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Basel Shows Art Heating Up as Billionaires Chase After Basquiats

  • Acquavella sells Basquiat painting with $18 million price tag
  • Sales were brisk at start of modern, contemporary art fair

Works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Prince and Philip Guston sold this week at Art Basel in Switzerland, the world’s top modern and contemporary art fair, as business took a brisk turn.

The fair saw a bullish June 13 opening to select guests, with works selling even as many collectors complained that asking prices were too high. Indeed, the global art market has more than tripled in value since 2003. Art Basel opened to the public Thursday and runs through June 18.