Miami debrief

img00057-20101203-1332The results are in, and it was a good year in Miami. Smiles were seen on dealers’ faces at every category of fair. Here’s a distillation of the general consensus.

Art Basel: Large work. High prices. Improved layout. Art Nova and Art Positions came into their own. Swarms of high-end buyers and, notably, museum types.

Design Miami: Smart move to South Beach. Needs critical mass.

Art Miami: Comeback story. Medal for Most Improved Fair of the Year. Nice video section.

Pulse: From strength to strength. Photography! Ice Palace still the nicest place to hang out.

Nada: Great vibe. More serious. This year, they sold work.

Seven: Admired newcomer. Innovative team salon approach seems to be working. Likely to be imitated.

Scope/Art Asia: Art Asia growing fast. Scope super international. How soon will Art Asia devour Scope?

Fountain: Cool. Political. Performance! Charged one and all for entry. Really?

Red Dot: Weak.

Also-rans (Aqua, Ink, Pool, Verge, Zoom, Sculpt, Zones): On the whole, expectations appeared to be met.

The Private Collections: Wonderful as ever. Margulies, Rubell, CIFO flexed muscle. De La Cruz acquired bells and whistles.

In the Museums: Isaac Julian’s “Ten Thousand Waves” at Bass Museum shocked and awed.

Work Most Frequently Spotted in Gallery Booths: Massimo Vitali.

What were your impressions?

1 thought on “Miami debrief”

  1. Vitali appeared to be the PULSE mascot. Robert Longo served as the same for ABMB, though this was hardly a disappointment. And yes, NADA seemed to have figured out the Deauville, even if the latter couldn’t figure out its internet. There were few complaints, and the only consistent criticism going was that the Rubell show was either “pointless” or “tasteless” (but on this I cannot weigh in because I didn’t see it).

    In taking stock of the whole thing, though, I have to say that I’m a bit mystified. The steady stream of economic doom-saying and political maneuvering over this country’s finances concerns me, but one heard little about it last week. The success of the fairs confirms the wealth gap and that the art industry lives and breathes by a trickle-down economy. As David Brooks wrote recently, “The bond markets are with you until they are against you,” and the possibility they will turn against the US in the near term is very real. What would the art market look like in a bankrupt US? What will it look like if necessary tax increases and entitlement and discretionary cuts come into being? Needless to say, the new art market optimism makes me nervous.

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