In his latest article for the Financial Times, Gareth Harris discusses the anxious environment surrounding this year’s Miami fairs. While Harris is primarily concerned with the Art Basel Miami Beach fair (ABMB, 3rd - 6th December) instead of Design Miami, he does offer an informative discussion on the status of the market going into this pivotal week.
In the article, Harris interviews many major players of the international art world including Craig Robins, founder of Design Miami, who speculates that ‘the big test was last year during a time when transactions had basically halted. Today the [art] market, while not as strong as it was at the peak, is still vital and consistent. Transactions have gravitated generally toward more established art, which probably makes sense anyway. At Deign Miami, we expect a great turnout.’
Miami is a mixture of emotions entering this week. People want to be optimistic, but with the statistics that are floating around (including that everyone is down at least 20 per cent in profits going into Miami, 60 exhibitors from last years ABMB have dropped out, and prices have dropped by ‘about 40 per cent in three years’) it is hard quell one’s anxiety.
As Harris states, ‘the art world was generally heartened by the “solid” results posted by Sotheby’s and Christie’s evening sales, with the former fetching $134.4m for 55 lots and the latter bagging $74.2 for 39 lots.’ But as New York-based art adviser Todd Levin points out in the article ‘two years ago... figures like those would have been seen as a generation-scarring tragedy.’
Keep checking DeTnk’s Current Exhibition for our coverage of this year’s fair.