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BLOOMBERG: By Scott Reyburn. U.S. billionaires Steven Cohen and Jerry Speyer were among the VIPs browsing at the world’s biggest fair of modern and contemporary art, where a 1954 Mark Rothko abstract is for sale priced $78 million. The New York-based collector Alberto Mugrabi and U.K. artist Tracey Emin joined other well-known faces at the UBS- sponsored Art Basel in Switzerland, now in its 43rd edition, with 300 galleries from 36 countries.London-based Marlborough Fine Art’s Rothko and Pace Gallery of New York’s Gerhard Richter paintings tested confidence at the top end of the market with prices that reflected auction records for the artists achieved in May.“It’s quite classical and safe this year,” the Brussels- based art adviser Henry Bounameaux said in an interview.

“I’m seeing a lot of familiar names. It must reflect what is going on in the economy. No one knows what is going to happen, and yet the art market still goes on.”
Marlborough’s 1954 Rothko, featuring a block of orange above a band of pale pink, has been consigned for sale by a Swiss collector. The price is pitched just below the record $86.9 million achieved for a 1961 abstract at Christie’s International in New York on May 8.Read more

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