There was a swarm of collectors and market players at David Zwirner’s stand recently at the Art Basel, as usual. This was during the art fair’s VIP vernissage which took place yesterday.
The visitors wanted to have a better look at the David Zwirner offering which also included a $20 million Gerhard Richter painting that sold in just the first few hours. However, the more interesting and unusual part of that event was happening at another dimension on the internet. This is because for the first time, the gallery inaugrated an online “booth” which also coincides with the fair.
This online fair, called ‘Basel Online’ was hosted on Zwirner’s website and the virtual presentation was done by Elena Soboleva who is online sales director of the gallery. The online booth was started with the idea that web audience would be eager to get the pieces from the gallery.
It has to be said that the idea from the art gallery worked as the reponses to “Basel Online” were tremendous. On just the opening day of “Basel Online”. a $1.8 million stainless stell pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama was sold to a buyer from Russia.
Other buyer from San Francisco grabbed the cherry-red Donald Judd box which costed him $900,000. Apart from that, Houston buyer made a purchase of $200,000 for a Carol Bove sculpture.
A dreamy painting of matchstick by Harold Ancart was sold to online-retail billionaire Yusaka Maezawa for $45,000 who also bought a $110 million Basquiat painting in 2017.
As of dinnertime, 8 of the 20 artworks were already sold digitally and brought $3.3 million. Additional artworks of $1 million were labelled as “on reserve”.
Now, it takes a lot of effort to sell art online as users are wary of making high-dollar purchases above $50,000 without seeing the artwork in person. However, the name and reputation of David Zwirner helped much in convincing collectors.