Art / 41 / Basel / Recap (Fall 2010)

Going into the fair, which preceded the London auctions, there was a large degree of optimism. The headline results at the Impressionist & Modern and Post-War & Contemporary auctions in New York played a large part in this positive outlook. Having set a new world record at Christie’s on May 4th for Picasso’s 1932 Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, many hoped the market was on its way back. However, prices were still far below peak levels and few had, at that point, begun to realize the increasing bifurcation taking place in the market. Although the reports from many galleries present were quite positive, it is hard to come to a single conclusion as there were also many notable galleries having a less successful fair.

It was reported that overall sales volume was higher than last year as was attendance. A record breaking 62,500 visitors attended the fair, according to organizers, up 2.4% from 2009. The 41st edition of the fair comprised more than 300 galleries from thirty-six countries. Forty-one of the galleries showing this year were not present at the fair last year, including four galleries from India. This year also saw a return of larger and higher quality secondary market work.

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