At the opening of Art Basel Miami Beach on Tuesday, dealers reported solid attendance from collectors, who showed few signs of reticence to buy new works. Gallerists said they were successful in placing works in institutional collections spanning the U.S. and Europe museums. (Sales are self-reported by galleries, making the data difficult to confirm.)
In their sales reports, dealers painted a rosy picture of the action at Art Basel. Some said they sold works valued as highly as $7 million—and suggested that future big sales could follow.
A few dealers said they came in with low expectations. Marc Glimcher, president and CEO of Pace Gallery, told ARTnews that the temperate of the market prior to event’s opening day on Tuesday was still unclear. “We came to Miami with a ‘wait and see’ mentality, unsure of where the barometer of the art market would point amidst wider economic concerns,” he said.
But any collective concerns that the pace of sales might not measure up to years priors were swiftly allayed, with dealers bringing in sales in the multimillions for postwar artists and new talents alike.
Gagosian, which brought works by Ashley Bickerton, Amoako Boafo, Jim Shaw, Alexandria Smith, Anna Weyant, and others, reported that 50 of its pieces sold within the fair’s opening hours. Millicent Wilner, a senior director at the dealer’s London location, told ARTnews that, after 20 years, the fair’s clout still holds up.
Below, a look at eight works that galleries said they sold during Art Basel’s first couple days.