How Galleries Can Get the Most From Art Fairs
With unstable markets and cautious collectors, art dealers everywhere are adopting leaner strategies that make the most of their gallery’s resources.
Driving 40% of annual gallery revenue, according to TEFAF’s 2015 Art Market Report, art fairs remain a crucial part of the bottom line, providing global reach without the need for multiple locations. The opacity of the primary market, paired with journalism that focuses on anecdotal highlights, can make it challenging for galleries to understand the international landscape when deciding to apply to an art fair.
Over the last three years Artsy has covered over 100 top art fairs, featuring more than 100,000 fair artworks uploaded by exhibitors. Never before has such a comprehensive database of fair works existed in one place, presenting a unique opportunity to glean information about the art fair landscape. We hope our analysis of this data will provide insight into market trends and empower galleries to represent their gallery program.
This two-part Gallery Insights series shares our key findings and includes interactive graphs for you to review at leisure. In Part One, we look at the age of artworks and artists as a lens through which to explore the anatomy of an art fair.
Artwork Ages at Fairs
When looking at an art fair layout, you’ll likely notice that gallery booths are often organized by the age of their artworks. At Art Basel in Miami Beach, the Nova section is designed to showcase works created within the last three years, while the Survey section focuses on rediscovery and historical projects. These themes are common in exhibitor programs at art fairs around the world.
Age tells the story of whether gallerists are shipping works straight from artists’ studios, feeding the desire for fresh work, or digging into reserves to showcase mature pieces.