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Art week fairs report record attendance, strong sales in 2013

Fairs reported record attendance and strong sales during Miami’s 2013 Art Basel art week.

At namesake fair Art Basel in Miami Beach, more than 75,000 visitors attended over the fair’s five days — a 7 percent increase over the previous year. In a release issued by Art Basel’s organizers, a number of gallerists reported contact with existing and new collectors, often resulting in sales that met or exceeded expectations.

“This year has been marked for us by the largest number of museum groups and institutional contacts, and a new generation of collectors becoming very active,” said Lucy Mitchell-Innes of New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash.

London’s Alan Cristea Gallery participated for the first time in a new Editions sector for prints and multiples at Basel’s Miami Beach air. Said Helen Waters, “the new Edition sector has drawn considerable interest and consistent sales. We sold a remarkable 33 works by one artist on the second day.”

In Midtown, Art Miami and sister fair Context reported record-breaking attendance of 72,500 and sales that exceeded 2012 reported figures, with several booths selling out entirely. Works selling for more than $1 million included a sculpture by Henry Moore; Lucio Fontana’s Concetto spaziale, Atthese and two Gerhard Richter paintings, one of which sold for $3 million.

Six-figure sales far surpassed 2012 purchases for paintings, sculptures, photographs and mid-media works by artists, said fair organizers via a release. Artists in this range included Francis Bacon, Miguel Barcelo, Fernando Botero, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, John Chamberlain, Jim Dine, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Keith Haring, David Hockney, Alex Katz, Vik Muniz and Richard Prince.

Pulse Contemporary Art Fair welcomed 14,000 visitors, and several gallerists there reported selling out their booths. The Spectrum fair also announced record attendance, with more than 26,000 and sales including works by Mexican Diego Rivera, Cuban Humberto Benitez and China’s Zhou Brothers.

A previous version of this story misstated the number of visitors attending the Pulse fair.