Art Basel Public Day Three  Saturday June 16th, 2018


Art Basel Winds Down

Good Saturday afternoon everyone! This edition of The Canvas was put together early Friday evening so if we've missed any breaking art news then we apologize. By now most of us are back in New York and enjoying the sunshine while Art Basel wraps up its last few days for a public audience. 

We obviously have some thoughts and takeaways on all the craziness of the past week and we'll of course be sharing those in tomorrow's final edition of The Canvas for Art Basel. Tomorrow's edition is the last until the September openings in New York, although we'll be publishing our new Canvas Monthly reports in mid-July and August. 

While we can't announce any names yet, our July report promises to be full of deep insights, analysis, and conversations with some of the leading figures in the art world. We've begun to firm up some of our interviews and they include one of the leaders at a prominent art PR/marketing firm, an art tax law specialist, and a few of the top dealers in the industry (no spoilers, but you definitely know them since they're often mentioned in the pages of The Canvas). We'll also include additional job listings for anyone looking to make a switch over the summer, and our in-depth and exclusive reporting on Interview Magazine (which due to the busy schedules of some of our sources, is taking longer to put together than we had initially anticipated). 

We're still offering 15% off to readers who subscribe through tomorrow and we politely encourage you to give us a chance and subscribe by clicking the link below. We'd also love to hear your feedback and suggestions regarding what you want to read about in our monthly reports. Let us know if there's someone in particular who you'd like us to interview, a different type of feature or angle you'd like us to explore, or something more we could offer to make the reports more valuable to you. We value our readers above all else and genuinely want to hear your feedback and suggestions. 

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The Three Things People are Talking About

1. Before there was Lévy Gorvy there was Dominique Lévy- the eponymous gallery and its pioneering namesake. Sitting for a profile with Elana Lyn Gross for Forbes 'Woman @Forbes' section, Lévy answered questions on the beginnings of her career, her mentors over the years, and Lévy Gorvy's plans for expansion in the years to come. She casually mentioned that the gallery "is in the process of forming satellite offices in strategic regions—we have already established offices in Zürich, Geneva and Shanghai—so that we can be very close to our clients and colleagues within their own communities. These new offices give our longstanding and new clients access to a peerless art advisory services." She also points to Marian Goodman (an "eminence of the field" in her words), Martha JacksonLeo CastelliPeggy Guggenheim, and Pierre Matisse as influential role models "because they understood that being a gallerist involves serving a cause higher than oneself, serving the larger culture and creating something to enrich lives beyond one's own generation." 

2Artsy's Nate Freeman penned an illuminating look into the nitty-gritty details of what exactly the costs are for galleries to participate in Art Basel. And even though The Canvas feels that the opening example in the piece is somewhat idiotic, the rest of the article offers valuable insights into the cost inefficiencies and profit margin struggles that smaller galleries face at many of the leading fairs around the world. After all, what kind of a psychopath would try and book a last minute suite at the Grand Hotel Trois Rois (total cost of $49,160 for the week) when he knows he's going to be exhibiting at the fair for at least six months prior? We're going to have more to say on this topic in tomorrow's final edition of The Canvas for Art Basel, but it's becoming glaringly obvious that the mega-galleries at the top end of spectrum reap an inordinate amount of the benefits from such a system- at least until some innovative suggestions are offered by those unafraid of shaking up the status quo. 

3. While Scott Reyburn's recent article in the New York Times about the "financialization" of art seems to The Canvas to be a hodgepodge laundry-list including such 'of-the-moment' topics as blockchain, the increasingprevalence of guarantees at auctionsdecentralized art galleries, and the "fractionalizing" of artworks for investment purposes, there are a few key takeaways worthy of any industry professional's consideration. The hard truths still remain that "the lack of liquidity and regulation, together with opacity, volatility, high transaction costs, cyclical trading patterns and a relatively small scale" all contribute to the difficulties in treating art as an asset class unto itself for investment purposes. However, as Evan Beardof U.S. Trust accurately notes, "None of our clients are buying art for investment. But they’re savvy with credit, and art is a capital asset". To that end, The Canvas highly recommends you check out Borro's offerings and services as they happen to be a leader in this particular field. 

A Word About Borro

Borro enables individuals with fine art to borrow against it with speed, privacy and impeccable service. With loan sizes starting at $20,000, clients can use the value of their artwork to take advantage of business opportunities, invest in real estate and relieve tax burdens and legal fees. Borro’s services are particularly helpful during fine art fairs and auctions as clients can leverage their existing collections for funds to acquire more artwork.


Five Gallery Shows to See in New York this Summer

Travelogue at Jack Shainman Gallery's The School in Kinderhook

JR's 'Horizontal' at Perrotin 

'The Mechanics of Fluids' Group Show at Marianne Boesky

Tim Gardner at 303 Gallery

Almost Solid Light: New Work from Mexico at Paul Kasmin Gallery


As Art Basel slowly winds down and we ease into the long, humid days of summer, the New York art world's party circuit begins to peter out- at least until its regulars meet up over cocktails at the Surf Lodge in Montauk. 

So we're going to take this chance and encourage you to head over to our Instagramaccount to continue to follow the action all summer long. It may not look like we've posted much yet, but slowly and surely we'll get there. 

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Have any sales reports, gossip, news, or tips you'd like to share with The Canvas? Email us at to get in touch. And while you're at it, check out our Instagram for pics from Basel.