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Performance report of contemporary art galleries during the COVID-19 pandemicback

Latitude explores innovative ways to support Brazilian contemporary art galleries during unprecedented times


An overview of Latitude initiatives that promoted and supported the art market and art galleries in Brazil over the course of 2020


Latitude – Platform for Brazilian Art Galleries Abroad, a partnership between ABACT [Brazilian Association of Contemporary Art] and Apex-Brasil [Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency], is delighted to share the results of its commitment to supporting and funding the promotion of the art market and art galleries in Brazil over the course of 2020.


“We are all too familiar with the infamous curse, ‘May you live in interesting times’. The past year certainly has been one of the great challenges, most of which have been met with a great sense of positivity and optimism. As galleries in Brazil experienced stability and even growth over the period prior to the crisis, they remain committed to exploring innovative ways to continue to highlight and promote the work of their artists around the world.”
Luciana Brito, President of the Brazilian Association of Contemporary Art Galleries


Most of the year has been a rallying response to the health crisis, which has had such a profound impact around the world. From its ongoing support of Brazilian galleries’ participation in international art fairs, most of which moved online in 2020, to the successful first edition of the Latitude Art Fair, a collaboration with Artsy, Latitude has ensured a strong presence by galleries from Brazil in key international art initiatives.


In response to the pandemic, Latitude collaborated with its equivalent agencies in Argentina, Chile, and Colombia to research and publish a comprehensive report on the impact of the pandemic on the art markets in these four countries, the results of which reveal that despite the challenges faced, there is a positive outlook for the Brazilian art market. Latitude is also supporting an exciting new initiative created in response to the pandemic. Timetorethink.art @ Latitude 2020, a strategic training programme tailored for the Latitude associated galleries, brings together art agents with an international perspective to explore and rethink the contemporary art market within evolving global contexts.


Report on the pandemic impact on contemporary art galleries
As part of its scope to internationalise the Brazilian contemporary art market, the report is an initiative of Latitude – Platform for Brazilian Art Galleries Abroad in collaboration with Meridiano/Cámara Argentina de Galerías de Arte Contemporáneo (Argentina), Sísmica/Asociación de Galerías de Arte Contemporáneo (Chile) and the ARTBO - Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá (Colombia). Its main objective is to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the contemporary art markets in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia. The study, conducted by Além Consultoria em Cultura, analyzed results from over 95 respondents (of the 156 contacted) from the four countries over the course of the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the equivalent period in 2019. The main issues covered relate to the economic and structural impact of the pandemic on turnover and exports; teams; artists represented; management and performance models (digital strategies, participation in fairs, partnerships, relationships with artists); and, finally, projections for the coming months. The results of the report reveal that smaller galleries performed better and recorded fewer losses than galleries with the highest revenues, tentatively indicating that those offering work at more “affordable” prices seem to be achieving better sales in the new digital marketplace. Full analysis and details from the report can be accessed here.


Timetorethink.art @ Latitude 2020
As we face new and complex struggles, the goal of Timetorethink.art is to rethink the art market, contributing to shape it into more intelligent and sustainable forms, in tune with the current socio-economic scenario. A tailored edition adapted to promote specific training required by Latitude for its associated galleries, Timetorethink.art @ Latitude 2020 has prepared a strategic training program that shared research and explored how to best respond in an informed and intelligent manner to the demands of the art market - with the uncertainties and difficulties raised by the pandemic.


Timetorethink.art @ Latitude 2020 offered an exclusive platform for Latitude-member gallerists for open dialogue, critical analysis, and creative proposals, bringing together an international perspective on the arts to network to debate, strategize and imagine possibilities for fostering an ecosystem based on cooperation, transparency and shared information. While certain barriers to sustainable development are clear, growth and solidification are possible for galleries in Brazil, as these are responsible for promoting and supporting a considerable share of the country’s cultural production. The strength of gallery initiatives comes via a shared mix of experience, vision and strength of purpose. With their unquestionable potential, it's clear that Brazilian galleries are stronger together, united in causes of common interest to redesign the structure of the system to be better aligned with contemporary contexts.


Latitude Art Fair 2020
This year, Latitude launched Latitude Art Fair, in partnership with Artsy, offering an unprecedented opportunity to boost the promotion of Brazilian galleries online, increasing visibility and encouraging new partnerships and international collaborations. It also garnered a considerable increase in social media engagement and number of followers, about 30%. The digital platform included viewing rooms, a sales inquiry service, and a collector conversation function, as well as an augmented reality feature. A total of 54 primary-market galleries took part, nearly all of the ABACT-associated galleries. Over the course of the fair, which ran from 23 September to-14 October, Latitude welcomed over 34,000 visits. The largest proportion from abroad came from the US, France, and Argentina, and there was a noted increase in international participation in the online program of activities, which included guided tours and thematic meetings. Latitude Art Fair 2020 generated a flow of queries resulting in a strong conversion rate of 39% into sales. Artworks ranged in price from US$ 1,500 to 35,000, and total sales came to over US$ 193,000.


Latitude supports Brazilian gallery participation in OVRs
Since 2007, Latitude has supported its member galleries’ participation at international art fairs. Given the international impact of the health crisis, many art fairs are now taking place via OVRs - Online Viewing Rooms. In this context, Latitude has continued to offer support to member galleries to take part via these innovative digital platforms. In September, Galeria Aura, Galeria de Arte Mamute, Luciana Brito Galeria, Galeria Luisa Strina, Galeria Karla Osorio, Janaina Torres Galeria, and Múltiplo Espaço Arte joined BA Photo Live (Argentina). In October, the Frieze Online Viewing Room became the digital alternative to Frieze London (United Kingdom) and featured Latitude member galleries: A Gentil Carioca, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Galeria Nara Roesler, Galeria Vermelho, and Mendes Wood DM. Also in October, Galleria Aura participated in the online version of Drawing Room Lisboa (Portugal), an art fair focused on contemporary drawings. Finally, during the first week of December 19 associated galleries have participated in the Miami art fairs (US), Art Basel - OVR: Miami Beach, UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach and PINTA MIAMI LIVE and, until 9 December, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Jaqueline Martins, Galeria Vermelho, and Mendes Wood DM and Sé Galeria are taking part in Artissima XYZ (Italy).


Click here to download the report. 

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