Art Miami Makes Huge Sales

MIAMI – The first major event to kick off Art Basel week, Art Miami maintains its prestigious reputation as a leading international contemporary and modern fair.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network reported big purchases at this fair.

Along with its sister event, CONTEXT Art Miami, the fairs report record-breaking sales and attendance throughout the week, and an overwhelming representation of significant works sold to both established and new private and corporate collectors, notable museum professionals, cultural foundation executives, dealers, art advisors and consultants.

A total of 79,000 people attended Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami throughout the week, and nearly 14,500 VIPs attended to kick off the fairs at the VIP Preview, which was presented by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, sponsored by Christie’s International Real Estate and benefited the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

“This year was a level above any in our 26 years of Art Miami,” said Nick Korniloff, Fair Director and Partner of Art Miami LLC. “We saw the highest level of quality art work ever on exhibit for acquisition at Art Miami.” There was a prevalence of works by artists such as Frank Stella, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder and Roy Lichtenstein.

The true success of the week was characterized by the massive sales reported by the galleries. Further establishing Art Miami as the city’s integral anchor fair, Cernuda Arte gallery had some of the most significant sales for Latin American, and specifically Cuban, artists.

There were two pieces by artists Mario Carreño and Amelia Peláez purchased at Cernuda Arte gallery, representing some of the most important modern work in private hands for Cuban art, and totaling over $3.5 million.

“Once again Art Miami is fantastic,” said Ramon Cernuda, Gallery Director of Cernuda Arte. “We have sold over $6 million in art in five days, and we have met a very interesting group of new clients. It is our 13th edition this year.”

Stellar Sales

As well as presenting an Ai Weiwei piece, Haines Gallery sold Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian’s, The First Family, which is worth over $300,000. Farmanfarmaian recently was the subject of a career showcase at the Guggenheim.

Waterhouse & Dodd placed three pieces from artists Sam Francis, Jean-François Rauzier and Theodoros Stamos, amounting to over $450,000 in sales. Bernarducci Meisel Gallery practically sold out, with total sales reaching nearly half a million dollars.

With clients from Korea, Germany and South America, Galerie von Vertes had several major purchases, including a $1.5 million Joan Miró piece, as well as a $400,000 work from Damien Hirst.

An undisclosed collector acquired another Sam Francis work at Gallery Delaive’s booth for $175,000.

Famed artist Barbara Kruger’s $450,000 photo engraving, Untitled (Who is beyond the law?),was sold by Scott White Contemporary Art, which also saw an acquisition of a Joan Mitchell painting worth over $100,000.

Berry Campbell gallery had a successful week, selling three pieces worth over $100,000: an abstract expressionist painting by Alfonso Ossorio; a rare, early color field masterpiece by Walter Darby Bannard; and an impressive Raymond Hendler painting. Dranoff Fine Art sold John Chamberlain’s Stuffed Tonsure at $35,000 to a client who had also purchased from the gallery last year at Art Miami.

Mark Borghi Fine Art and KM Fine Arts collectively sold four pieces by artist Bernie Taupin (lifetime visual artist and lyricist), including When Woody Guthrie Left Oklahoma for $22,000 and BANG for $23,500.

Gallery 55 Belle Chasse sold 10 pieces by Pascal Vochelet to one person at $3,200 each. James Barron Art closed the week with nearly $1 million in sales. Some of the works purchased included five Beverly Pepper sculptures (one for $250,000 and the rest for $75,000 each); a Ken Price sculpture worth $95,000; and an important Jules Olitski painting for $125,000. Makana, a beautiful horse sculpture created by Deborah Butterfield and priced at $150,000, was acquired from Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, while Chowaiki & Co placed a Keith Haring sculpture worth over $375,000.

Heston | modern and contemporary experienced significant sales throughout the week, including purchases of a large Eric Fischl glass sculpture for $225,000, a Fischl collage for $60,000, a Fischl Marquette glass for $75,000, and six Eric Holubow photographs averaging $10,000 each.


At CONTEXT, Art Miami's adjacent sister fair, the 95 participating galleries saw great success. Dubner Moderne had 33 works acquired from its solo exhibition of Viviane Rombaldi Seppey; the pieces ranged from $1,000 to $38,000. Shine Artists London sold nine pieces by artist Jeff Robb.

Sim Smith placed the gallery’s largest piece by artist Bradley Wood to an undisclosed buyer, and Lyle O. Reitzel sold Edouard Duval-Carrie’s Ogou And His Internal Beast for $30,000. Blank Space Art’s sales highlights include four works from Seung Mo Park, prices ranging from $14,000 to $52,000; four works from Arno Elias, prices ranging from $16,000 to $25,000; and 10 edition pieces sold of Byung Jin Kim’s LOVE Heart.

Celebrity Attendees

This year’s fairs were visited by prominent attendees, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who was the first to see both fairs in a private tour prior to the opening, and actor/artist Adrien Brody attended the closing on Sunday.

Many other notable celebrities, collectors and art advisors filled in the week, including Elle Macpherson; Troy Garity (Jane Fonda's son); Jorge and Darlene Pérez; Canadian business mogul and “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary and his wife Linda; basketball star Alonzo Mourning; fashion magnate Tommy Hilfiger; Mark Ein; and art advisor Kim Heirston. Artists present included BernieTaupin and wife Heather.

Representatives from Pérez Art Museum Miami, Guggenheim Museum of Art, CORE Club, Cooper Hewitt Design, Bass Museum of Art; Frost Art Museum, ICA Miami, St. Louis Art Museum and Wolfsonian, were among many other visitors.

Art Miami Magazine

This year also debuted Art Miami Magazine, the fair’s first dedicated publication. Korniloff teamed up with Ocean Drive Magazine founder Jerry Powers to create the upscale publication that takes readers through Miami Art Week and Miami’s ongoing cultural scene.

Covering everything from fairs to art world fashion, the inaugural issue included an in-depth interview with the Pérez Art Museum Miami’s new director, Franklin Sirmans; an exclusive with Donald Pliner on his return to Miami and his new store; a feature on Miami City Ballet’s upcoming 30th anniversary; and an interview with artist Bernie Taupin on the inspiration, style and passion behind his art.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video offers the best 60 artworks in 60 seconds of Art Miami 2015.