Art Basel these days is as much about sales as it is about performances. The show that connects Basel, Miami and Hong Kong, works not only as a mirror for the current art market but also as an indicator of global art trends. Now that the 48th edition in Basel is over (the show was on from June 15 to June 18), we can sum up a few interesting observations.
Though Art Basel generally attracts a more prestigious pack of collectors than any other fair, this year the demand for pricey, well-established art was unusually high even for this world’s top art fair. The early sales indicated the reaction of the market towards political and economic turbulences. Besides, a growing number of visitors and buyers from China, Korea and Japan, ensured demand for ‘weighty’ artists. And if the previous years were more about search for new stars on the arts scene, this year the approach is much more down-to-earth.
The works sold as mega-deals were by the following artists’: Philip Guston, Piero Manzoni, Alberto Burri, Marlene Dumas, Wolfgang Tillmans.