The beginning of the end for satellite fairs?

Two in Miami and three in London fall by the wayside

NEW YORK. When the number of fairs scheduled to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach swelled from 13 to 20 last year, several dealers said it was overkill and predicted some would fail. “We have reached the top in terms of art fair inflation and I think events will soon downsize to a more normal level,” Andreas Gegner of Sprüth Magers said at the time. Mr Gegner was right: the first two to pull out of Miami this December are the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (Aipad) Photography Show in Miami, after just one edition in Florida, and Flow, after two. In late July Robert Klein, the president of the photographers’ association, decided to cancel the Miami show. “Only Aipad members could show at our fair and they’re feeling fair fatigue,” says Mr Klein. “Many are doing Paris Photo and that’s enough for them.”

Julie Baker and Matt Garson, the co-directors of Flow, have also shut down their fair. “It wasn’t a question of diminished sales; it was about market saturation as we’re all competing for the same dollar,” says Ms Baker. “The picture has changed radically, with over 75,000 layoffs on Wall Street and predictions of massive cuts in bonuses,” she adds.

Meanwhile in London, the Frieze satellites are also thinning out. Pulse is not returning this year, and two fairs for young artists have been cancelled. Bridge (in the Trafalgar Hotel) and Year08 (whose third edition was due to be in London’s old Post Office sorting building) have abandoned their plans for this October.

As we went to press, we also learned that the Contemporary Art Society’s Artfutures project, due in London for the 25th year in March, has been cancelled.

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