“He’s really the genesis for Kippenberger, and a huge influence for people like Michael Williams,” said Marlborough director Max Levai, who then pulled out the book they put out in 2016—the first on the artist in English—and showed pictures of Büttner carousing around Hamburg, Berlin, and Cologne with the era’s leading party animals.
Levai was clearly taken by the history, and it’s great stuff for Kippenberger-heads to nerd out on, but here, it’s just another hook to sell the work—the ostensible purpose of any art fair, even one that feels like an exhibition. The new paintings are on offer for $60,000 per canvas, and a big self-portrait from 1986 was $180,000.
Some Independent galleries had dispensed with business early in the preview, selling all or most of the work within the first few hours. Among those, Clearing
placed all of its new
painted-wood sculptures with collectors, and David Kordansky
sold nearly all its sculptures by the Los Angeles artist
, including the giant Women Playing with Dolls
(2017), which was $32,000, and Among Flowers
(2017), which was $28,000.
“It’s a very exciting fair—it feels like an exhibition space, it feels curated,” said Mera Rubell, the Miami collector who was making the rounds with her husband, Don, but wouldn’t say whether they had purchased any of the work on display.