Art Fairs: Stayin Alive

January 21, 2019


AAP’s summary of challenges and milestones of art fairs over the past year. Pardon me for reading between the lines here:


“....While there is no doubt that many of the region’s major transactions happen at Art Basel Hong Kong, the fair is highly selective with its participants. With new fairs cropping up, the question is whether this positioning will remain advantageous for the organizers. With rising participation costs and slim profit margins, galleries are increasingly critical about where they invest. 


...MCH Group also noted that patrons are growing progressively more confident with buying remotely, leading to a necessary re-examination of what art fairs offer. 


....In Dubai, the vulnerability of art fairs to corporate fortunes was starkly apparent...organizers confirmed the end of their ten-year partnership with the fair’s lead sponsor, private-equity firm Abraaj Group, on September 13. Abraaj had filed for liquidation in June after its founder was accused of misusing investor funds. 


...For some, impossibly inundated art fair calendars, rocketing overhead costs and questionable potential profits point toward the need for a serious reconsideration of how the art world conducts its business. For those intent on surviving, however, the broken system merely points to more opportunities—after all, the only way out is through.”


Read it here.


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