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.
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.
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).
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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