Kehinde Wiley Leads the Pack on the First Day of Armory Show 2016 Sales

Shih Chieh Huang's glowing robotic jellyfish sculpture was also a hit.

Kehinde Wiley, Jose Alberto de la Cruz Diaz and Luis Nunez (2016) at Galerie Daniel Templon.
Photo: Rain Embuscado.

New York’s 2016 Armory Show opened to brisk sales on Wednesday, March 2. Almost every dealer artnet News spoke to on the contemporary pier yesterday evening had at least one sale to report, if not more.

A hot seller as the fair got underway was works by Kehinde Wiley, with big ticket items finding buyers at a number of booths. At Roberts & Tilton of Culver City, California, Equestrian Portrait of Prince Tommaso of Savoy-Carignan had sold at $250,000, while Jose Alberto de la Cruz Diaz and Luis Nunez went for $250,000 at Galerie Daniel Templon.

Iván Navarro, <em>Come to Daddy</em>.<br>Photo: courtesy Galerie Daniel Templon.

Iván Navarro, Come to Daddy.
Photo: courtesy Galerie Daniel Templon.

At New York’s Sean Kelly Gallery, Wiley’s Bound, a bronze sculpture that was part of his recent Brooklyn Museum exhibition, fetched $375,000, while Equestrian Portrait of Philip III went for $300,000. Other sales for the dealer included four pieces by José Dávila, two at $37,500 and the others at $16,500, as well as a Callum Innes painting at £36,500 (about $51,400).

Paris- and Brussels-based Galerie Daniel Templon also sold four Chiharu Shiota sculptures in the $40,000 range, and a showstopping $150,000 Iván Navarro light work titled Come to Daddy.

Shih Chieh Huang, <em>Disphotic Zone</em>. Photo: Rain Embuscado.

Shih Chieh Huang, Disphotic Zone.
Photo: Rain Embuscado.

One of the fair’s most striking pieces, Shih Chieh Huang‘s Disphotic Zone, a glowing robotic jellyfish sculpture hanging from the ceiling of a darkened, completely enclosed booth, had also sold by the day’s end.

“It happened so quickly,” Ronald Feldman, owner of the eponymous New York gallery, told artnet News. Though unable to share the selling price or the buyer, he assured us “it’s in really good hands.”

A number of Kapwani Kiwanga‘s unusual-looking sculptures, made from Tanzanian sisal fiber, sold in the $10,000–20,000 range at the joint booth of Galerie Jérôme Poggi and Galerie Tanja Wagner.

At New Dehli’s Gallery Espace, Zarina Hashmi‘s haunting paper works, many inspired by the current refugee crisis and priced at $10,000–75,000, were also finding buyers, but beyond that, the gallery was unwilling to share details.

Jannis Varelas, <em>The Cowboy</em> (2016).<br>Photo: courtesy the Breeder, Athens.

Jannis Varelas, The Cowboy (2016).
Photo: courtesy the Breeder, Athens.

George Vamvakidis was more forthcoming at Athens‘s the Breeder Gallery, where he proudly revealed that the Zabludowicz Collection had snapped up Jannis Varelas‘s The Cowboy for a cool $30,000.

Late in the day on Wednesday, the New Museum‘s Limited Editions booth had sold all but 6 of the 20 limited edition sculptures by Matthew Monahan, bound stacks of 160 gruesome prints of a man’s face shot from behind by a Colt 45 pistol. The resulting works, priced at $12,000 each, are almost Cubist in appearance.

An animated GIF of all 20 editions of Matthew Monahan's <em>Son of a Gun</em>.<br>Photo: Matthew Monahan, courtesy the New Museum Limited Editions.

An animated GIF of all 20 editions of Matthew Monahan’s Son of a Gun.
Photo: Matthew Monahan, courtesy the New Museum Limited Editions.

London’s Mot International had sold works by a number of artists, including Laure Prouvoust, as well as a trio of works by Amikam Toren priced between $20,000 and $30,000.

At Sprüth Magers, which has locations in Berlin, London, Los Angeles, and Cologne, sales included a $175,000 Sterling Ruby sculpture, snapped up by a Middle Eastern collector; a George Condo painting at an undisclosed price, and multiple Michail Pirgelis works between €20,000–30,000 (about $21,800–32,700).

Galeria Nara Roesler in São Paulo (and soon-to-be New York) reported two sales: Vik Muniz’s Postcards from Nowhere: São Paulo, for $55,000, and Artur Lescher‘s Maggi for $17,000.

Vik Muniz, <em>Postcards from Nowhere: São Paulo</em> (2014). <br>Photo: courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.

Vik Muniz, Postcards from Nowhere: São Paulo (2014).
Photo: courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.

New York’s Lisson Gallery had sales of work by Stanley Whitney, Ryan Gander, and Julian Opie, as well as Tony Cragg‘s Points of View and Spencer Finch‘s Color Test, both between $50,000–200,000.

On the lower end of the spectrum, Tokyo’s Ota Fine Arts had sold one of Yeesookyung‘s smaller “Translated Vase” works, created from the remnants of rejected pieces of mass-produced traditional Korean ceramics for $3,800.

Yeesookyung, <em>Translated Vase, Set of 3</em>.<br>Photo: courtesy Ota Fine Arts.

Yeesookyung, Translated Vase, Set of 3.
Photo: courtesy Ota Fine Arts.

Despite the crowds admiring the miniature forests by Patrick Jacobs at Brooklyn’s Pierogi gallery, interested parties had yet to pull the trigger when artnet News stopped by. “Things are on hold at the moment,” said gallery director Joe Amrhein.

Other sales mentioned in a recap sent out by fair include two thirds of the work at Blain | Southern gallery of New York and Berlin, a near sell-out at New York’s Marianne Boesky gallery, and works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Kara Walker placed in museums by London’s Victoria Miro Gallery.

Patrick Jacobs, Untitled (Pink Forest).Photo: courtesy Pierogi.

Patrick Jacobs, Untitled (Pink Forest).
Photo: courtesy Pierogi.

Amsterdam’s Upstream Gallery reportedly sold out within an hour of the VIP opening, while Stevenson Gallery of Johannesburg sold its entire edition of Zanele Muholi works.

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