Strong Sales Reported From Art Basel in Miami Beach 15th Edition

Another major art fair another round-up!  Art Basel’s show in Miami Beach closed on Sunday 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). 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-‘This was an amazing fair for us as we displayed the work of Julio Le Parc in our booth to honor his first US museum retrospective at the Pérez Art Museum. Collectors and representatives from institutions at the fair this year were enamored by our artists so we had a very successful year at Art Basel in Miami Beach.’

Nara Roesler, Owner, Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, New York

‘We are happy to be in Miami Beach again, and especially pleased with our Sun Xun Kabinett. We’ve met new collectors here and we are particularly glad that Western collectors have shown such great interest in the Chinese works at our booth.’ Lorenz Helbling, Founder, ShanghART, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore

‘This year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach has been much better than we expected from start to finish and we are really happy with the flurry of sales that we secured – some of which have been to key public collections. The collectors we have talked to have been incredibly knowledgeable, making this year’s Miami Beach show more serious than previous editions in our opinion.’

Johann König, Owner and Founder, König Galerie, Berlin

‘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

‘We were thrilled with our experience at the fair this year. We had very thoughtful engagement with collectors and were pleased with the number of people that took serious interest in our booth. Our sales were very strong and we sold important works. We have been exhibitors at the fair since its beginning and it is always an enjoyable experience to be in Miami, but we felt that the caliber of the exhibitors and visitors was especially high this year.’

John Berggruen, Founder, Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco

‘It’s been a great way to end the year – definitely our best fair of 2016. Graduating to the Galleries sector has enabled us to show very current, thought-provoking work from a wider range of artists in our program. Perhaps there were less people. However, the most important fair goers and high quality collectors were definitely here and buying.’

Mary Cork, Director, Pilar Corrias, London

‘Of course there were collectors from Brazil present, but also from new markets such as China and Russia, which has been good for our business. Overall we have been pleased with the fair – we’ve made consistent sales each day.’

Alexandre Gabriel, Managing Director, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo

‘This has been an excellent year for Becky Kolsrud, so we were very excited to exhibit her work in the Positions sector of the fair and introduce her to a wider audience. Everyone we sold to was a new collector, so we truly saw the value in participating in the Miami Beach show. We also really appreciated the connections we made with other galleries that are here – the opportunity to build these relationships with both collectors and gallerists is precisely why we come to Art Basel.’

‘Art Basel in Miami Beach has been a truly great first experience for us. We really feel that the show here is still very much about the art. Art Basel allows galleries – such as ourselves – to put on exhibitions that we simply couldn’t do anywhere else.’

Jason Hwang, Director, High Art, Paris

‘This is the second year for us at Art Basel in Miami Beach and we are thrilled to have had this opportunity to present our artist in the Positions sector. American collectors have shown great interest in his work and I am also pleased to see young artists – born after 1985 – in general standing out this year.’

Tian Yuan, Director, White Space Beijing, Beijing

‘As a new exhibitor to Art Basel in Miami Beach, we are thrilled to have been able to expose our gallery and the work of Carmelo Arden Quin to a broader base of international private collectors as well as major institutions, such as MoMA and Tate. As a result, we have had numerous meaningful conversations and many of the works we brought to Miami Beach sold.’

Guilherme Simões de Assis, Partner, Simões de Assis Galeria de Arte, Curitiba


This edition of the show featured 193 of the world’s foremost galleries in the main sector, each presenting the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography and video works. With a strong emphasis on supporting younger galleries, this year’s sector incorporated 12 new participants, eight of which had previously exhibited in the Miami Beach show’s project-based sectors – Nova, Positions and Survey. Artworks by Modern masters were presented throughout the sector, including paintings and sculptures by Pablo Picasso (b. 1881; d. 1973) at Helly Nahmad Gallery; rarely seen pieces by Dada and Surrealist artists at Di Donna; a group show of post-war avant-garde Italian artists at Tornabuoni Art and celebrated Mexican artists Diego Rivera (b.1886; d.1957) and Rufino Tamayo (b. 1899; d. 1991) at Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art. Among the contemporary art many presented, Goodman Gallery celebrated its 50th anniversary with works by African artist William Kentridge (b. 1955); Mitchell-Innes & Nash showed an iconic painting by Tom Wesselmann (b. 1931; d. 2004); Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac included an important work by Robert Rauschenberg (b.1925; d. 2008); while Acquavella Galleries brought an exceptional canvas from 1964 by Kenneth Noland (b.1924; d. 2010). Kukje Gallery / Tina Kim Gallery featured a wide range of Dansaekhwa artists, including Kim Youg-Ik (b. 1947), Park Seo-Bo (b. 1931), Ha Chong-Hyun (b. 1935), Lee Ufan (b. 1936) and Chung Sang-Hwa (b. 1932). Galleries that addressed the current and uncertain socio-political landscape in their booths with deeper and more political art include: Pilar Corrias, Gavin Brown’s enterprise and neugerriemschneider with new artworks by Rirkrit Tiravanija (b. 1961); Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects who prominently featured Karl Haendel’s (b. 1976) portrait of Hilary Clinton; Blum & Poe’s notable display of Sam Durant (b. 1961); and new work by Jonathan Horowitz (b. 1966) at Sadie Coles HQ. Other highlights from the sector included Michael Heizer (b. 1944) at Peter Freeman, Inc., Kerry James Marshall (b. 1955) at Jack Shainman and Mira Schendel (b. 1919, d. 1988) at Bergamin & Gomide.


