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Economic crisis bites at Basel art fairs

June 13, 2009

People are looking but not necessarily buying: Inside the Annemarie Verna Gallery

People are looking but not necessarily buying: Inside the Annemarie Verna  

Basel is hosting the world’s leading art fair and the excitement is palpable. But with a weakened economy, sellers are split over whether they should lower their prices.

Even before opening night, many booths displayed red dots indicating a sale had been completed and gallery dealers were engaged in agitated conversations with high value clients.

Of course, here the discussions are sometimes over multi-million dollar works. At WhiteCube, for example, Jay Jopling was so engaged with a client that when asked about the name of the artist of an unmarked work in the middle of the booth, he snapped, “I’m busy… Dinos and Jake Chapman.”

At Annemarie Verna Galerie, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and 28 years of uninterrupted annual participation in Art Basel since the fair’s founding in 1971, the mood was positive. The large booth was impressive, with major works by Robert Mangold and some by Richard Tuttle, among others.

Olga Stefan in Basel, swissinfo.ch

Read more at swissinfo.ch  June 12, 2009 – 8:54 PM

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