Art market Magazine April 2013

 
THE MAGAZINE 
 
ART FAIR 
 
TEFAF an appraisal of…
THE MAGAZINE

ART FAIR

TEFAF an appraisal of 2013

I

t has to be admitted that the 26th edition of TEFAF, The European Fine Art Fair, took place in weather
conditions that bore no resemblance to spring. These meteorological considerations, which may seem trivial when it comes to assessing one of the art market's most keenly-awaited events, had a distinct effect on attendance this year. Not only did the snow and the cold hold up the experts expected before the opening for the famous vetting (the strictest in the market), but they also foiled the arrival of the happy few invited to the inauguration. And generally speaking, many did not try again: "Key clients have very tight schedules," said Anisabelle Berès, "and they don't necessarily have the leeway to re-scedule a visit to Maastricht." Another noticeable fact: normally the volume of exchanges is evenly spread out over the whole event, but this year they mostly took place during the first three days. As from the Monday, it was mainly the "strollers" who ambled between the magnificent floral compositions dotted along the alleyways: one of the fair's signatures. "During the week, I felt rather like a guide in a museum," said one exhibitor. The reference was apposite for this fair, which lined up a large number of specialities offered by 265 dealers, with a typically dense and high quality selection. On the other hand, one regular observer noticed that the 2013 vintage had a higher than usual proportion of repetitions, i.e. works already seen in previous fairs: "On average, 30%," he estimated. For dealers, it is not always easy to present only new pieces, especially after 2012, a year that was not particularly rosy for some segments of the market. As regards collectors, while the Europeans reported present, the American Eldorado was chiefly marked by the presence of its

A view of the Champs Elysees from the stand of Cahn International at TEFAF 2013.

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GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL I N° 24


ART FAIR

THE MAGAZINE

museums. A fact noted in the New York Times by Carol Vogel, who explained that this activism was due to the fine performances of endowments invested in
the American stock market by institutions, giving them more liquidity. A phenomenon accompanied by a new crop of curators, who had pinpointed gaps in their collections and were keen to fill them. Chinese enthusiasts, meanwhile, kept a low profile, substantia-

ting the TEFAF 2013 report drawn up by Irish economist Clare McAndrew. This noted a clear downturn in the Chinese market, which fell 24% in 2012 compared with 2011 and moved down a place, enabling the United States to regain its position as leader in the world market. This did not prevent TEFAF from announcing the launch in 2014 of a Beijing version of the event in partnership with Sotheby's, itself allied

HD

© Photo by Loraine Bodewes

Art Market Magazine April 2013
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