In its fourth year, Art Basel’s sector for works in multiples or prints, Edition, spotlighted 11 galleries: Alan Cristea Gallery, Crown Point Press, Gemini G.E.L. LLC, Sabine Knust, Carolina Nitsch, Pace Prints, Paragon, Polígrafa Obra Gràfica, STPI, Two Palms and ULAE.


Presenting works of art made in the last three years, Nova featured 35 galleries, five of which were first-time exhibitors at the Miami Beach show. Notable works from the sector included textiles by Margo Wolowiec (b. 1985) at Jessica Silverman Gallery; a film

installation by Hong Kong-based artist Wong Ping (b. 1984) shown by Edouard Malingue Gallery; pieces by Korakrit Arunanondchai (b. 1986) and Harold Ancart (b.1980) at Clearing; an installation exploring radical biotech by Anicka Yi (b. 1971) – recipient of the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize – at 47 Canal; and a multimedia pairing of videos, drawings on paper and rippled mirrors by Joan Jonas (b. 1936) at Galleria Raffaella Cortese. Additional solo and group presentations included aaajiao (b. 1984), Cui Jie (b. 1983) and Liu Shiyuan (b. 1985) at Leo Xu Projects – also a first-time participant; Sanford Biggers (b. 1970) and Xaviera Simmons (b. 1974) at David Castillo Gallery; Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b. 1985) and Oscar Muñoz (b. 1951) at mor charpentier; Michael Dean (b. 1977) at Supportico Lopez; Vivian Suter (b. 1949) and Josef Strau (b. 1957) at House of Gaga; Mika Tajima (b. 1975) at 11R; and Kostis Velonis (b. 1968) at Kalfayan Galleries.


The 16 curated booths in Positions – 10 of which were first-time exhibitors in the sector – provided focused platforms for individual artists to present a major project. Featured artists in this sector included, Adrià Julià (b. 1974) at Dan Gunn, Gao Ludi (b. 1990) at White Space Beijing, Ulrike Müller (b. 1971) at Callicoon Fine Arts, Shelly Nadashi (b. 1981) at Christian Andersen, and Amy Yao (b. 1977) at Various Small Fires.

Three artists in the sector, Max Hooper Schneider (b. 1982) at High Art, Maggie Lee (b. 1987) at Real Fine Arts and Beto Shwafaty (b. 1977) at Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani were shortlisted for this year’s BMW Art Journey, a juried award that enables an emerging artist to go on a journey of creative discovery to a destination of their choice. The BMW Art Journey is open to artists from Positions and Discoveries, Art Basel’s sectors for emerging artists in Miami Beach and Hong Kong. The winner will be announced in early 2017. For more information, please visit:


Featuring presentations of rarely seen works from before 2000, Survey presented 14 projects including Romare Bearden’s (b. 1911; d. 1988) photographic series, ‘Projections’ (1964), at DC Moore Gallery; historic works on paper by Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi (b. 1930) at Vigo Gallery; monumental abstract paintings by Howardena Pindell (b. 1943) at Garth Greenan Gallery; works by Giorgio Morandi (d. 1890; d. 1964) at Galleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M.; and kinetic sculptures by George Rickey (b. 1907; d. 2002) at Maxwell Davidson Gallery. In addition, the galleries in Survey featured presentations of several important female artists, such as Graciela Carnevale (b. 1942) at espaivisor, Barbara T. Smith (b. 1931) at The Box and Betye Saar (b. 1926) at Roberts & Tilton.


A much-loved sector of the show, Kabinett consisted of 29 carefully curated exhibitions within booths across the fair. At Kavi Gupta, Irena Haiduk (b. 1982) transformed the gallery’s stand into a candy store selling authentic Balkan confections representing different political regimes, while Alexander Gray Associates presented allegorical paintings by Hugh Steers (b. 1962, d. 1995) that capture the emotional and political tenor of New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Rhona Hoffman Gallery celebrated its 40th anniversary with new works by Derrick Adams (b. 1970) and kurimanzutto featured Carlos Amorales’ (b. 1970) first paintings incorporating color. Works with a focus on everyday objects were featured at Sperone Westwater with recent sculptural pieces by Tom Sachs (b. 1966) and at Polígrafa Obra Gràfica with 66 lithographs by Rose Wylie

(b. 1934).


