Is the Art Market Out of the Recession?

12/04/2009 10:27 AM |

Santiago Sierra at Art Basel Miami

The whole art world is down in Miami right now, selling their wares at a constellation of art fairs of all shapes and sizes known collectively as Art Basel Miami, the largest one. And though last year was a tough sale by almost all accounts, during yesterday’s preview of the NADA Art Fair—a smaller fair showcasing artists represented by newer galleries—Artinfo reports that many booths were selling out within a couple hours of opening—which is more or less exactly what Paddy Johnson predicted would happen.

It all sounds very 2007, with big-name gallerists and collectors flocking to the shows of young artists and snapping up good-looking investments in bulk before the general public even gets a glimpse. It’s nice to hear that some really exciting and relatively new New York galleries are doing well (Lisa Cooley, Nicelle Beauchene, Rental and Eleven Rivington, for instance, all reported strong sales), but it’ll be interesting to see when the dust settles on Sunday how the non-industry attendees spent their time and money, and how bigger galleries and artists fared. Is this really a return to boom times, or just a handful of savvy buyers looking for sure bets?