Breaking News

Apple Beats Second-Quarter Earnings Estimates, Boosts Buyback Plan to $90B
Tweet TWEET

Richter, Twombly Lead $2 Billion Basel Art Fair

Tap for Slideshow
Source: Pace Gallery via Bloomberg.

"A.B. Courbet," a 1986 abstract by Gerhard Richter. The work was sold by the New York-based Pace Gallery at the Art Basel fair in Switzerland, previewing on June 12-13. The work was priced between $20 million and $25 million.

Close
Source: Pace Gallery via Bloomberg.

"A.B. Courbet," a 1986 abstract by Gerhard Richter. The work was sold by the New York-based Pace Gallery at the Art Basel fair in Switzerland, previewing on June 12-13. The work was priced between $20 million and $25 million. Close

"A.B. Courbet," a 1986 abstract by Gerhard Richter. The work was sold by the New York-based Pace Gallery at the Art... Read More

Source: Marlborough Fine Art via Bloomberg

"Untitled," a 1954 painting by Mark Rothko. The Abstract Expressionist work is being offered by Marlborough Fine Art at the 43rd edition of Art Basel in Switzerland. The fair runs though June 17. Close

"Untitled," a 1954 painting by Mark Rothko. The Abstract Expressionist work is being offered by Marlborough Fine Art... Read More

Source: Galerie Bruno Bischofberger via Bloomberg

"Untitled," a 1985 work by Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is being offered by the Zurich-based dealership Galerie Bruno Bischofberger at the Art Basel fair in Switzerland. The event runs through June 17. Close

"Untitled," a 1985 work by Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is being offered by the Zurich-based dealership Galerie Bruno... Read More

Source: Skarstedt Gallery via Bloomberg

"Untitled (Self-portrait)," a 1984 work by the German painter Albert Oehlen. It was sold by the New York-based Skarstedt Gallery at the Art Basel fair in Switzerland, which runs though June 17. Close

"Untitled (Self-portrait)," a 1984 work by the German painter Albert Oehlen. It was sold by the New York-based... Read More

Source: Galerie Karsten Greve AG St. Moritz via Bloomberg.

"Hill (Rome)," a 1966 painting by Cy Twombly is being offered for sale by the St. Moritz-based dealers Galerie Karsten Greve at the 43rd edition of the Art Basel fair in Switzerland. The event previews on June 12-13. Close

"Hill (Rome)," a 1966 painting by Cy Twombly is being offered for sale by the St. Moritz-based dealers Galerie... Read More

Source: Pace Gallery via Bloomberg.

"Sumac" by Alexander Calder, a mobile work made in 1961. Close

"Sumac" by Alexander Calder, a mobile work made in 1961.

Source: Thomas Dane Gallery via Bloomberg

"Travel Picture Rose," a 2007-2008 diptych by the Los Angeles-based photographer Walead Beshty. The work is being offered by the London-based dealer Thomas Dane at Art Basel. Close

"Travel Picture Rose," a 2007-2008 diptych by the Los Angeles-based photographer Walead Beshty. The work is being... Read More

Photographer: Fredrik Nilsen/Thomas Houseago and Hauser & Wirth via Bloomberg

"Untitled," a 2012 bronze by Thomas Houseago. The sculpture is being shown by Hauser & Wirth at the Art Basel fair in Switzerland. The 43rd edition of the event previews on June 12-13. Close

"Untitled," a 2012 bronze by Thomas Houseago. The sculpture is being shown by Hauser & Wirth at the Art Basel fair in... Read More

Source: Spruth Magers Berlin London via Bloomberg

"Tears," a 2012 digital print on vinyl by Barbara Kruger. The work is being shown by the Berlin and London gallery Spruth Magers at the 43rd edition of the Art Basel fair, which previews on June 12-13. Close

"Tears," a 2012 digital print on vinyl by Barbara Kruger. The work is being shown by the Berlin and London gallery... Read More

A Gerhard Richter abstract is the lead item of $2 billion of art for sale at the world’s oldest and biggest fair devoted to modern and contemporary works.

The Richter oil painting priced at more than $20 million is being offered at Art Basel in Switzerland this week by New York’s Pace Gallery. The VIP preview has been extended to two days this year -- tomorrow and June 13 -- as demand grows from established collectors and new investors looking for bankable names as alternatives to unsettled financial markets.

The UBS-sponsored event, now in its 43rd edition, features 300 galleries from 36 countries and remains the must-see fair for curators, advisers and collectors in an increasingly crowded calendar. Art Basel, which has offshoots in Miami Beach (Dec. 6- 9) and Hong Kong (May 23-26 2013), tops about 190 fairs held annually worldwide, up from about 70 in 2005.

“There’s been a lot of talk about art as an alternative investment over the last five years,” said Robert Read, fine art expert at specialist art insurer Hiscox Ltd. (HSX) “It does resonate. The world’s mega-rich have piles of cash at the moment, and there’s nothing for them in the bond markets or equities.” The value of works for sale has increased by at least 10 percent from last year’s $1.75 billion, he said.

Pace is selling Richter’s monumental 1986 red, blue and yellow abstract “A.B. Courbet.” The German artist is on a bull run at auctions, with a record $21.8 million paid at Christie’s International on May 8 for the 1993 painting “Abstraktes Bild (798-3).” Pace also has the 1961 Alexander Calder mobile “Sumac,” priced at $8 million to $10 million.

Gagosian’s Hirst

This year Gagosian is bringing an estimated $250 million of works by Damien Hirst and other artists from the gallery’s stable, said dealers. Gagosian doesn’t comment on sales figures. It sold $45 million of art in the first quarter of an hour of the preview last year as the fair attracted a record 65,000 visitors.

New buyers are entering the market, said Thomas Dane, whose London-based dealership is one of eight to debut in the Main Galleries sector of the fair.

“What people don’t tend to see is that the market is in constant flux with some prices going down for certain artists while others are in great demand,” Dane said. “Overall my perception is one of less risk and more interest in artists with a history behind them.” He will be offering a 2007-2008 “Travel Picture Rose” diptych by the Los Angeles-based photographer Walead Beshty marked at $55,000.

Greve’s Twombly

The Swiss dealership Galerie Karsten Greve has the 1966 blackboard painting “Hill (Rome)” by Cy Twombly with a price tag of more than $12 million.

New York-based McCaffrey Fine Art will be holding a curated show devoted to the Japanese collective “Gutai,” which exhibited from 1954-1972, in the project-based Art Feature sector. Works on its booth are priced from $50,000 to $1.7 million.

Sprueth Magers will be bringing the unsettling 2012 Barbara Kruger digital print “Tears,” marked at $275,000. Hauser & Wirth will be offering an untitled 2012 bronze head by Thomas Houseago for $175,000.

Art Basel runs at the Messe Basel through June 17. The fair’s specialist offshoot Design Miami/Basel runs concurrently nearby, as do the satellite contemporary-art shows Liste, Volta and Scope at other venues in the Swiss city.

Information: http://www.artbasel.com/go/id/ss/lang/eng/

(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include James Pressley on books, John Mariani on wine and Robert Heller on pop music.

To contact the writer on the story: Scott Reyburn in Basel, Switzerland, at sreyburn@hotmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.