Curated for the fourth year by Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of New York’s Public Art Fund, the Public sector in Collins Park drew crowds from across the city to view over 20 site-specific installations and performances by artists spanning 10 countries. Inspired by David Bowie, this year’s edition of Public featured the theme ‘Ground Control’

and showcased works by Magdalena Abakanowicz (b. 1930), David Adamo (b. 1979), Jean-Marie Appriou (b. 1986), Eric Baudart (b. 1972), Huma Bhabha (b. 1962), Yoan Capote (b. 1977), Claudia Comte (b. 1983), Matías Duville (b. 1974), Camille Henrot (b. 1978), Glenn Kaino (b. 1972), Alicja Kwade (b. 1979), Sol LeWitt (b. 1928; d. 2007), Wagner Malta Tavares (b. 1964), Tony Matelli (b. 1971), William J. O’Brien (b. 1975), Anthony Pearson (b. 1969), Norbert Prangenberg (b. 1949; d. 2002), Ugo Rondinone (b. 1964), Tony Tasset (b. 1960) and Erwin Wurm (b. 1954). Public officially opened on Wednesday, November 30, with performances by Davide Balula (b. 1978), Lady Bunny (b. 1962), Rob Pruitt (b. 1964) and Naama Tsabar (b. 1982) and was produced in collaboration with The Bass and supported by MGM Resorts Art & Culture. This year, 11 Public sector projects will remain on view until March 15, 2017.

During the show, Art Basel was pleased to announce the appointment of a new curator for the Public sector – Philipp Kaiser – an independent curator and critic, who will curate the Swiss Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) and also the inaugural exhibition at the Marciano Foundation in Los Angeles next year. Philipp Kaiser will succeed Nicholas Baume, commencing with the 2017 Miami Beach edition.


David Gryn, Director of Daata Editions and London’s Artprojx, once again curated the show’s Film program, which brought together over 50 films and video works by artists drawn from the show’s participating galleries. Screenings took place throughout the week both in SoundScape Park on the 7,000 square-foot outdoor projection wall of the New World Center and in the Film Library located within the Miami Beach Convention Center. David Gryn’s short film program, titled ‘Best Dressed Chicken in Town’ focused on a selection of international artists who engage with music in a multitude of ways, while the ‘Double Bill’ program paired two film works that share similar approaches to an intense musical score: Rita Ackermann (b. 1968) with Christian Marclay (b. 1955), and Liliana Porter (b. 1941) with Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956). The evening screenings were preceded by a selection of sound works by Ain Bailey (b. 1963), Zoë Buckman (b. 1985), A.K. Burns (b. 1975), Jonathan Montague (b. 1982), Molly Palmer (b. 1984) and Susannah Stark (b. 1988). Returning to the show for her second year, New York-based film consultant Marian Masone selected the feature film to be screen at the Colony Theater: ‘Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back’ (2016) directed by Maura Axelrod.

Conversations and Salon

Art Basel’s celebrated talks program attracted over 2470 visitors throughout the course of the show, offering dynamic discussions between artists, galleries, art historian, writers, museum directors and collectors from across the globe. Conversations launched with the Premier Artist Talk featuring artist Julio Le Parc (b. 1928) and Estrellita B. Brodsky, who curated Le Parc’s major exhibition at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Hans Ulrich Obrist introduced his ‘Artists’ Influencers’ series to Miami Beach, featuring Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) in conversation with Claudia Rankine, Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry, Yale University, New Haven; while Sebastian Cwilich, Simon Denny (b. 1982), Laurent Gaveau, Christiane Paul and András Szántó discussed digital innovations in ‘Debating Disruption: Has Technology Really Changed the Artworld?’. Panels in the Salon program considered the development of the cultural scene in Buenos Aires – the first location for Art Basel’s new initiative, Art Basel Cities – as well as the post-election art market with a talk involving Josh Baer, Heather Podesta and Daniel H. Sallick. Videos of all Conversations and Salon talks are available at

Exhibitions in Miami Beach

Visitors to Miami Beach enjoyed a diverse range of high-quality exhibitions put on by South Florida’s major cultural institutions and museums. Highlights include the first museum exhibition in the United States of the German artist Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937) at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; ‘Jannis Kounellis: Paintings’ and ‘Anselm Kiefer:

Installations’ at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse; ‘High Anxiety: New Acquisitions’ and ‘12 Brazilians’ at the Rubell Family Collection; ‘Progressive Praxis’ at The de la Cruz Collection; ‘Toda Percepción es una Interpretación: You are Part of It’ at the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and CIFO Collection and work by Mark Dion (b. 1961) at the Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden in partnership with Florida International University. The Pérez Art Museum Miami opened ‘Julio Le Parc: Form into Action’, an exploration of kinetic work by one of the leading Argentinian artist, as well as a solo show of paintings by David Reed (b. 1946), who was also presented at Art Basel in Miami Beach in the Survey sector. Further exhibitions took place at Frost Art Museum; Lowe Art Museum; National YoungArts Foundation; NSU Museum, Fort Lauderdale; Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Wolfsonian – FIU.

The Miami Beach Convention Center renovation project beginning in late 2015 and phased around the 2016 edition, the planned renovation for the Miami Beach Convention Center continued without posing any disruptions to the show. In 2017 all four halls will be fully modernized and a new floorplan will be introduced. Renovations will then be completed before Art Basel returns to Miami Beach in December 2018.

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