The digital edition of Art Basel fair opened on June 17 to replace the offline event that was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Source: Art Basel/Artguide

Art dealers report big sales during the first days of the fair that runs until June 26. It is clear now that galleries’ investments in building out their online offerings have paid off, Artguide reports.

David Zwirner gallery has sold 10 out of 15 artworks for a total sum of $10 million.

Elena Soboleva, David Zwirner’s director of online sales, describes the sales as “robust”: “It’s thrilling to see so much industry adoption that has happened within one year, both by necessity and design. Online viewing rooms are a new norm, and even when physical fairs resume, online presentations will surely be a critical part of the experience.”

The Press of Democracy, Mark Bradford, 2020. Sold at the digital fair Art Basel for $5 million. Source: Mark Bradford/Hauser & Wirth/Artguide

Edward Tyler Nahem, the owner of the namesake gallery in New York, traditionally relied on collectors having the personal experience of visiting the gallery: “The pandemic has shown us that the art world needs to catch up with the digital innovations so many other sectors have to a variable degree already embraced. Beyond this, however, I don’t see this as a time to rush to shift everything online.”

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