ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2017 CONVENTION CENTER SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI, FLORIDA
ART BASEL HONG KONG
MARCH 29-31, 2018
ART BASEL SWITZERLAND
JUNE 14-17, 2018
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH
DECEMBER 6-9, 2018
by Nancy Nesvet
For this writer, Art Basel Miami Beach 2017, the world’s biggest art show — in space, sales, artist and gallery representation — provided a giddy week. The crowded fair, full of technology, dazzle and shine, featured work from the big names in contemporary art. Anish Kapoor’s vertical swoosh of steel, “Non-Object (Door)” (2008, stainless steel, Lisson Gallery), reflected people who posed in front of it admiring their reflection. Barry X Ball’s “Perfect Forms (after Umberto Boccioni)” (2010-14, Connersmith) upped the ante by using 24-karat gold in another aerodynamic, futuristic form.
Older paintings and sculptures for sale included Marc Chagall’s “Peintre au Coq Rouge” (oil on gouache, 1959-68, Hammer Galleries, New York) and more 1960s-1980s work than at any recent art fair. Rotund Fernando Botero paintings and coal-black bronze animal sculptures were available in large number. Calder paintings and mobiles, “Five White Against Five White” (metal and wire, painted, 1973) and Picasso drawings and prints, including “Femme Assise, (Dora Maar)” (1955, lithograph, Masterworks Fine Art), and Gerhard Richter’s “Seestuck (Seascape with Olive Clouds)” (1969, oil on canvas, Van De Weghe Fine Art) added more gems from earlier decades.
First-wave U.S. collectors bought 1920s and ‘30s art, Ash Can School, surrealist, abstract and Dada work made here and imported from Europe at the original Armory Show, and sold it a generation later. Those buyers, in the 1960s through ‘80s, bought that work along with Washington Color School, Abstract Expressionism, Photorealism and Pop Art, including Tom Wesselmann’s “Smoker, #11,” (1973, oil on canvas) and Sam Francis’ “Untitled,” (monotype with oil paint, 1957, Masterworks Fine Art). That generation or their estates are now selling their art as their transient children have literally no place for it, benefiting individual buyers and well-funded institutions in a market flooded with work.