Despite that slow build, which saw collectors and curators trickle in through the weekend (perhaps some wrapping up the work week before traveling from Kansas City, Houston, Milwaukee, or St. Louis), a number of dealers reported six-figure sales on opening day. Leading the pack was Paul Kasmin Gallery
, who placed ’s Maquette for Centrifuge
(2014) with a New York private collector for $225,000. In its first showing at EXPO since 2012, the New York gallery later sold ’s DEAF (prototype)
to a Los Angeles-based collector for $50,000, two newly-commissioned paintings by
for €22,000 apiece, and ’s
large sculpture Indeterminate Line
(2013) for $450,000. “The market is fairly discreet in the Midwest, but they’ve opened up,” said Paul Kasmin senior director Denis Gardarin of an outing that he characterized as “much better” than previous trips to Chicago. Gardarin added that, given the current market slowdown, this success can be attributed to collectors’ security in investing in the gallery’s brand name.
gallery kicked off its maiden voyage to EXPO CHICAGO with the sale of ’s August 6, 1945 (Chicago)
(2016), which went to a European collector for $175,000. The wall-hung sculpture continues Jackson’s series in which aerial images of Hiroshima post-atomic bomb are mapped onto 3D models of a variety of cities, Chicago, with its Great Chicago Fire of 1871, being a fitting inclusion. The gallery also placed a painting by
with a European collector for €47,000, four large photographs from ’s
1993-2015 “Imperial Courts” series at around $10,000 a pop, and ’s
painting Down in Front: No Other Dream™
(2014–2016) for $35,000. Director Sebastiaan Brandsen said that the gallery “had some great response from local collectors,” but as of Saturday afternoon, “none of the works will be staying in the Midwest.”
The fair’s EXPOSURE sector, which offered 26 younger galleries the opportunity to curate solo or duo artist presentations, saw a number of first-time exhibitors in high spirits. New York’s Half Gallery had placed eight of nine paintings on view by Dublin-based artist
by the stroke of 6 p.m. on opening day. Of those sales, on the range of $12,000–20,000, one painting went to a local museum trustee. “Obviously Genieve is more of a known entity, but I think locally and regionally, most people have probably never seen her work in person,” said owner Bill Powers of the decision to show Figgis, whose beautifully macabre, dripping, and swirling paintings have garnered a major following
in New York and Europe.
New York’s The Hole
also saw success in the EXPOSURE sector. The gallery, notorious for creative fair presentations, installed a solo booth of sculptural, abstracted portraits by Los Angeles-based artist
—including two paintings each only visible through peephole. Several of the artist’s smaller works were snatched up on opening day for $2,500 apiece. “The fair has been building in momentum, and we wanted to hit the Midwest,” said director Raymond Bulman, who later noted the sale of the booth’s largest work, Green is My Valley
(2016), which went to a Chicago-based collector for $16,000.