modern Art retrospective in 2014), Sigmar Polke.
I could easily drop millions and not lose sleep due to the exceptionally high quality of the works on offer. Though I’d probably end up in debtor’s prison as a result.
The ancillary NADA fair was wonderful, a venue where you can still impulse buy art for (sometimes) well under $1,000.
Miami Art Week Art Dealer’s Diary by Kenny Schachter (Artnet.com)
Alexandra Peers isn’t happy that the free food has disappeared from ArtBasel in Miami Beach but she does think the celebrities who have muscled in recently are a sign that ArtBasel is now just like Sundance:
[M]any complain that the stars upend the art world’s status pyramid. At SoHo House one afternoon, Art Miami fair director Nick Korniloff waited patiently for a table only to see Will Smith ushered to it. He recounted that he asked Smith to show up at his fair in karmic payment the following day, “and he did!” “You have a who’s who of the celebrity world coming to Miami Beach to become part of the art scene” says J.P. Oliver, who oversees the Morgans Group hotels in Florida[….] Oliver says the celebs are just proof that ABMB is now as much about “design, fashion, and nightife” as it is about art, essentially following the same inevitable path that Sundance paved.