On June 14, just as the 46th edition of Art Basel, the world’s most prestigious art fair, was about to open, The New York Times took a look at the fair’s selection process. The paper reported that there had been a turnover of 60 galleries in five years in the fair’s galleries section, the main section of the fair where dealers have full—often very large—booths. (This as opposed to the sections of the fair for special presentations, such as Statements and Feature.) That’s a turnover of roughly 27 percent. We decided to look even further back, to the year 2000, and found that over the past 15 years the Galleries sector has changed by over 50 percent. Art Basel is indeed tough to get into—“like getting into a club” as dealer Jeffrey Deitch told The Times—and that can give the impression that it has been monolithic over the past decade or so, but the numbers show that its composition seems to at least partially reflect the many changes in the art world and art market over that period of time.
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