THE 12TH EDITION OF ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH sponsored by UBS, ran Dec 4–7, 2013. ABMB presented 258 galleries from 31 countries and clocked 75,000 visitors over 4 days—up 7% over last year. There was increased museum attendance, bringing a new wave of collectors to the show. In the post-release: NY-based dealer David Nolan stated, “we have more serious first-time buyers than at any other fair in the world” and Beijing-based dealer Theresa Liang explained, “We met old and new collectors, from the United States, Europe, South America, and of course, a good number of Chinese collectors. The Rubell Family Collection's presentation of 28 Chinese contemporary artists certainly brought a lot of attention and new interest as well.”
Major sales highlights: Van de Weghe Fine Art sold a Gerhard Richter painting from the "Abstraktes Bild" series for ~$3.2 Million; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac sold a bronze by Georg Baselitz for $2M; at Pace Gallery, an Alexander Calder standing mobile found a buyer for just over $1M; and, White Cube nearly sold out its booth that included a taxidermy-filled vitrine by Damien Hirst, for approximately $3 Million. And to cap it all off, Kelly Crow at The Wall Street Journal reported: “Call it the post-recession premium: In Gagosian Gallery's booth, there's a crinkly, car-size Jeff Koons sculpture, ‘Baroque Egg with Bow (Turquoise/Magenta),’ that the gallery won at Sotheby's for $5.4 million four years ago… put the egg back on the market and sold it for around $9 million. (The egg once belonged to activist investor Daniel Loeb.) David Zwirner, who now also shows Mr. Koons, also has one of the artist's tabletop sculptures of a blue elephant that reportedly carries a $20 million asking price. Zwirner didn't confirm that price tag, but a sale at that level would rank as the artist's fifth-highest price ever.”
SEVERAL SATELLITE FAIRS ACCOMPANY ABMB each year. The second edition of UNTITLED attracted 8000+ visitors. “Over a third of the limited edition prints by Marina Abramović were sold during Monday evening’s benefit and sales remain consistent throughout the first days of the fair.” SCOPE Miami Beach’s new location was situated close by in a 70,000 square foot pavilion that showcased 100 exhibitors. Over on the mainland, the 9th edition of PULSE took place at its usual “Ice Palace” venue and broke previous attendance records with 3000 visitors on preview day. Once again, NADA was held at the Deauville Beach Resort for the eleventh consecutive year.
THE INTERNATIONAL ART INDUSTRY FORUM ran in conjunction with ABMB. Presented by Skate's Art Market Research, galleryIntell and the Russian Pavilion in partnership with The Art Newspaper, the Forum’s main focus was “Collecting + Online Sales” with panelists: Anne-Hélène Decaux, Head of Communications, ArtViatic; Thomas Galbraith, Managing Director of Auctions, Paddle8; Javier Lumbreras, CEO, Artemundi Global Fund, Artemundi Management Limited; and, Amelia Manderscheid, Specialist and Global Head of eCommerce, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s.
ABMB IS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED BY endless parties and press affairs but none have as much impact as charity events. On Tuesday December 3rd, Best Buddies International and The Brant Foundation presented the “Best Buddies Art + Friendship Auction” at the estate of Sara and Ugo Colombo. The live auction was conducted by Gabriela Palmieri, Senior Vice President Senior Specialist Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s and raised “nearly $1 million to provide opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership development to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” Some of the featured artists included: David Altmejd, Carol Bove, Joe Bradley, Patrick Demarchelier, Urs Fischer, Enoc Perez, David Salle and Julian Schnabel. A-list attendees included: Alina and Anthony K. Shriver; celebs Leonardo DiCaprio and Val Kilmer; collectors Martin Marguiles, Samantha Boardman and Aby Rosen; and, Michaela and Simon de Pury.
Among other events: Wednesday December 4 marked the official opening of Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) with a film premier of “Suspension of Disbelief” hosted by Stefano Tonchi of W Magazine and Goga Ashkenazi of Vionnet. On Thursday Nicolas Ricroque of Ruinart and Nicholas Baume of Public Art Fund, hosted a decadent brunch at Casa Tua to celebrate designer Piet Hein Eek’s limited edition collection piece for Ruinart champagne. Later on Thursday evening, Warner Bros. and Annapurna Pictures held a screening of Spoke Jonze’s latest feature love story “Her,” with an accompanying talk moderated by Jeffrey Deitch. Finally, Audemars Piguet and Galerie Perrotin launched “Curiosity”—an ambitious new art work by French artist duo KOLKOZ on Friday.
LATIN AMERICA’S PRESENCE WAS MORE PALPABLE this year. The region’s steady wealth accumulation (particularly in Brazil) has helped catapult many LatAm artists into the spotlight along with more collectors entering the market. Lima-based gallerist Livia Benavides was quoted in ABMB’s post-release stating: “We were delighted to see the strong interest of European and American collectors in Latin American artists. Art Basel in Miami Beach is the meeting point for all art professionals, especially those from Latin America.” Furthermore, the opening of Pérez Art Museum Miami (designed by famed Swiss architects duo Herzog & de Meuron) demonstrates the city’s dedication to remaining a worldwide cultural hub with heavy LatAm influence. In fact, PAMM (formerly Miami Art Museum - MAM) was named after its largest donor, Cuban-American real-estate tycoon Jorge Pérez who donated $40 Million in 2011.
FAENA MIAMI BEACH MARKS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT developments in South Beach. To celebrate the opening, founder Alan Faena and New York-based businessman Len Blavatnik hosted an asado (Argentine style barbeque) in collaboration with Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. According to the press release: “Alan Faena, the visionary behind Argentina´s most successful urban renaissance project and contemporary Arts Center [“Faena District” in Buenos Aires] has assembled an all-star team of collaborators — including the most talented architects and respected engineers, the boldest curators and chefs and the most intriguing artists.” FAENA ARTS CENTER was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Rem Koolhaas/OMA; FAENA HOUSE, an 18-story oceanfront luxury condominium was designed by internationally renowned architects Foster + Partners; and lastly, FAENA SAXONY HOTEL was designed in collaboration with multi-award-winning duo, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. The Hotel includes a spa, soundscape for public spaces, and curated entertainment as well as several high-end restaurants. Upcoming additions include: FAENA ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE center by Rem Koolhaas/OMA plus “FAENA BAZAAR and the FAENA MARINA on Indian Creek. This holistic project will be wildly framed by the lush landscaping design of talented Raymond Jungles.”
Shireen holds a BBA in Design & Management from Parsons The New School for Design and an MA in Art Business from Sotheby's Institute of Art, New York. She has contributed to several online publications including Art Observed, Quintessentially Art, and Whitewall Magazine. Shireen is a regular art market contributor at Whitehot Magazine.view all articles from this author