Strong sales shine on Art Basel Miami beach
Miami - Agence France-Presse
More than 260 galleries from around the world exhibited works at the event. AP photoTough economic times around the world did not stop European and Latin American collectors from snapping up works at Art Basel Miami Beach, the biggest art fair of its kind in the United States.
The 10th edition of the event in Miami Beach wrapped up Dec. 4. The fair’s big attraction is that it pulls in modern and contemporary art by artists from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe.
More than 260 galleries from around the world exhibited works by more than 2,000 artists in an event organizers said drew some 50,000 people.
“What stood out this year was that the economic crisis really did not make itself felt, though clearly there were fewer people from Europe than in prior years,” said Orly Benzacar, who runs the Ruth Benzacar Gallery, and hasn’t missed the event in a decade.
Representatives of galleries in Switzerland, Germany and France all agreed the fair was busy compared to recent years. And there was a stronger showing from Latin American buyers from Brazil, Colombia and Peru investing in art, they said.
“Most importantly, Americans are buying again,” said Arne Ehmann, of the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac of Paris and Salzburg. “We sold 90% to American collections, which is totally different to two years ago and surprised us.”
Most gallery owners would not give their sales figures. And Art Basel does not provide overall sales numbers, either.
Yet as early as Dec. 2 afternoon, at least 10 stands at the event at the Miami Beach convention center had closed -- after selling out their entire inventory.
“Among the big Latin American collectors on our list, everyone was there. And the most important US collectors also were there,” one organizer said privately.
Lucy Mitchell-Innes, director of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, of New York, said she noticed a wave of younger buyers.