Art Basel Miami kicked off at the Miami Beach Convention Center Wednesday with a VIP preview, celebrity sightings — Leonardo DiCaprio allegedly haggling over a Basquiat drawing — and enough prestige art to make any serious collector swoon.
Within a convention center under serious and heavy construction, Basel officials still managed to create an art oasis that was serene and energetic at the same time. As with most Basel Miami shows, the art was larger than life, often unapologetically enigmatic, over the top, but also impressive in terms of the number of world-renowned artists exhibited and for sale. Visitors can find works by Christo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tom Wesselmann, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and Frank Stella among others.
Art pieces with high dollar signs have already been sold by several galleries on days one and two of the Fair. Two works at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac sold: James Rosenquist’s Coenties Slip Studio, 1961, for $2.7 million, and John Chamberlain’s Sahsimi Mendoza, 1979, for $1.35 million; Sadie Coles HQ gallery sold two works by Urs Fischer, one painting for $850,000 and a statue for $750,000; and Metro Pictures sold Robert Longo’s Untitled (Trumpsville) for $700,000.
On Wednesday, the opening day of the Fair, galleries reported significant business including a Bruce Nauman installation at Hauser & Wirth which sold for $9.5 million to a collection in Asia, as well as a Mark Bradford triptych for $5 million; a work by Yoshitomo Nara at Pace Gallery was snapped up for $2.9 million; paintings by Frank Bowling in the range of $300,000 — 500,000 were bought at Hales Gallery, a piece by the Argentinian artist Edgardo Antonio Vigo at Richard Saltoun Gallery and multiple editions of Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s three latest fabric specimen series at Lehmann Maupin were also purchased. Stay tuned for our roundup of all the top-selling pieces at Art Basel next week.
This year, 268 international galleries were selected for the 2017 Miami Beach show. Drawn from 32 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, exhibitors presented artworks ranging from Modern masterpieces and historical projects to new works by both established and emerging artists.
Beyond the actual Art Basel Fair at the Convention Center, Art Week in Miami encompasses a number of other Fairs including Art Miami, Context, Scope, Untitled, Pulse and others as well as major museum shows, private collections like the Rubell, Margulies and de la Cruz Collections being open to the public and, of course, lots of parties, dinners and happenings.
Want to know more about Art Basel Miami and Miami Art Week? Go here.
Written by DLX contributor Andrea Thompson.
All images courtesy Fitz & Co.