This week at The L Magazine I discuss the Frieze Fair and various other economic indicators we’re not sure quite what to make of yet. The teaser below.
I don’t get it: The art trucking business in New York has nearly ground to halt, the economy’s performance in England and the US is still less than spectacular, and yet the FIAC art fair in Paris is reporting high sales volume, and no dealer I spoke to at London’s Frieze Art Fair last week did poorly. Some should have. A lot of the work displayed at this year’s fair either appeared undesirable because it had already been shown at multiple venues, or simply wasn’t very good.
Speaking to this concern, art professionals at Art Basel Switzerland last June almost endlessly cited the importance of finding fresh strong work. The first major fair to run after the dust of the crash had begun to settle, the belief (and selling point) proffered by many was that collectors don’t buy in tough times without being offered great art. Interestingly, even with the amount of fantastic work presented, the fair so far exceeded people’s expectations that many American dealers I spoke to had begun to describe Europeans as their “saviors.”
As the October fairs finish up, viewing overseas collectors as the hungrier fish in the sea seems premature to some. Frieze exhibitor and Lower East Side gallery owner Lisa Cooley simply identifies June as the end point of one economic cycle. “People aren’t scared any more,” she told me, before referencing the Miami fairs which will occur in a little over a month. “The real test is going to be in December. I think it’s hard to judge how all that translates until there’s a big American fair.”
To read the full piece click here.