Art Market

The Canvas’s Full Art Basel in Miami Beach Sales Roundup

The Canvas
Dec 3, 2021 8:10PM

Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers), installation view in Tiwani Contemporary’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. Courtesy of Art Basel.

This Miami Art Week, Artsy is proud to be working with The Canvas, the premium art market newsletter, to deliver on-the-ground reporting from all the major fairs, including major sales, standout booths, and updates on what the art world’s top collectors and power-brokers are buzzing about and buying this year.

If you’d like to receive more exclusive coverage from The Canvas and get access to the same insightful reporting that the art world’s leading blue-chip collectors rely on to navigate a rapidly shifting marketplace, we encourage you to subscribe and join their insider community.

By now, most serious collectors have put Miami firmly in the rearview mirror of their chartered jets, bolting out of town as soon as Art Basel in Miami Beach officially opened its doors to the city’s rowdy public. However, even as the fair begins to wrap up—the last day is Saturday this year—the sales continue to roll on as big-ticket deals get finalized and a clearer picture of the market begins to emerge.

Helly Nahmad Gallery sold Picasso’s Mousquetaire et Femme a la Fleur (1967) for just under $20 million, making it the highest-priced sale at this year’s fair at time of publication. Meanwhile, Mnuchin Gallery continued to see brisk sales for many of the blue-chip secondary-market works it brought to the fair this year. In addition to the sales we reported earlier this week, the gallery sold two Mary Lovelace O’Neal paintings to American collectors, each with an asking price of $500,000. And over in the Matthew Marks Gallery booth, seven small Ellsworth Kelly works on paper all sold on the first day of the fair as the esteemed press-shy dealer sat nearby. The gallery also sold a new Simone Leigh porcelain sculpture for $400,000 just before the fair opened, timed to the announcement that it would be taking on Leigh’s representation ahead of her participation at the 59th Venice Biennale this spring representing the U.S.

Kasmin also had a particularly successful week, selling James Rosenquist’s large-scale charcoal work on paper Mute Transformations (1985) for $300,000 on the heels of the gallery’s announcement this past June that it would be taking on the representation of the estate alongside Thaddaeus Ropac. The gallery also sold Cynthia Daignault’s Witness Tree (2021) for $65,000, which touches on the same themes as her seven-panel work As I Lay Dying currently on view in the New Museum triennial. The artist’s exhibition at Kasmin (also titled “As I Lay Dying”) closes in January with all the works having sold within the first few days. Other sales from Kasmin’s booth include Ian Davenport’s Turquoise & Yellow (Mirrored) (2021) for $95,000; Diana Al-Hadid’s Bargaining on a Precipice (2021) for $80,000; and Alma Allen’s Not Yet Titled (2021) for $18,000.

Local favorite David Castillo Gallery saw strong demand for the works featured in its booth as well, selling Sanford Biggers’s 2021 ceramic, wood, and gold leaf Quandary (2021) to a collector in New York for $125,000; Belkis Ayón’s 1998 collagraph My Vernicle o si yo no te olvido (My Vernicle or I do not forget you) to Miami- and Aspen-based collectors Ernesto and Cecilia Poma for $100,000; Vaughn Spann’s Greyson (2021) to a collector in Virginia for $30,000; and Yesiyu Zhao’s Crossing Over (2021) for $35,000 to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.

Demand was also particularly strong for many of Casey Kaplan’s artists, with the gallery placing major works by Jordan Casteel for $300,000, Sarah Crowner for $160,000, Caroline Kent for $50,000, and Kevin Beasley for $125,000; as well as works by Igshaan Adams, Matthew Brannon, Ella Walker, and Judith Eisler. And Roberts Projects sold a large mixed media on wood work by Alexandre Diop, Toutes Valeur a son Rythme (2021), for $40,000, with buzz quickly building around the young Franco Senegalese artist who exhibited in a group show at Salon 94 just last month.

Over in the fair’s “Nova” section, where galleries present works created in the past three years, Los Angeles–based Various Small Fires sold two works by Diedrick Brackens priced between $55,000 and $85,000, with one selling to a trustee of the ICA Miami as a promised gift to the institution. London gallery Tiwani Contemporary sold out of its booth of 10 works by Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers) for prices ranging between $25,000 and $65,000. And in the fair’s “Survey” sector, Fridman Gallery placed multidisciplinary artist Dindga McCannon’s seminal 1975 painting A Day in the Life of a Black Woman Artist, which carried an asking price of $150,000, with a New York City museum as part of a promised gift deal.

See below for part one of our full sales roundup from around the fair. In the meantime, if you still happen to be in Miami, try to enjoy today’s sunshine and hit the beach for a little (that’s where you can find us for the next couple of hours). We’ll then be back Sunday with part two of our sales roundup in our penultimate missive from the fair, and then Monday with some final thoughts on the week and what it all means for the market as the art world barrels towards 2022.

And finally, make sure not to miss our second-annual “Collectors Issue” publishing early next week, which—in addition to Jorge M. Pérez and John Marquez, whom we’ve already announced—will also feature an in-depth conversation with the San Francisco–based collector (and SFMOMA and Tate Americas Foundation trustee) Komal Shah, who takes us inside her exceptional collection. Subscribe here if the Miami sun, excessive NFT talk, or free-flowing liquor this past week hasn’t fried your brain to the point that you haven’t done so already.

