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The installation "Penetrable BBL bleu" of Jesus Rafael Sot - 

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Scott Jagow: The world's largest and oldest contemporary art fair is underway in Switzerland. Despite these economic times, the art market is actually doing pretty well. Marketplace's Janet Babin reports from North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: Art Basel is a scene, but it's also a place to see. There are aisles and aisles of sculpture, painting, and installations that collectors tour in a frenzy. More than 300 galleries participate, and some 60,000 people stop by.

Stephanie Smith with the Lehmann Maupin Gallery based in New York says sales are strong, but the buyers she's seeing are a bit different from Art Fairs past:

Stephanie Smith: We've noticed less American collectors this year, but we've had, and we've had a lot of international collectors -- Russian, some from Singapore, and you know, just a broad range internationally.

The gallery's neon collection, and works by a Japanese painter and Korean sculptor, sold out on day one. Some works brought in record prices, but others can be had for just a few thousand dollars. Art Basel wraps up Sunday.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.