The summer this year is hot and promised hot days in Basel. Art Basel is the most important art fair on the planet, so you would think that all galleries would be striving to exhibit there. However, for some time now there has been a faint aftertaste in the air.

Galleries have to accept a high risk if they want to participate here. Rents and logistics costs are becoming more and more expensive and the pressure to succeed is also increasing. The market is no longer what it used to be. The elbow mentality is spreading more and more among the galleries.

This became a hot topic on “Titel Thesen Temperamente”:

A two-tier fair or a two-tier market is emerging.
The small galleries live from discovering unknown artists, promoting and supporting them by subordinating themselves to this hamster wheel and they throw themselves into the glamorous art hype at the fairs. They invest in the artist and in their future by traveling halfway around the world and taking on expensive stand rents, staff and transport costs. The bigger, the more eye-catching the presentation, because after all, you have to attract attention. However, large galleries also become aware of the young artists as soon as the talents have made their breakthrough and are then poached by the blue chip galleries. The big money is tempting and who can blame the artists.

But I ask myself, isn’t there also a certain kind of loyalty to one’s patron or discoverer? Isn’t the task of an international gallery to promote young artists? Perhaps even the promotion of its own artistic region? As a result, wouldn’t it be the duty of a large international fair to particularly promote the galleries that follow this philosophy? The big galleries with the big collectors at their side are of course also important, as they increase the clientele and thus the willingness to buy. Perhaps one day there will be a cooperation between the first gallery and an artist’s subsequent gallery. A kind of promotion of the galleries.

ARTSECO has now looked after many clients with whom we have grown together. Back then we exhibited at the satellite fairs; today we have a large stand at the main fairs. We continue to support the small galleries just as much as our loyal customers, who have now reached other dimensions. I see again and again how some of our customers lose their artists and have to start building up again with new artists. There should be some kind of talent contracts, like in soccer. The promotion of young artists must be sustainably protected, for example through long-term participation in sales. Otherwise I see the market collapsing, as the large galleries cannot exist without the small ones and vice versa. I don’t know if something like this already exists, where fairs award prizes to the most successful newcomer galleries.

For us, loyalty is very important and creates professional cooperation. We know each other, we know how each other works. What requirements do the artists expect in terms of installations and packaging? Customs clearance is easier and less complicated because you know the requirements of the freight forwarder and the customs authorities. And yes, loyalty also pays off in monetary terms. You can sometimes be a little more accommodating to a loyal customer.

We have published a short video with our impressions on our Facebook page:

We will remain loyally at your side as soon as you need us,
Your ARTSECO team

We have published a short video with our impressions on our Facebook page: