Significant Six-and-Seven-Figure Sales of Major Artists Recorded as Private and Institutional Buyers Acquire Established Artists and Discover New Talent.
In its 24th year, Art Miami, the leading international contemporary and modern art fair that takes place each December during Miami Art Week, and CONTEXT, the sister fair to Art Miami, closed with record-breaking attendance and impressive sales that exceeded 2012 reported sales figures. Many of the works sold to established as well as new collectors, museum professionals, private and corporate collections, cultural foundations, dealers, art advisors and consultants. More than 72,500 attendees visited Art Miami and CONTEXT throughout the week with more than 13,600 patrons attending the exclusive VIP Preview on Tuesday, Dec. 3, which benefited the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Additionally, more than 400 international members of the press attended and reported on the fairs.
Known as two of the most important annual contemporary art events in the United States, Art Miami and CONTEXT together showcased artists from more than 200 leading galleries representing 70 cities from 20 countries. The energy and enthusiasm of collectors were palpable as they acquired important works by established, emerging and mid-career, cutting edge artists. Several dealers sold out of their stock and had to rehang their walls as sculptures, photographs, paintings and video installations sold and resold multiple times. The open atmosphere between both fairs created an exciting and spirited dialogue between artists, galleries and collectors, and allowed for established galleries as well as emerging galleries to present classic, contemporary and emergent talent. The enormous turnout and acquisitions once again marked Art Miami and CONTEXT as the most high-trafficked fairs in the city of Miami.
Starting with the VIP Preview, art enthusiasts queued up in anticipation of the exhibitions. Throughout the fairs, the pavilions at Art Miami and CONTEXT were filled with some of the biggest names in the art world. From collectors to museums to celebrities to socialites, Art Miami and CONTEXT attracted a considerable number of influencers, including Martin and Audrey Gruss, John and Diane Sculley, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Don and Mera Rubell, Jason Rubell, Edgardo and Ana Cristina Defortuna, Walid Wahad, Larry Williams, Commissioner Patrick Murphy, Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, Leo and Yvonne Force Villareal, Kim Heirston, Ted and Ruth Baum, Jessica Lichtenstein, Liu Bolin, Beth Lipman, John Henry, Peter Anton, Wendell Castle, Kim Heirston, Asher Edelman, Hadley Martin Fisher, Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, Jack and Debra Wexler, Jorge and Darlene Pérez, Marco Glaviano, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, Michael and Seren Shvo, Val Kilmer, Manning Sloan, Ambassador Earle Mack, Herr Nilsson, Mr. Brainwash, Julia Jackson, Robert Fader, Jane Wooldridge, Elayne and Marvin Mordes, Arnie and Paola Rosenshein, J. Ricky Ariola, David Sydorick, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Eric and Liz Feder as well as Wilbur and Hilary Geary Ross and Janet Goldman, Chairman of Goldman Properties, with daughter Jessica Goldman Srebnick.
Among the dealers reporting six-and-seven-figure sales were Galerie von Vertes, Galerie Forsblom, Mayoral, Samuel Osborne, Armand Bartos Fine Art, Waterhouse & Dodd, Cernuda Arte, Allan Stone Gallery, Hollis Taggart Galleries, Michael Goedhuis, Antoine Helwaser Gallery, Simon Capstick-Dale Fine Art, Modernism, McCormick Gallery, DIE Galerie, Mark Borghi Fine Art and others. These included paintings, sculptures, mixed media works and photographs by blue chip artists Francis Bacon, Lynn Chadwick, Gerhard Richter, Xie Aige, Henry Moore, Tom Wesselman, Alex Katz, Sam Francis, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, John Chamberlain, David Hockney, Bernd Venet, Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, Mel Ramos, Alexander Calder and many others.
A sampling of some sales more than $1 million include a sculpture by Henry Moore; Lucio Fontana's "Concetto spaziale, Atthese" 3 slashes painting; two Gerhard Richter paintings, one of which "Abstract Work" 1998, oil on canvas, sold for $3 million.
Six-figure sales far surpassed 2012 purchases for paintings, sculptures, photographs and mid-media works by artists such as Francis Bacon, Miguel Barcelo, Fernando Botero, Alexander Calder, Lynn Chadwick, Marc Chagall, John Chamberlain, Jim Dine, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Andreas Gursky, Keith Haring, Gottfried Helnwein, David Hockney, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Wilfredo Lam, Sol LeWitt, Valdes Manolo, Heiner Meyer, Norman Mooney, Vik Muniz, Victore Pasmore, A.R. Penck, Richard Prince, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg, Julian Schnabel, Wayne Thiebaud, Tom Wesselmann and other blue chip artists.
Avid interest in newer and mid-career, cutting edge artists translated into strong sales and sold out series of works by Dana Louise Kirkpatrick, Leo Villareal, Gregory Scott, Liu Bolin, Li Hongbo, Formento & Formento, Ruby Anemic, Beth Lipman, Gabi Trinkaus and many others at galleries which included Eli Klein Gallery, CONNERSMITH., Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, KM Fine Arts, Claire Oliver Gallery, Mike Weiss Gallery, De Buck Gallery, Julian Navarro, Heitsch Gallery, Lyons Wier Gallery, Magnan Metz Gallery and numerous others.
There was also tremendous demand for South American and Latin artists such as Gina Pellon, Raul Mazzoni, Enio Iomni, Manolo Valdes, Agustin Cardenas, Cundo Bermudez, Mario Carreno, Wilfredo Lam, Miguel Barcelo and other noted artists.
Miami resident Dennis Scholl, Vice President of the Arts for the Knight Foundation and avid collector of contemporary art for more than three decades, said that since Nick Korniloff took over as director, he has seen the quality of the art improve with more blue chip material. But also important has been the fair's outreach to the local art community. "It has our namesake in it," Scholl said. "It's called Art Miami and it's been around for a long time, but it has become very welcoming to the community. You have to give Nick credit for getting both of those pieces of the fair right."
Director Frej Forsblom of Galerie Forsblom in Finland said, "We are really happy with the results of this year's fair. We sold more artwork than in 2012 at Art Miami. The quality of Art Miami is steadily improving each year with a higher caliber of galleries and art."
Hollis Taggart, President of Hollis Taggart Galleries, said, "This year's Art Miami fair was a huge success in terms of attendance and sales. Our gallery sold 15 works, most all of them to new collectors. This year's fair had a more international flavor, with sales being made to several European collectors and to South American collectors, which is something new for us. All of our colleagues likewise reported strong sales and everyone came away from this show very pleased. It seems that many collectors who attend the Art Basel show in the Miami Convention Center have 'discovered' our Art Miami show, and many came over and bought from this fair. There is no question that Art Miami has a huge momentum, and I suspect this year's edition broke all records for sales and attendance. Art Miami has become a recognized leader in the world of art fairs and is a force to be reckoned with. "