Erica Orden tags along with Steven Cohen–funny how he opens up to the press about his art-buying habits any time there’s a whiff of trouble around SAC Capital (remember that Cohen was very secretive until he was accused on 60 Minutes of maligning a company he was selling short–soon after a long profile of Cohen’s art collecting appeared in the Wall Street Journal):
- Within five minutes of the 11 a.m. opening, Mr. Cohen had dropped into David Zwirner Gallery’s booth, where he spent about $300,000 on Adel Abdessemed‘s “Mappemonde,” a large-scale map of the world made from tin cans collected off the streets of Dakar.
- Within the next hour, he plunked down $180,000 for Tim Hawkinson‘s “Bike,” a work of collaged inkjet prints, from Blum & Poe.
Orden found time to gather some other sales intelligence too:
- Sean Kelly Gallery sold most of its Antony Gormley sculptures, drawings and prints to private collectors by 2 p.m.
The Miami Herald gets into the sales-reporting act:
- Coral Gables-based Cernuda Arte had not only sold its showpiece, Wifredo Lam’s Les Fiancés, for $3 million but also had sold another Lam for $600,000, and several other works by Cuban Modernists René Portocarrero, Cundo Bermúdez and Eduardo Abela.
At Mitchell Innes-Nash gallery, a monumental yellow sculpture by Anthony Caro, Cadence, was already on reserve for “a couple of million dollars.” [Sarah Douglas at ArtInfo.com adds: Lucy Mitchell-Innes sold a small 1967 Kenneth Noland painting in the first hour of the fair.]
- Cheim & Read: Jack Pierson wall-bound word sculpture spelling out the words “The Modern,” for $175,000, an abstract Louise Fishman painting for $100,000, and a whimsical 2008 baby blue bronze Donald Baechlor sculpture of flowers — number three in an edition of eight — for $150,000.
- White Cube saw steady sales throughout the day, for artists including Raqib Shaw, Andreas Gursky, Gary Hume and Damien Hirst; a shiny Hirst gem cabinet, priced at £2.35 million, is on reserve.
- New York and Chicago gallery Richard Gray, dealer Paul Gray sold a 2006 landscape painting by David Hockney in the morning, for $1.8 million.
- Marianne Boesky: In the opening hours, she sold a large new painting by Barnaby Furnas for $150,000
- At Christophe van de Weghe‘s booth, a 1977 diptych by Frank Stella was on reserve for $1.6 million.
- Michael Werner gallery director Gordon Veneklasen sold a Georg Baselitz painting for just under $1 million, but remarked that this fair is generally profitable for the gallery in artworks priced under $500,000. He sold a number of works by the gallery’s younger artists like Thomas Houseago and Aaron Curry.
- Even in the fair’s younger section, “Art Positions,” where dealers were permitted only one artwork per booth, sales proceeded apace. Zieher Smith sold a large Eddie Martinez painting for around $100,000 to British megacollector Charles Saatchi, and UNTITLED gallery sold its Phil Wagner triptych for $28,000 to a New York collector.
Art Basel Off to a Fast Start (Wall Street Journal)