Friday, December 5, 2008

Miami Art Basel

This is how I felt after 4 minutes at Miami Art Basel and not singing Maddonna's song

Artist Doug Aitken always sets the tone with the right words!

Attention K-Mart shoppers...there are leftovers from 2007 being pedalled in the room for sale!

This how I felt after being at Miami Art Basel for 15 minutes...LIKE A CAGED ANIMAL!

Christina Caputo and Kellie McLaughlin from Aperture Foundation wanted to let you know...

I know ...some of us misbehave when we head South!

ARTmostfierce was a bit disappointed with Miami ART Basel. The mood was sort of desperate, with some buyers more interested of matching the possible artwork purchases with their room decor than being interested on making a good investment and getting to know who is the artist and its mission statement...weird right?

Specially during these current economic times when everybody is watching how they spend money!
This type of interaction was quite predominant throughout the fair. I heard several times and left me in total state of disbelief.

I thought that was kind of interesting some urban signage art and installations kind of set the mood of the fair. So let the photos give you an idea of what the fair (more like a car show) is all about this years.  Off course I will not post photos of many (and I mean a lot !) of art that I saw at Miami Basel 2007 still doing the rounds on 2008 and even adorning the same walls. More about MAB later . Please read article by Art-info below!
Right now, I am partied out !

MIAMI BEACH—Amid dire predictions that the contemporary art market has fallen off a cliff, the opening hours of today’s Art Basel Miami Beach V.I.P. preview showed that collectors are a stubborn bunch set on shopping for bargains.
Forget the jockeying for position, the noontime mini-dramas, and the famous one-hour holds on coveted works of art — they’re all things of the past now. Instead, what was weighing on discerning collectors’ minds in the early moments of the fair was the question of where the market is going.

“I look at this downturn as opportunity time,” said seasoned Miami collector Norman Braman. “I’ve had works of art that have been offered to me that are very exciting, but no one knows how serious the downturn is. As I told one dealer, ‘The problem is, I don’t know what the bottom is, so I don’t know what’s reasonable.’”

And make no mistake, it’s not just the atmosphere and prices that have changed.

“People seem more chained to their desks,” said one blue-chip exhibitor, commenting on the underwhelming preview attendance, “and don’t have the luxury of flying off to an art fair.”

But for those who did show up, that might be a blessing. “We can’t be as rude [to clients] as we’ve been for the past three years,” said another dealer, admitting to a new friendly approach from dealers who, in the art market’s boom days, became used to tough bouts of one-upmanship.

But it felt almost like the old boom times, at least for a minute, at New York’s PaceWildenstein, when an American collector snapped up an Alexander Calder sterling silver necklace from 1941 for $450,000 as soon as she tried it on. “She put it on and owned it right then and there,” said the gallery’s Jennifer Joy.

Is it art or jewelry? Right now, who cares?

While a number of multi-million-dollar works were on view — including Rene Magritte’s Les Graces naturelles, from 1948, for $11.5 million at Montreal’s Landau Fine Art, and Ed Ruscha’s Standard Station on Fire, from 1966, for $8.5 million at New York/London/L.A./Rome’s Gagosian Gallery — commerce was mostly taking place at decidedly more modest levels.

Chicago/New York dealer Richard Gray sold at least three new works by David Hockney in color inkjet print on paper from an edition of 25 for $9,500 apiece. Bearing titles like Rainy Night in Bridlington Promenade and Cardigan Road Bridlington, the works are expressive plein air compositions of the artist’s hometown in Yorkshire.

Palm Beach/Southampton collectors Ted and Ruth Baum were seen busily studying a rare abstract work titled Auge (Eye), (1963–64) by Zero Group member Otto Piene — done in oil, fire, and smoke residue on canvas — at New York’s Adler & Conkright Fine Art before taking the plunge and buying it somewhere below the asking price of $85,000.

“It’s underpriced,” said Ted Baum, delighted with his purchase. “The red is always a premium price, and it’s the right year.”

Ruth soon reminded her husband that they needed to return to New York dealer Barbara Mathes’s booth, which is devoted to works by Joseph Cornell and Yayoi Kusama, to decide on a rare 1981 Kusama box, Sea, and tore around the corner to see it again.

Tagging along with a determined and consummate art-collecting couple for a mini buying spree seemed a reassuring way to pass the time in the sparsely attended preview, so I followed along. In little time, the couple had purchased that piece as well, for a figure in the $100,000 range.

“This one was a little tougher negotiation. It’s really a rare thing,” said Ted. “We have just the right place for it.”

Sounding momentarily contrite about their spending, he added, “Yeah, we’re terrible, but there’s great stuff for our collection here.”

There was also early activity at London/Zurich's Hauser & Wirth, which sold Jason Rhoades’s One-wheel wagon-wheel chandelier (Moot, Overnight Depository, Stuffed Stocking) from 2004 for $250,000, Mary Heilmann’s abstraction Mateo from 1996 for $550,000, and an untitled Wilhelm Sasnal painting from 2008 for €60,000 ($76,000).

f the preview was a mostly sober affair, some signs of the exuberance of Art Basels past were evident. It occurred to me, for instance, that the pricey Ruscha offered at Gagosian for $8.5 million had sold at Christie’s New York in November 2007 for $6,985,000 (est. $4–6 million).

“It’s much, much admired,” a gallery staffer said. “But it is a big price at this moment.”

So, the seven-year-old fair is still ticking. Even better, some announcements made just before the preview point toward its long-term health. Main sponsor UBS has reportedly signed up for a multi-year renewal of its patronage, and, perhaps more important, fair organizer MCH Swiss Exhibition Ltd. has booked another three years at the sprawling Miami Convention Center, wiping out persistent rumors that the southern Florida venue might be jettisoned for one in southern California.


C. L. DeMedeiros said...

seams you're having fun,
I hope to bump at you at the AAF>

Anonymous said...

miami is a douche clone factory.
that was the main problem.