Collectors Flock to VIP Opening with Lines Forming Around the Block
ArtMiami, Miami’s longest running contemporary art fair, celebrated the opening of its 27th year with sister fair CONTEXT Art Miami, with crowds circled around the block on Tuesday, November 29th. The VIP Opening of the fairs showed art from more than 234 international exhibitors, 450 artists and 40 different countries.
More than 10,500 of the most prestigious art collectors, connoisseurs and advisors attended the VIP previews to view works from Blue Chip and contemporary artists, contributing to a frenzy of sales made within the first hour, including most notably the $1-million-dollar sale of Josef Albers’ 1958 Oil on Masonite ‘Desert Dusk’ (Study for Homage to the Square) by ARCHEUS/POST-MODERN gallery. Continuing throughout the evening, galleries including Simon Capstick-Dale, and Klein Sun reported five and six-figure transactions with Allan Stone Projects placing a circa 1947 Franz Kline painting in the $400,000 range.
The exclusive VIP preview for Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami was sponsored by Christie’s International Real Estate and benefitted the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Collectors, museum professionals, curators, connoisseurs and artists, including Jorge and Darlene Perez, Bernie Taupin, Kara Ross of Diamonds Unleashed, private art advisors Lisa Schiff, Kim Heirston, and Kathryn Mikesell along withDirector of Pérez Art Museum Miami - Franklin Sirmans, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne Bon Haes, Michael and Carolynn Friedman, Curator Thomas Moller, Jean Shafiroff, jewelry designer Stephen Dweck among others, streamed through the doors to view the works.
Extremely sought after offerings at the fairs included works by David Hockney, Josef Albers, Ai Wei Wei, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Ed Ruscha, Salvador Dali, Cheval, Jeff Koon, Marc Chagall, and Pablo Picasso, in addition to pieces from Brian Eno and Adrien Brody.
Together with its international affiliates, Christie’s International Real Estate hosted an elegant booth at the main entrance of the fair, featuring luxury residential property offerings from around the world.
Visual and recording artist Al Baseer Holly AKA: ABH launched his first exhibition at Art Miami. The work is being represented by Arcature Fine Art of Palm Beach. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the exhibition will benefit the Perry J. Cohen Foundation. ABH’s work is quickly being acquired and commissioned in a private manner by the likes of art collector and famed fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger, Music Executive Tommy Mottolla, recording artists School Boy Q, YG, Dom Kennedy, record executive Archie Davis of Interscope, Atlantic Records Dallas Martin and Randall “Sickamore” Medford of Sony.
Diamonds Unleashed interactive booth at Art Miami, founded by jewelry designer Kara Ross, is a brand with a social purpose; symbolizing, promoting and supporting women’s empowerment. Diamonds Unleashed, through the sale of a fine jewelry collection and specially curated art collection for the Fair, will provide monetary donations to relevant non-profit organizations, foster a community of distinguished ambassadors to spread the mission, and among other things, host a series of Salon events nationwide to bring people together in support of a common cause. Diamonds Unleashed Ambassadors are comprised of leading women from around the globe, including Serena Williams, Martha Stewart, Dita Von Teese, Norma Kamali, Sallie Krawcheck, Maria Bello, Melissa Etheridge and over 200 others.
Highlight sfrom the first day’s sales at Art Miami include:
- Galerie Boulakia placed a Tom Wesselmann from 1970 for $180,000;
- VERTES Gallery placed Jim Dine’s ‘Three Red Dancers’ from 1989 in coal, oil pen and acrylic on paper for $150,000;
- Mayoral gallery placed an Alexander Calder from 1972 for $100,000;
- Sundaram Tagore Gallery placed the six-piece ‘Violet Series’ by Ricardo Mazal for $60K; Miya Ando’s 2016 Urethane on Aluminum work, ‘Hamon Polyptych,’ for $53,000; and Sohan Qadri’s 2008 ink dye on paper work, ‘Amala III,’ for $59,000;
- Carl Hammer gallery placed a series of Jay Kelly small metal sculptures within the first 30-minutes of the VIP opening starting at $8,500 each;
- Yufuku Gallery placed a total of six pieces including a 2016 Niyoko Ikuta entitled Ku-97 for $40,000, and a 2016 Kanjiro Moriyama entitled Kai for $20,000;
- Eduardo Secci placed a Massimo Vitali for $35,000, along with an Alfredo Pirri and a Michelangelo Pistoletto which each sold for $30,000.
- Long-Sharp Gallery placed a Gino Miles bronze sculpture which was commissioned especially for the fair;
- Simon Capstick-Dale placed a David Hockney work to an important collector;
- Modernism Inc. placed a Gottfried Heinwein for six figures;
- Casterline|Goodman Gallery placed a Yayoi Kusama as well as an Andy Warhol.
CONTEXT Art Miami saw impressive attendance with collectors, connoisseurs and artists perusing the hundred galleries at Art Miami’s sister fair. At the Knight Webb Gallery, German artist Juliane Hundertmark was on site to witness the sale of her mixed media on canvas piece, “Sunset.” Octavia Art Gallery sold a work from Regina Scully for $16,000 and a Jerry Cabrera for $4,500. Mugello Contemporary once again sold out of Matthew Ryan Herget’s astronaut works. There were also strong sales at Caldwell Snyder Gallery, Lucia Mendoza, Galleria Alfredo Ginocchio, and Galleria Casa Cuadrada.
Running from November 29 – December 4, Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami attract more than 85,000 new and established collectors, curators, museum professionals, members of the press and art world luminaries annually to its 200,000-square foot pavilions in the Wynwood Arts District.
Convenient parking is available for both fairs by a four-story parking garage with 2,000 spots, located adjacent to the Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami Pavilions. A network of complimentary shuttle buses will run round-trip service between Art Miami, CONTEXT Art Miami, Aqua Art Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach.