Founder Kate MacGarry said for every fair, Basel included, she tries to bring a mix of “dead certainties”, works she knows she has interest in, and other works she’d like to expose to collectors but are less of a sure sale. More and more, she says, she’s started to see the art fairs “as publicity, as marketing.”
“We always have to do some long-term strategic things, so we put up things we may not sell,” said MacGarry. “It’s really, really, nice when they add up, but it’s not always the absolute first priority in the decision-making we do.”
The gallery did have a profitable fair, with multiple sales of works on the booth, including three sets of ’s Mboya Series
(2016) for £15,000 each; some of ’s
pan paintings for £4,000 to £7,500; and ’s Octopus with Fish
(2017), which had appeared in last year’s Venice Biennale, for £30,000, as well as several works not on the booth.
Mason said appearing at Basel had introduced them to a new set of collectors, noting that everything had sold to people she’d never met before, from the U.S., Australia, Norway, Denmark, and England.