More Big Sales on Art Basel’s Second Day
Dealers dish on what's hot in Switzerland.
The Messeplatz at Basel was packed today as the latest edition of Art Basel opened up to the public. Dealers seemed to be on a roll once again as the energy and momentum created on yesterday’s VIP preview day was amplified by the newly sunny weather.
Amid sales made almost immediately on preview day were several by Pace. Along with co-presenters Esther Schipper (Berlin) and Galleryske, they sold two of Prahhavathi Meppayil’s installation tw/one at the Unlimited section, to a museum and a private American collector, respectively. The installation consists of nearly 1,000 found iron and brass tools traditionally used by goldsmiths, assembled into a grid.
Pace/MacGill, which is a first time participant at Art Basel, also sold a group of eight black-and-white Civil Rights portraits by Richard Avedon, for a price in the high six figures. The photos had not been exhibited together before.
In addition to selling a major Paul McCarthy sculpture as part of the Unlimited section, Hauser & Wirth today also reported selling a new video work by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, Sole (2016) for $120,000; a new work by Zoe Leonard, American Falls from Below (2016), for $120,000, Lee Lozano‘s painting No Title (1962), for $280,000; and a 1968 Philip Guston acrylic on panel. Dieter Roth‘s Materialbild (1986-89) sold to a Swiss private collection.
Basel gallery von Bartha reported first-day sales including Fritz Glarner‘s Relational Painting (1943), which was acquired by an unidentified museum for over CHF500,000 ($562,000). Walter Dexel‘s Untitled (1929), was sold to a “prestigious private Swiss Collection.” The gallery also reported strong sales of works by contemporary artists Florian Slotawa and Daniel Robert Hunziker. On the second day of the fair, sales of contemporary works continued with the sale of John Wood and Paul Harrison’s new sculpture (previewed at the fair for the first time), as well as Andrew Bick’s mixed-media work Variant t-s/OGVDS (compendium) (2009-2016).
London’s Waddington Custot reported sales of two Josef Albers works to European and USA-based collectors from the artist’s iconic “Homage to the Square” series including the large-scale painting Homage to the Square: ‘’Started’’ (1969). Two Jean Dubuffet works were sold—an important early work and a work from his late period, L’Outrage, 1er novembre 1979 (1979).
In the Features sector, where single-artist projects are presented by established galleries, Berlin-based Wentrup gallery stood out with Olaf Metzel‘s Sammelstelle (1992), a work first created in reaction to the war in former Yugoslavia, and which regains relevance in light of the current refugee crisis. A room made of steel and corrugated iron is accessible only through a rotating gate. The title refers to the safe “meeting points” marked in public places in cases of emergency, yet also plays on the idea of concentrating people in one place, and its harrowing connotations in Germany. Institutions have shown interest in the work, which goes for €180,000 ($202,200).
Further down the aisle, Parisian gallerist Jocelyn Wolff reported good sales, some of which she said were made to entirely new contacts. A sculpture by Katinka Bock, a photograph by William Anastasi, a painting by Miriam Cahn, and several fabric sculptures by Franz Erhard Walther, who also created one of the stellar contributions to Manifesta 11—which opened only days ago in Zurich—all changed hands within the first few hours.
Over at the Statements sector, dedicated to young galleries showing solo projects by young artists, there were some definite standouts. Arratia Beer gallery had a winner with Mary Reid Kelley, who was announced as winner of the 2016 Baloise Art Prize alongside artist Sara Cwynar. Reid Kelley’s film This is Offal (2016) was bought by the Baloise group and will be donated to the MUDAM museum in Luxembourg.
Awards can go a long way at Art Basel, and Supportico Lopez gallery, who have a work by Turner Prize nominee Michael Dean over in the fair’s Parcour Sector, were selling works by the artist off their iPad. Dean’s project for Parcour was placed with a private collector in Europe for £30,000 ($33,700).
At the booth, the gallery is showing a project by Steve Bishop, which transforms the space into a melancholic residence, with a real garage door to boot. The installation consists of elements that the gallery hopes to sell as one to an institution that has expressed interest, with the garage door and a video work going for €16,000 ($18,000), a fence for €10,000 ($11,200) and a white sculptural painting on cardboard for €6,000 ($6,700).
Société gallery is showing a new video installation by Timur Si-Qin, who’s also participating at the 9th Berlin Biennale, and has works at the newly opened Julia Stoschek Collection in Berlin. Titled New Peace, it’s the artist “rebranding” of his personal iconography. The work went to a private European collector for an amount in the region of €100,000 ($112,400).
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