A few miscellaneous NFT thoughts rolling around our heads

On Wednesday, Beeple and Peter Saul participated in a public conversation at The Bass, the title of which was “Curator Culture, Beeple & Saul, 15 Minutes or Forever? Art in the Age of the NFT.” Most coverage of the event thus far has somewhat obviously pointed out that the 87-year-old Pop pioneer and the digitally native NFT superstar have seemingly little in common. Duh. But perhaps the real story here is the participation of Adam Lindemann as the moderator of the event. The savvy collector and proprietor of the Upper East Side–based gallery Venus Over Manhattan usually has a pretty good sense of where the smart money in the market is heading. And his recent moves into cryptocurrencies and NFTs—a hat-wearing CryptoPunk is his current profile picture on Instagram—should act as a smoke signal that the fledgling field is beginning to pick up steam and gain more acceptance in the posh circles of traditional blue-chip collectors.

In an announcement timed to capitalize on all the attention and excitement surrounding Art Basel in Miami Beach this week, ex-Christie’s rainmaker and Fair Warning creator Loïc Gouzer announced a new venture called Particle, which aims to merge art and technology with the intention of opening up the art world to a broader pool of potential buyers. Gouzer and his partners—Shingo Lavine, Adam Lavine, and Philip Eytan of Voyager, a company that helps connect financial institutions with the blockchain; and Oscar Salazar, the founding chief technology officer and chief architect of Uber—teamed up to purchase Banksy’s 2005 painting Love Is in the Air for $12.9 million at Sotheby’s last May (Jackie Wachter represented the winning bidder on the phone), and the group now plans to sell off 10,000 pieces of it as NFTs.

Particle’s chief executive Harold Eytan explained to the New York Times: “We’re not selling you the image of the painting. We’re selling you this concept of ownership of a piece of the painting. Whereas some platforms allow you to buy ‘shares’ in artwork, we’re facilitating buying unique pieces of the works. This is a different experience, one focused around collecting and not investing.” Um…okay. If anyone reading this has any idea what that masterful mashup of word vomit actually means, hit us up as we’re dying to know how this works in practical terms.

Art Basel in Miami Beach sales roundup part one

Note: This compilation isn’t comprehensive, and we don’t publish sales that don’t come with at least some sort of pricing data. Additionally, certain galleries, such as Gagosian and Marian Goodman, traditionally choose not to share their sales, so this list is somewhat self-selective, though Gagosian did just send out a statement to the press announcing that it had sold over $40 million in art out of its booth over the course of the week. And finally—and perhaps most importantly—we encourage you to pay close attention to the specific wording surrounding the sales as there are meaningful differences between “priced at,” “sold for around,” etc.

Mitchell-Innes & Nash

  • An Eddie Martinez painting for approximately $250,000
  • Two paintings by Pope.L for approximately $150,000, each to a private museum in Europe
  • Two paintings by Gideon Appah for approximately $50,000
  • One work by Gerasimos Floratos for approximately $40,000
  • One work on paper by Karl Haendel for approximately $35,000
  • Several works on paper by Gideon Appah for approximately $5,000 each
  • An untitled Louise Bourgeois painting from circa 1940 for approximately $1.4 million
  • George Condo’s Going Out of my Mind (2021) for approximately $1.4 million to Miami-based collector John Marquez
  • A Roni Horn sculpture made between 2013 and 2017 for $1.2 million
  • Rashid Johnson’s Bruise Painting “Ask Me Now” (2021) for approximately $1 million
  • Rita Ackermann’s Mama, Good Samaritan (2021) for $475,000
  • Gary Simmons’s Hold Up, Wait A Minute for $375,000
  • Lorna Simpson’s Marked (2021) for $350,000
  • Christina Quarles’s Ascent (2021) for $325,000 to a U.S.-based institution
  • Henry Taylor’s Untitled (Portrait of Jesse Williams) for $250,000
  • Luchita Hurtado’s Untitled (1975) for $200,000
  • Mary Heilmann’s Acid Crash (2020) for $60,000
  • Two works from 2020 by Camille Henrot for $40,000 each

Roberts Projects

  • Jonas Wood’s Bball Orchid with Dots #1 (2021) for $850,000
  • Mary Weatherford’s Candy Throw (2021) for $300,000
  • Fred Eversley’s Untitled (parabolic lens) (1969) (2021) for $275,000
  • Tobias Pils’s Breastfeeding & Resting (2021) for $80,000
  • Tom of Finland’s Untitled (from “Two Hoods in Hollywood”) (1960) for $35,000
  • Evan Holloway’s Heavy Framing Pastel Joy (2021) for $125,000
  • Julie Mehretu’s Untitled 1 (1999) for $3.95 million
  • Mark Bradford’s It took me years to learn the right attitude (2002) for $3.95 million
  • An untitled 2007 mixed-media work by David Hammons for $2.35 million
  • Andreas Gursky’s Bahrain l (2005), edition 5 of 6, for €1.5 million to collector Petch Osathanugrah, for the Dib Museum and Foundation in Bangkok
  • Damien Hirst’s Adumbration (2021) for $750,000
  • Theaster Gates’s Black Color Study (6724) (2021) for $500,000
  • Bram Bogart’s La ferme (1978) for €425,000
  • Antony Gormley’s OPEN STRIP (2018) for £400,000
  • Fred Tomaselli’s Squawm Lake Bug Drop (1996) for £285,000
  • Harland Miller’s Up is a Nice Place to Be (2021) for £175,000
  • Three Tracey Emin works on paper for £20,000 each
The Canvas