MIAMI, FL.- Art Miami
, Miamis longest running, contemporary art fair, unveiled its 19th edition December 3-7 to an exuberant audience of collectors, VIPS, and art enthusiasts. Art Miamis convenient location in the Midtown Miami Art District, close to six other art fairs, helped attract 32,000 visitors over the six-day period. Nearly one hundred, international galleries participated in Art Miami, enabling attendees to discover and experience a vast selection of contemporary art.
Despite tough economic times, a majority of our dealers reported significant on-site sales, and positive results from after fair follow-up, said Nick Korniloff, Art Miami Show Director. I want to thank all of the exhibitors for a great presentation, which was well received.
Art Miamis VIP opening, a benefit for the Sundari Foundations Lotus House Womens Shelter, attracted 4,500 people. Many collectors were spotted on the show floor during the course of the fair. Art Miami has done a really good job, said Dennis Scholl. Last year was a massive leap forward. This year is even more of an improvement. Marty Margulies added, Art Miami 2008 is the best Art Miami yet and perhaps the finest of the satellite fairs.
Visitors to the fair commented about the quality and depth of the art work on view and the surrounding ambiance including; the spacious aisles, and the ultra-contemporary VIP lounge, the cafe and the outdoor lounge.
Feedback from the galleries was incredibly positive. Art Miami was considered by everyone whom we talked with to be the most comfortable and attractive of all of the fairs, said Dick Solomon of Pace Prints. We were very pleased to see so many highly qualified and knowledgeable collectors at Art Miami, said Tracy Freedman of Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco We heard many positive comments from experienced fairgoers praising the selection of the galleries and the show itself. Sales were very good this year. Lots of museum groups stopped at our booth, said Simone Schmid of Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm. We were very happy to meet so many new American and South American collectors, said Christine Lahoud of Galerie Piece Unique, Paris. There was great interest in all of our artists. Miami dealer Bernice Steinbaum said, Art Miami has reached a new level. The fact that local non-profits, like the Sundari Foundation, were sharing booth space with the galleries sent a strong message that this fair cares about Miami.
Paintings were extremely popular with collectors at Art Miami. Galerie Terminus sold two Gerhard Richters for close to $1 million each, a Rauschenberg for $780,000 and five Jan Davidoff paintings. Leslie Tonkonow sold paintings by Ian Davis and young, Iranian artist Ali Banisadr. McCormick Gallery sold a Norman Bluhm for $50,000.
Sculpture was in high demand. Galerie Terminus, Munich sold a Tony Cragg for $390,000. Galerie Piece Unique sold three, monumental, outdoor sculptures by Cyrille André. William Shearburn Gallery sold a Carl Andre piece for $75,000 and Bryce Wollkowitz Gallery sold a Noh-Sang Kyoon sculpture for $25,000.
Large-scale photographs were also in high demand. Yancey Richardson Gallery sold fifteen prints including Palace Theater, Gary Indiana by Andrew Moore for $13,500. Barry Friedman, Ltd. sold two Michael Eastman prints for $24,000 each. Hasted Hunt Gallery sold twenty prints including Martin Schoellers portrait of Barack Obama for $20,000 and Stux Gallery sold a Ruud van Empel photograph for $32,000.
An additional feature at Art Miami was the Art Video-New Media lounge organized by Asher Remy Toledo. Five international institutions and one local institution including: The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, U.S. (CIFO), The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool, U.K. (FACT), The Palazzo Delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy (PAN), The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (CCA), The Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China and The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China provided the content. The project, which was central to Art Miamis mission of presenting unique programming, garnered critical acclaim from art collectors, curators and museum professionals visiting the fair. The installation served as a bridge between the marketplace and artists who use emerging media technologies and are concerned with the cultural, political and aesthetic possibilities of these tools.