Art Basel in Miami Beach’s 15th edition: a landmark year, featuring strong sales across all sectors

  • MIAMI BEACH, Florida
  • /
  • December 04, 2016

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Dominique Lévy © Art Basel

This Sunday, December 4, Art Basel’s show in Miami Beach closed amidst high praise from participating galleries reporting healthy sales across all levels of the market. The show, whose Lead Partner is UBS, featured 269 world-class galleries from 29 countries who presented exceptional works, ranging from Modern masterpieces to contemporary paintings, films, sculptures and installations by established and emerging artists. In a challenging socio-political and economic landscape, this edition demonstrated that works of the highest quality presented by leading galleries continue to drive strong demand and solid attendance from serious international collectors. Several galleries chose to present powerful and emotive works that address these issues, which collectors responded to with great interest.

Across the five show days, the fair attracted an attendance of 77,000, including influential private collectors, as well as directors, curators, trustees and patrons of leading international museum and institution groups such as Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto); Fondation Beyeler (Basel); New Museum (New York); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires); El Museo del Barrio (New York) Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (Los Angeles); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston); The Museum of Modern Art (New York); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco); Serpentine Galleries (London); Sharjah Art Foundation (Sharjah); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing) and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York).

Gavin Brown’s enterprise © Art Basel

In its 15th year, Art Basel in Miami Beach solidified its standing as the premier art fair in the Americas and continued to positively impact South Florida’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Art Basel welcomed many long-time exhibitors back to the Miami Beach show, as well as 21 new galleries, including Callicoon Fine Arts; Christian Andersen; Clearing; Di Donna; Edouard Malingue Gallery; Galleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M; Galerie Greta Meert; Galerie Maria Bernheim; High Art; House of Gaga; joségarcía ,mx; JTT; Leo Xu Projects; Marc Selwyn Fine Art; Nanzuka; Off Vendome; Simões de Assis Galeria de Arte; The Box; Thomas Erben Gallery; Various Small Fires and Vigo Gallery.

Participating galleries shared their positive experiences and successes at this year’s show:

'The atmosphere of the fair this year has been wonderful and we had a great first day, selling five seminal works in the first hour. We have been extremely pleased in particular with the level of interest we have received from European and American museums.’ Dominique Lévy, Founder and Owner, Dominique Lévy, New York, London

'Art Basel in Miami Beach is by far the best American fair. We had strong sales throughout the week and were particularly delighted to see an exceptional range of collectors from China, South America and Europe. The response to Jonathan Horowitz, who engaged with the political zeitgeist as part of his 'Dear Ivanka’ social media campaign, was extraordinary. Nova and Positions were also exceptionally strong - the younger generation of galleries put a powerful foot forward this year.’ Sadie Coles, Owner, Sadie Coles HQ, London

‘I am happy to report that we sold a painting by Kees van Dongen early in the show. We also placed a Chagall from 1944, which we could have sold several times over, there was so much interest. What is terrific about Art Basel in Miami Beach is that works in the fair range from the early 1900s up until the present day, and this enables collectors to better understand the evolution of artistic movements.’ Howard Shaw, President and Director, Hammer Galleries, New York

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