We’ve all heard the whispers about the troubled economy this year and how it may affect the art community. At Basel Week Miami this year, we saw first hand the rippling effects of the economic downturn on many of the galleries exhibiting. Sales were definitely a shadow of the previous year, with many galleries not making enough to cover their cost of travel to Miami.

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, which recently hosted a Kaws exhibition, made the announcement last week that it will be suspending operations for an indefinite period of time pending the completion of the current exhibition “The Pig Presents…” January 3rd. The world renowned gallery which represents blue chip artists such as Takashi Murakami, Hernan Bas, Chiho Aoshima, Daniel Arsham, and Farhad Moshiri will keep the Miami space available for special projects and Art Basel 2009. The operations for the flagship gallery space in Paris will not be affected.

With other gallery closures (O Contemporary and Moore Space) hitting the headlines, the most recent announcement by Emmanuel Perrotin comes as another blow to the already cautious art climate. However, not all news is doom and gloom. Although buyers were hesitant at Basel week, AM also noted that many high quality pieces in all price ranges were still sold immediately.  This leads us to believe that while frivolous luxury spending may be down, sound investments by core collectors are still very strong. It seems that quality and not quantity is what many collectors are moving towards. In spite of the weary outlook by many, we think that these hard times are potential buying opportunity many who choose to make informed decisions in purchasing the artists whom they love and enjoy.

via miami new times.