From The Art Newspaper:
Taxing times mean there could be trouble ahead...
…but art dealers found a silver lining to the US fiscal cliffhanger as Art Basel Miami Beach opened to invited guests
As throngs of glamorous VIPs crowded into the Miami Beach Convention Center yesterday for the opening of Art Basel Miami Beach, the outside world was preoccupied by more practical concerns. The prospect of the so-called “fiscal cliff”—a raft of tax increases and budget cuts due to be implemented in the US in January (see box, p2)—is a prevailing uncertainty, and there are signs that the world inside the art fair is more aware of external economic events than usual.
Some dealers say that the impending tax hike is the latest factor playing to the advantage of the blue-chip end of the art market. High-end sales on the first day included Georg Baselitz’s Keine Zukunft, keine Zeit, 2010, for $500,000 (White Cube, L9), John Baldessari’s Prima Facie (Second State): Puzzled, 2005, for $350,000 to a European collector (Sprüth Magers, L16) and Fernand Léger’s Les deux femmes à l’oiseau (Two women with a bird), 1942, for $1.6m (Galerie Thomas, D6).HT: Marginal Revolution
“The fiscal cliff has been good for this season. People are putting their money into art rather than taxes. It’s having a direct impact on the fair, in a good way,” said Adam Sheffer of Cheim & Read (L8). His gallery made early sales to US buyers, including Barry McGee’s mixed-media work Untitled, 2012 ($100,000). Another collector bought four collages from Tal R’s series “Fog Over Malia Bay”, 2011, for $20,000 each.
Using art as a medium-term store of value while other potential investments are proving volatile has worked in the market’s favour since the most recent economic turmoil kicked in. Dealers say this also contributed to the success of the recent New York auctions; more than $1bn was spent on post-war and contemporary art in a week in November....MORE
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