“Hammons meets a hyena on holiday,” (2016) by Henry Taylor sold for $70,000 at Blum & Poe gallery.


HOWARDENA PINDELL WAS ON HAND to talk about her work at Garth Greenan Gallery. Sean Combs spent time checking out the latest offering by Mickalene Thomas. Nigel Freeman of Swann Auction Galleries shared an image of Samuel Levi Jones‘s work with his Twitter followers. Blum & Poe presented a new painting by Henry Taylor depicting David Hammons’s 1983 snow ball sale. There were a good number of art sales, too.

In its 15th year, Art Basel in Miami Beach (ABMB) attracted a prime audience, despite concerns throughout the art market about buyers taking a “wait and see” approach given the fraught post-election political climate and speculation about what it might mean for the economy. The international art fair drew 77,000 attendees (Dec. 1-4), according to organizers, matching last year’s crowds.

Art consumed the entire city during Art Basel, from satellite fairs and special exhibitions to countless parties. Each subsequent year, art fair season in Miami brings more opportunities to see and support work by artists of African descent. For example, work by black artists was on view at concurrent fairs such as Untitled Miami fair, where Chicago gallery Monique Meloche presented work by Sanford Biggers and Ebony G. Patterson. Prizm Art Fair focuses on artists from the African Diaspora and, for the second year, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau organized Art of Black Miami programming. Meanwhile, the South Florida Times published a guide to “How to Get Your Black Basel On.”

On Sunday, Kehinde Wiley hosted his fish fry, which has become an annual event and is a big draw for fellow artists. This year, Lauryn Hill performed at Wiley’s fete. Elsewhere during Miami Art Week, Chaka Khan and Kendrick Lamar entertained partygoers and Pusha T debuted his latest Adidas collaboration.


Survey: Installation view of Romare Bearden’s “Projections” at DC Moore Gallery booth. | © Art Basel, Courtesy Art Basel


BACK AT THE MAIN FAIR, 269 galleries from 29 countries participated in ABMB. Some of the unease in the nation was expressed via the art. At Gavin Brown, the gallery that recently moved to Harlem, Rirkrit Tiravanija presented collages made from the New York Times, the Nov. 9 edition published the day after the presidential election, announcing Donald Trump’s victory. Each of the newspaper collages was emblazoned with the phrase: “The Tyranny of Common Sense Has Reached Its Final Stage.” At Blum & Poe, a 2008 light-box installation by Sam Durant spelled out “End White Supremacy.” An earlier work by the artist from 2003 was an ode to Emory Douglas, the Black Panther’s minister of culture.

At select booths throughout the hall, including Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery, there were opportunities to check out work by black artists. Highlights in the Survey sector, featuring rarely seen 20th century works, included “Projections,” Romare Bearden‘s 1964 black and white photographic series at DC Moore Gallery; historic works on paper by Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi at Vigo Gallery; works by Betye Saar at Roberts & Tilton; and monumental abstract paintings by Pindell at Garth Greenan. Among the curated exhibitions in the Kabinett sector was a selection of new works by Derrick Adams (recipient of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2016 Wein Artist Prize) at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. Recent works by Xaviera Simmons and Sanford Biggers were on view in the Nova sector at David Castillo Gallery. The ABMB talk program included artist Glenn Ligon in conversation with Yale professor and author Claudia Rankine.

Two galleries announced representation of new artists last week and brought their work to Miami. Jack Shainman Gallery now represents Nina Chanel Abney and debuted a pair of paintings by the artist titled “Pool Party at Rockingham.” The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is presenting Abney’s first solo museum exhibition next February. William T. Williams joined the roster at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery where his paintings were exhibited, marking his first appearance at the fair. A painting by Williams introduces the visual art galleries at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.


KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, “Untitled (Curtain Girl),” 2016 (acrylic on PVC panel). | © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Sold for $600,000


ON THE SALES FRONT, Hauser & Wirth sold a new Mark Bradford painting for $2 million, according to BlouinArtinfo. Galleries also sold works by Thomas, Wiley, Sam Gilliam, and Jack Whitten, among others. Blum & Poe confirmed to Culture Type the sale of “Hammons Meets a Hyena on Holiday,” a 2016 painting by Los Angeles-based Taylor, for $70,000. Taylor is participating in the 2017 Whitney Biennial which opens in New York on March 17. Jack Shainman confirmed sales of paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Kerry James Marshall, whose “Untitled (Curtain Girl),” sold for $600,000.

A number of other outlets, including ARTnews, artnet News, and BlouinArtinfo reported on what sold at Art Basel in Miami Beach, including the following:

  • Nina Chanel Abney | “Pool Party at Rockingham #1” and “Pool Party at Rockingham #2” at Jack Shainman Gallery, $45,000 each
  • Mark Bradford | new mixed media painting at Hauser & Wirth, $2 million
  • Sanford Biggers | Two works at Marianne Boesky Gallery, $50,000-$55,000
  • Sam Gilliam | “Shimmer,” 1970 at David Kordansky, $400,000
  • Rashid Johnson | “Color Men,” 2016 at David Kordansky, $175,000
  • Kerry James Marshall | “Untitled (Curtain Girl),” 2016 (acrylic painting on PVC panel) at Jack Shainman Gallery, $600,000
  • Hugo McCloud | “veiled love,” 2016 (aluminum painting) at Sean Kelly Gallery, $45,000
  • Pope.L | painting at Mitchell-Innes Nash, about $100,000
  • Pope.L | “Training the Vision,” 2016 at Mitchell-Innes Nash, about $20,000
  • Pope. L | Three separate works at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, $24,000-$65,000
  • Henry Taylor | “Hammons Meets a Hyena on Holiday,” 2016 (acrylic on canvas) at Blum & Poe, $70,000
  • Mickalene Thomas | new large-scale interior painting at Lehmann Maupin, $200,000-$250,000
  • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye | “Sing Songs to Any Sinner,” 2016 (oil on linen) at Jack Shainman Gallery, $110,000
  • Kehinde Wiley | “Equestrian Portrait of Isabella of Bourbon,” 2016 at Stephen Friedman Gallery, $300,000
  • Kehinde Wiley | “Akilah Walker,” 2015 at Sean Kelly Gallery, $185,000
  • Jack Whitten | Two acrylics on canvas 2016 ($300,000) and 1991 ($125,000) at Hauser & Wirth
  • CT


TOP IMAGE: HENRY TAYLOR, “Hammons meets a hyena on holiday,” 2016 (acrylic on canvas). | Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “Sing Songs to Any Sinner,” 2016 (oil on linen). | © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Courtesy of the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Sold for $110,000


Nova: Installation view of David Castillo booth, featuring works by Sanford Biggers and Xaviera Simmons. | © Art Basel, Courtesy Art Basel


Survey: Installation view of Betye Saar at Roberts & Tilton booth | © Art Basel, Courtesy Art Basel


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