At Worlds Biggest Art Fair Squeezed Mid-market Raises Concerns


BASEL, Switzerland – In a year when many major galleries made record sales, conversations at the world’s biggest art fair this week were not just about the eye-watering sums paid for top works, but also about how to ensure the viability of the market’s lower end.

There was no shortage of top-ticket works on sale at Art Basel, which opened to the public in the Swiss city on Thursday: a pair of paintings by 20th-century American abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell sold for $14 million apiece during the fair’s opening days, reserved for VIPs.

“It’s like that magnificent moment,” said Dominique Levy of Gorvy Levy which sold Mitchell’s untitled 1959 work.

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