The first major art fair of the year has closed, so we asked our founder Susan what has stood out.
- What price point have you seen for collectors?
The starting price will be under £500 and some pieces – notably Modern British, will be going for more than £50,000.
- Are you seeing major differences from pre-pandemic times?
Sales: At another recent fair, I was informed that sales continue to be at least 30% less than pre-pandemic. One gallerist wisely said that comparing to the ‘before times’ isn’t effective and that new metrics are needed.
Environmental consideration and national vs international: Some galleries – notably those who are members of the Gallery Climate Coalition, are no longer travelling abroad for fairs, or are doing much less of it. I’ve been hearing about increasing collaborations between galleries in different countries, by ‘sharing artists’ rather than attempting worldwide representation. It’s arguably more effective to focus on collections and activities closer to a gallery’s homebase, enabling galleries who are established in other locales to make greater impact for the benefit of artists being represented. Indeed, my understanding is that the London Art Fair continues to see much more representation of UK galleries in this post-pandemic era.
- How has Brexit impacted the logistics?
The biggest pain point tends to be the export of sold art from the UK to an EU country. Not only are additional checks and paperwork required, there can be VAT for the collector to pay on the EU side. This has unsurprisingly been an unwelcome surprise by many European collectors. The good news is that the London Art Fair’s audience will primarily be UK-based, so this won’t be too much of an issue for the show.
Already missing the fair buzz? Mark these down in your calendar:
- 9-12 March The Other Art Fair, The Old Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, London
- 9-12 March 2023 Affordable Art Fair, London, UK
- 18 Feb 2023, Parallax Art Fair 2023, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton St, London
- 11-15 October, FRIEZE London, Regent’s Park, London