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Most respondents to a recent survey of galleries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia said revenue was higher than the same period last year.

OPAVIVARÁ!, Espreguiçadeira multi (2019). Photograph. Courtesy the artist and A Gentil Carioca.

Gallery revenues in Latin America recovered during the third quarter of 2020 according to a report carried out by Latitude, a programme for promoting Brazilian galleries abroad, in association with regional partners.

The report was based on survey responses from 95 galleries, fairs and digital sales platforms in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia.

While sales were largely unaffected by Covid-19 during the first quarter of 2020, the second quarter, from April to June, proved difficult. Most respondents reported a decline in revenues compared to the same period in 2019. That was true for 81% of respondents in Argentina, 56% in Brazil, 53% in Colombia, and 50% in Chile, where another 33% reported no change on Q2 last year.

In the third quarter, however, most respondents saw revenues improve over the same period last year. That was true for 62% of respondents in Colombia, 55% in Brazil, and 50% in Chile. In Argentina, only 29% of respondents saw things improve on Q3 last year.

The report found bigger galleries that rely on international sales were more negatively impacted in 2020 than smaller, domestic galleries. Smaller galleries were also more optimistic about future growth.

Direct communication with collectors and use of gallery Instagram accounts overtook art fairs and gallery spaces in importance as sales channels following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Strategies galleries employed to get through 2020 included expanding their presence online, joining digital platforms, providing greater price transparency, procuring more affordable works, and offering discounts to regular customers. —[O]

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