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Basel's satellite fairs pull in new dealers and collectors despite economic concerns

The mood at Liste was buoyant, and business at Volta was steady

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Basel. In the current straitened economic climate, the challenge for the satellite fairs in Basel this year was to galvanise interest in mid- to lower-priced works, mainly by emerging artists. The mood at Liste, Basel’s self-styled “young art fair”, in its 17th edition (12-17 June), was buoyant as most participants emphasised that the 64-gallery event still provides an entry route into the market for new dealers and collectors. “Swiss collectors aged between 30 and 40 are moving in. The climate is different here; people in Switzerland have more money,” said Anna Bolte of the Zürich gallery BolteLang, where a US collector bought Daniel Gustav Cramer’s sculpture I/vC, 2012, for €6,000. BolteLang participated in Frieze New York in May, along with the Malmö-based Johan Berggren Gallery. “Liste still has an extremely good reputation, attracting many curators. Frieze operates in a different sort of universe,” said Johan Berggren, who was offering three “Flower Table” sets, 2012, by the Canadian artist Allison Katz, each comprising a painting and a table, priced at $10,000 each. Meanwhile, the London-based collector Jason Lee bought a work by Zhou Yilun from the Beijing-based Platform China Gallery; pieces by the Chinese artist ranged in price from €2,000 to €20,000.

Over at Volta (11-16 June) on the outskirts of the city, dealers seemed unperturbed by the slow trickle of visitors. “There may not have been a mad crush but the pace has been steady,” said William Lawrie, the founder of the Dubai-based gallery Lawrie Shabibi. “Several significant collectors from Europe, Asia and elsewhere have passed by.” The gallery sold a large-scale metal sculpture by Shahpour Pouyan, Projectile 7, 2012 (left), priced at around $25,000, to a Turkish collector.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Satellite fairs pull in new dealers and collectors'

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