Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Frieze Endures Cash Freeze

Foot traffic to the Frieze Art Fair was low this year-- so was the cash flow. There is no doubt that recent economic woes played a part in the cold market at the fair. However, many had expected worse going into the fair. Frieze did show that there is still a financial pulse in the art market even though the fair lacked the same collector involvement and cash flow as last year. The flame of art world stability is still flickering.
It has been suggested that the recent art-boom might be over due to the results at Frieze. In my opinion, that does not mean that another boom is not in the making. This is how every market works-- you have ups and downs. Based on what I’ve read about this years Frieze Art Fair it seems that the chips fell somewhere in the middle. However, the results did prove that the stability of the art market rides on the success of the economy as whole. The results are a reminder that during times of economic struggle every business, including galleries, must be willing to adapt to the market.

Art collectors are being more selective than they have been in recent years. There were no frenzied sales or rush for reserves at Frieze this year. Instead collectors scouted for bargains. The reduction in activity is not necessarily a bad thing. Some dealers admitted that they enjoyed the slower pace of this years Frieze. One dealer mentioned that she loathes the stampede approach that has dominated at past fairs. Another suggested that the key to success is keeping prices reasonable during periods of recession. In other words, art dealers need to adapt to the market. When the reality of the global market hits at home one must be willing to be realistic with prices and expectations. The flame of the global art market is not out yet.

For those who don’t know, Frieze is considered one of the world’s three most important contemporary art fairs alongside Art Basel in Switzerland in June and Art Basel Miami Beach in December.
Link of Interest:
Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor

No comments: