There’s a reason why Art Basel in Miami Beach has been dubbed the art world’s Black Friday. Judging from gallery reports, the pace of sales—replete with six- and seven-figure blue-chip works—went at a reasonably fast clip during the fair, which closed on December 10.
As usual, sales reports are slippery—some purchases may have been finalized long before the fair, while others might only be hypothetical, still awaiting the all-important paperwork (and cash). Prices, however, are far more reliably telling, giving a valuable snapshot of where individual artists stand in the art-market matrix today. As a result, some dealers prefer to report ranges or the “asking price,” to obscure the actual price and, for instance, cover up any favorable treatment that another buyer of a comparable work may not have received.
So take all of this with a grain of salt.
That said, to hear it from galleries, a considerable number of works sold for over $1 million during the week. Among them was Bruce Nauman‘s eerie ceiling-hung Untitled (Two Wolves, Two Deer) (1989), which had a price tag of $9.5 million and was sold by Hauser & Wirth to a collection in Asia.
Another top price—and hardly surprising given the artist’s current rock-star status—was for a just-completed Mark Bradford triptych, Moon Rocks(2017), also sold by Hauser & Wirth,for $5 million. Mnuchin Gallery also had a red dot for another, much earlier Bradford work with a $3 million asking price, Fly in the Buttermilk (2002).
There’s a lot more where that came from. Here is a (partial) roundup of notable sales at the fair as reported to artnet News, helpfully listed by price:
$275,000: Dana Schutz‘s Self-Exam (2017) at Friedrich Petzel Gallery
Mary Corse’s Untitled (2017). Photo: courtesy of Lehmann Maupin.
$250,000–300,000: Two Mary Corse paintings from DNA Series (2017) at Lehmann Maupin. Corse has a big year ahead of her: she has a major solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum and a presentation at Dia: Beacon, both slated for spring of 2018.
$250,000–275,000: Jonas Wood‘s WKS NPP #6, DKG NPP #1, DKG NPP #2, Maritime NPP #8 (all 2017) at David Kordansky Gallery