MIDDLE EAST ART FAIR
Which artists were favourites? 15 exhibitor galleries talk to Art Radar in the final day of the fair about sales, attendance and some new collector trends.
- Middle Eastern collectors showing first signs of interest in East Asian art
- Pieces in the price range US$20-30000 sell best
- Sales down compared with last year; booths have mixed results
- More art fair visitors from institutions
- Russian collector base changing
Set out below is a round-up of comments from a selection of galleries participating in the fair.
Triumph Gallery – Russia
Ruth Addison: “The fair is going OK rather than fast in terms of sales but it is great in terms of contacts and opportunities. Some of our artists have been invited on residencies. We did not expect too much because of 1) the recession 2) Russian artists are new to the Middle East and 3) this is the first time for Triumph at the fair. Most interest has been shown in AES+F.”
Aidan Gallery – Russia
Aidan Salakhova, Director: “Sales have been slower, much as we expected. We have sold 2-3 pieces. We may come back next year but we don’t plan to attend any art fairs in the next 5-6 months. We were the first private gallery in the USSR when we opened 17 yeas ago. In Russia now there is so much change happening to the local collector base, many people are losing money and other new collectors who are making money – perhaps from the government – are entering the market and replacing them. Our aim is to survive the next couple of years and wait for the market to settle”
Grosvenor Gallery London
Connor Macklin “The fair has been better than expected for us. The mood is different this year but we have made sales in the range of US$2,000 to US$100,000 per piece”.
Haunch of Venison – London, Berlin, Zurich, New York
Adrian Sutton, Senior Sales Director “We have had a successful fair. We have sold one piece and are close with two other pieces and if they come off, sales ( of Indian artist Jitish Kallat and Wim Wenders ) will be over a quarter of a million US dollars in total.”
October Gallery London
Elizabeth Lalouschek Artistic Director: “We have found that there has been more interest in larger works. We have sold 10 works with prices varying from US$2,500 to US$90,000 including two El Anatsui works. This fair we have noticed more of an international attendance and more museum directors than in previous years. Perhaps this is because the art fair is being held at the same time as the Sharjah Biennale.”
Mario Mauroner Vienna Austria
“This is our third time here and it has been very quiet. Most interest has been shown in Barthelmy Toguo from Cameroon. We did well at Bologna and Arco so Art Dubai has been disappointing . But we set up in 1972 and have survived recessions dating back to the 1973 oil crisis so I don’t doubt we will survive this too.”
Galerie Kashya Hildebrand Switzerland
Kashya Hildebrand “This is our third trip and we are very happy because members of the Royal Family have bought Asian art for the first time – a Korean artist….a major development.
There is a also a group of serious Dubai-based Iranian collectors who come to the fair. They take their purchases very seriously, pore over the pieces, ask lots of questions and return each day. Last year this group also began to buy Asian art for the first time which is very exciting.”
Galerie Volker Diehl Moscow, Berlin
Monica F. Eulitz International Director: “The fair has been very well attended and we have seen buyers from the entire Gulf region this year not just local participants. We have sold a few pieces in the US$20,000-30,000 range.”
Kalfayan Galleries Greece
Roupen Kalfayan: ” Sales have been so-so but it has been wonderful for contacts. Business is slower than last year. This is our second year.. We have had a lot of interest in the Syrian photographer Hrair Sarkissianwho will be exhibiting at the Istanbul Biennale. He started to receive attention from collectors last year and we have placed his work with European collectors at the fair this year. Also Tarek Al Ghoussein.”
Tessa de Caters: “We have made some sales and the video and digital Iranian artist Leila Pazooki has been receiving attention.
Pyo Gallery Korean
Jeong Yim Gho, Chief curator “It is slow compared with last year. Last year was pretty good but not this year though we have made a few sales in the US$20-30,000 range” Most interest was shown in Park, Sung-Tae.
Hakgojae Gallery, Seoul
Kim Jyon director “This is our first visit and sales have not been good. U Fan has sold and there has been a lot of interest in Lee Lee Nam but no sales yet of this artist’s work.”
Aicon GalleryNew York, Palo Alto, London
“Sales are reasonable but much slower than last year”
Bodhi Art Mumbai
Puneet Shah Asst Gallery Manager: “It has been slow fair for us. We have made no sales. The artist which has attracted most attention is Subodh Gupta.
Edwynn Houk Gallery New York US
Edwynn Houk “This is our first year and we have made a good beginning. We have sold 6 pieces, all photographs by Lalla Essaydi. We have found that Western artists seem to have less resonance with local collectors this year but perhaps interest will develop over time. We would like to come back to Art Dubai”
- Review round-up Saatchi Middle East show Unveiled: which artists are critic favourites? March 2009
- ARCO Madrid 2009 news round up – galleries drop out, public funding prop provided Feb 2009
- Which artists from Asia are in the Pompidou centre? – Dec 2008 – Iranian and Iraqi artists have been added recently
- The Dubai art market and its future – Nation, Guardian – Nov 2008