Art market returns to pre-pandemic glory at Art Basel – zimo news


The art market has regained its pre-pandemic glory at Art Basel despite the war in Ukraine and a volatile market, with inflation giving wealthy collectors yet another reason to afford millions of canvases.

Leading galleries have seen very strong sales from the early hours of Art Basel, Switzerland’s main art fair, from June 16 to 19.

Zurich-based Hauser & Wirth set a new record for a spider by French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois, which fetched $40 million (€38 million).

But its sales also multiplied to seven figures, with a work by Armenian painter Arshil Gorky selling for $5.5 million and an oil on canvas by Francis Picabia for $400. Sold for $10,000. On the first day alone, it did about $75 million in sales.

German gallery David Zwirner sold a work by conceptual artist Félix Gonzalez-Torres for $12.5 million and a canvas by South African artist Marlene Dumas for $8.5 million.

Marc Glimcher, director of American gallery Pace, has sold an oil on canvas for $16.5 million. Jeff Koons’ future NFTs will come with a moon sculpture for $2 million each.

A work sold as an NFT at Art Basel, viewed on mobile, 14 June 2022 (AFP – SEBASTIEN BOZON)

Like sales of yachts, luxury cars, fine watches and jewelry, the art market has recovered strongly in 2021 after the shock of the pandemic in 2020, and the stock market rallied sharply last year, exaggerating the legacy of huge wealth.

After a 22% drop in 2020, the art market will recover 29% to $65.1 billion in 2021, according to estimates by Clare McAndrew, author of the Art Basel report, noting that collectors’ budgets Also a substantial increase over the same period last year. the past year.

But at the same time, the war in Ukraine and the central bank’s tightening of key interest rates in the face of inflation have dealt a major blow to financial markets.

– Alternatives to stock exchanges –

Currently, insurance companies specializing in the art market have not observed any disruption in insured amounts since the Ukrainian invasion.

“The art market is picking up again”, also notes Hiscox’s Nicolas Kaddeche. With health restrictions lifted, the return of the show is pushing collectors back to buy. “But there is a second important phenomenon that will have a positive impact on the art market, and that is inflation,” he believes.

“In my opinion, art will be more of a haven against inflation than ever before,” he told AFP, noting strong demand for all collectibles, including cars.

A similar observation was made at Axa XL, with Asia Pacific and Europe account manager Hans Laenen expecting the growth to continue barring major upheavals “where the situation may change soon”.

“With the stock market becoming more volatile, the art market can be seen as a more stable investment. This could even attract other investors who will turn to art rather than the stock market,” he believes, especially since auctions High prices are inspiring buyer confidence.

However, periods of focus on the economy tend to gravitate towards values ​​that are considered safe, which are not good for young artists.

“In risk-averse situations, people tend to focus on artists they know,” Claire McAndrew admitted in an interview with AFP.

“But I think that might change this year,” she predicts, and with the show back, you can come back and discover young artists.

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