During Art Basel Miami Beach’s VIP opening on Tuesday, the fair came back in full force after a pandemic-necessitated hiatus. The show unfolded in the usual fashion, with blue-chip dealers such as Hauser & Wirth and Pace making seven-figure sales, alongside newer vendors that brought emerging artists to the spotlight. “A confluence of the fair and various NFT events has brought new crowds to the city and created new interest in the fair,” said Pace’s president and CEO, Marc Glimcher, in a statement to ARTnews. Below, a list of the some of the top sales made on the first day of this year’s edition of the fair.
Julie Mehretu at White Cube
Among the most expensive works sold from White Cube’s booth was an untitled abstract canvas by Julie Mehretu made in 1999. It went for $4 million, as did another painting by Mark Bradford for the same price. The dealer also placed works by Andreas Gursky, Theaster Gates, and David Altmejd with buyers during the fair.
Robert Rauschenberg at Thaddeus Ropac
Thaddeus Ropac sold Robert Rauschenberg’s Sky Marshal (Spread), from 1978, for $1.5 million. It sold alongside works by Sturtevant, Georg Baselitz, Miquel Barceló, and Daniel Richter.
Keith Haring at Gladstone Gallery
This untitled painting by Keith Haring from 1983, depicting his signature outlined figure revolving around a beaming sun, was the most expensive work sold by Gladstone Gallery during the first day, going for $1.75 million. The gallery also sold a work by the late artist Elizabeth Murray, whose work is the subject of a show now at the gallery in New York, for $725,000.
Beatriz Milhazes at Pace Gallery
Beatriz Milhazes’s abstract collage painting O Sanfoneiro alegre (2021) sold for $1.3 million in the opening hours of the fair at Pace Gallery’s booth. Milhazes is one of the most expensive living female artists at auction, and the work’s seven-figure sale is another sign of her market dominance. Among the other 30 works sold by Pace were ones by Jeff Koons, Marina Perez Simão, James Turrell, and Adam Pendleton. An NFT by Glenn Kaino also sold.
Roni Horn at Hauser & Wirth
Among the nearly 20 works sold by Hauser & Wirth at Art Basel Miami Beach this year was Roni Horn’s glass sculpture Untitled (“Surprisingly, suddenly the children’s voices had gone…), 2013–17. It was bought for a price in the range of $1.2 million. In an email, gallery president Marc Payot said, “It’s clear that American art continues to lead the market with top quality being the north star on the compass.”
Daniel Arsham at Perrotin
A new work by Daniel Arsham, titled Eroded Porsche 911 (2021), sold to a local Miami collector for just over $500,000 at Perrotin. The work is a grey-toned replica of a vintage car that is cast with epoxy resin and polymer to make it appear fossilized. The gallery also sold works by Cristina BanBan, Izumi Kato, Josh Sperling, Danielle Orchard, JR, and Mr.
Kehinde Wiley at Sean Kelly
Among the top works that sold to institutions in the opening hours of the fair was one brought to Florida by Sean Kelly Gallery: Kehinde Wiley’s painting Portrait Abdoulaye Thiaw (2021). It was purchased by a museum for $425,000. Wiley is currently the subject of a solo exhibition on view at London’s National Gallery.
Mary Weatherford at David Kordansky
David Kordansky sold this abstract canvas affixed with neon light fixtures by Mary Weatherford. The work, which is inspired by views of Hawaii, went for $300,000. Pieces by Fred Eversley, Tobias Pils, Matthew Brannon, and Jonas Wood also sold. “As a gallery, we’ve been waiting to return to Miami Beach for nearly two years,” said Kurt Mueller, the gallery’s director of institutional relations. “Were gratified by the enthusiasm from attendees and numerous familiar faces.”
Angel Otero at Lehman Maupin
Lehmann Maupin sold all the works by Angel Otero that it brought to Miami within the first hours of the fair. Nuestra Victoria (2013), a monumental painting included in the artist’s 2016 Contemporary Art Museum Houston show, sold for $250,000 to an American foundation. Works by Nari Ward, Teresita Fernández, and Dominic Chambers also found buyers.
Nick Cave at Jack Shainman
A new soundsuit by Nick Cave was sold for $185,000 by New York’s Jack Shainman Gallery ahead of a retrospective due to open at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago next year. Shainman sold several other works by artists on its roster, including pieces by Toyin Ojih Odutola, Rose B. Simpson, Radcliffe Bailey, Meleko Mokgosi, Richard Mosse, Paul Anthony Smith, and Becky Suss.
Conrad Egyir at Jessica Silverman
From the Meridians section of the fair, Jessica Silverman gallery sold this large-scale painting by Conrad Egyir for $150,000. Among the other works the dealer also placed with buyers were paintings by Rashaad Newsome, Woody De Othello, and Hayal Pozanti, as well as sculptures by Rose B. Simpson and Matthew Angelo Harrison.
Gideon Appah at Mitchel-Innes & Nash
Mitchel-Innes & Nash sold two paintings by Accra-based artist Gideon Appah for prices within the range of $50,000. Several other works on paper by Appah sold for prices within the range of $5,000. Meanwhile, two paintings by Pope.L sold for $150,000—one went to a private museum in Europe—and works by Eddie Martinez, Gerasimos Floratos, and Karl Haendel sold at prices between $40,000 and $250,000.
Jammie Holmes at Marianne Boesky
After taking on the Dallas-based painter Jammie Holmes earlier this month, Marianne Boesky brought the painting Illusions and Meanings (2021) to the fair. A self-portrait of sorts, it sold for $85,000. The gallery also sold paintings by Danielle Mckinney, Celeste Rapone, Jennifer Bartlett, and Michaela Yearwood-Dan, all for within the range of $20,000–$85,000.
Papay Solomon at Steven Zevitas
Boston’s Steven Zevitas gallery showcased works by Papay Solomon, a young refugee from the West African country of Guinea whose photorealist paintings have recently attracted attention from collectors. Tarp Baby (2021) depicts his 14-year-old nephew dressed in a billowing tarp with a orange Victorian-era clown collar around his neck. It sold for a price between $40,000 and $60,000.
Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers) at Tiwani Contemporary
Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers)’s 2021 painting Incident at Lover’s Cove. Black women don’t have to get ready because they stay ready… was among the 10 works by the artist that were sold by the U.K. gallery Tiwani Contemporary. The dealer sold out the entire showcase of paintings just several hours in the fair for a total of $65,000.