Art Basel Miami Beach is experiencing robust sales, marking a significant shift in the market’s energy despite initial concerns and a more subdued atmosphere attributed to global political tensions and economic uncertainties.
Conversations among galleries highlighted a shift towards selectivity, with a collector emphasis on long-term value rather than short-term market trends. Collectors confirmed a surge of positive energy and a favorable atmosphere. They appreciated the opportunity for more thoughtful art engagement, attributing it to a perceived less speculative market.
Art Basel CEO Noah Horowitz reported multiple million-dollar sales, including a Barkley Hendricks work fetching over $6 million.
Prominent galleries such as Kasmin reported success with a larger stand featuring a diverse range of artists. Sales included works from established names like Alex Katz to emerging talents like Sara Anstis.
David Zwirner’s booth was abuzz with activity, featuring Marlene Dumas’s captivating painting “The Schoolboys,” a poignant exploration of identity and public versus private selves, which fetched an impressive $9 million. Yayoi Kusama’s art continued to captivate buyers, with two Infinity Net paintings selling for $3 million each.
An exceptional private collection purchased Philip Guston’s melancholic masterpiece “Painter at Night” for $20 million, a big win for Hauser & Wirth.
Alicja Kwade’s entry into Pace’s program proved to be a success, as her large-scale sculpture “l’ordre des mondes (Totem)” quickly found a buyer at $500,000.
Lehmann Maupin saw strong sales of Teresita Fernández’s wall-based works, fetching a cool $1 million from collectors in the United States and Europe.
Thaddaeus Ropac showcased Robert Rauschenberg’s “Copperhead-Bite IX / ROCI CHILE,” a play on scale and cultural encounter, which fetched $1.7 million.
Xavier Hufkens sold Tracey Emin’s emotionally charged painting “Deep Feeling” for $1.64 million, reflecting the artist’s raw portrayal of grief and love.
Gladstone Gallery also made notable sales, though not necessarily at the sky-high prices seen in the past. The demand extended beyond well-known artists, with young artists’ works finding buyers as well.
On the higher end, one of the most expensive works at the fair was Frank Stella’s rare “Delta” (1958), the artist’s first black painting, priced at $45 million and showcased by Yares Art. The painting is considered a pivotal piece that influenced non-figurative painting, Color Field Painting, Minimalism, and even Pop art. Despite considerable interest, there were no buyers for the expensive artwork during the early hours of the fair.