ARTBO Fosters a New Collector Base in Colombia in 11th Edition
ARTBO opened to VIP guests and collectors this past Wednesday, and to the public the following day. With the American dollar and the euro up against the Colombian peso, international collectors definitely had an edge. But across the board, sales were plentiful in the fair’s opening days.
Even before the fair opened its doors, New York dealer Josée Bienvenu sold a painting by Adam Winner, along with a piece by Jonathan Callan for $8,500. At the fair, the gallery sold a work by Marco Maggi titled Vertical Complot (Color) (2015) for $16,000. “It is a good quality, smaller fair, where you can spend more time [talking] to people,” said Bienvenu of ARTBO.
L.A.’s Steve Turner gallery sold paintings by Joaquin Boz for under $5,000. However, Turner said he was mainly focused on gaining visibility for his artist in the emerging Colombian market. The gallery also displayed works by Ivan Comas, who has an upcoming exhibition at DUVE Berlin. At Slyzmud gallery, work by two Argentinian artists sold: a piece by Jimena Croceri for $750 and two videos by Alan Segal, titled Coro (2014) and Tutorial 4, each for $800.
A true standout at the fair was Eduardo Costa. The artist currently has a video on view in “Transmissions” at MoMA, but showed his series of “volumetric paintings” at ARTBO with Argentina-based gallery Cosmocosa’s booth. One piece, which resembles a roll of black electrical tape but is made entirely of acrylic paint, sold for $22,000.
Johannes Vogt Gallery returned to ARTBO for the third year in a row. The gallery showed all Latin American artists, including Venezuelan Ricardo Alcaide, Brazilian Tatiana Blass, Chilean Cristóbal Lehyt, and Colombian Alejandro Ospina. Sales at the fair included a work by Alcaide made with industrial paint on MDF board for $2,500; a painting by Blass for $4,500; and a piece by Lehyt for $4,000. Larger paintings by Ospina with a higher price point—including a medium size oil on canvas offered for $26,000 and a bigger composition for $38,000—attracted much interest. “American and Spanish collectors have shown the most interest this year,” said Vogt. “The collectors in Bogotá are very loyal and dedicated. Hospitality is very important here and they have been very welcoming.”
The Brazilian Galeria Jaqueline Martins had a bright blue, mixed-media sculptural installation by Lydia Okumura that was shown in the 1981 Colombia Biennial on view. Consisting of a metal sheet on the floor, a painted wall, nylon wire, and graphite, it was offered for $10,000. Though it hadn’t yet sold at the time of writing, the piece is impressive as a hallmark of a specific time in Colombian Minimalism, while also feeling quite fresh.
Ecuador’s NoMíNIMO gallery sold Figurantes (2009) by Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza, and a 2015 video by Adrián Balseca titled El Cóndor pasa. The works ranged in price from $2,000 to $12,000. São Paulo’s Luciana Brito Galeria sold a wall sculpture by Héctor Zamora and an untitled piece by Fernando Zarif for undisclosed prices.
Co-owner and director Alberto Magnan of Magnan Metz, which participated in ARTBO for the sixth year, was more candid about his sales. A piece by Cuban artist Roberto Diago went for $6,000. Four pieces by the Colombian artist duo Mangle, who make wood-based wall sculptures and limited edition items of furniture, sold in the range of $3,000–$8,000.
Milan-based Brand New Gallery sold eight small paintings by Alain Biltereyst at €2,800 each and a painting by Joe Reihsen for $5,000. The gallery’s strategy, similar to many of those reporting success at ARTBO, was driven by the idea that works with approachable prices find the most interest.
—Katy Diamond Hamer