Art Basel Miami Beach Preview

Has the market recovered? That seems to depend on whom one asks — and who else appears to be standing nearby listening.

Gallerists were suspiciously quick to declare victory from the opening moments of Frieze, FIAC, and Art Abu Dhabi, though most agreed that the manic buzz of previous editions was absent. But now a real test has arrived. From Dec. 3 to 6, 266 galleries from 33 countries will set up shop for the eighth Art Basel Miami Beach, the premier contemporary art fair in the U.S., and the industry will have another chance to assess its health.

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Art Basel Miami Beach organizers have increased exhibition space by 20 percent and welcomed 65 new exhibitors into the convention center’s hallowed halls, and many of the companies that stayed home last year as the economy cratered have also returned to the Florida coast, ready to host parties, albeit on a more modest scale. Put plainly, there is plenty of art to see and more than enough distractions to tempt even the most art-devoted collector.

Eli Consilvio