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Art Basel Miami Beach goes for the gold

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December 2, 2009   ·   8 Comments

Kara Walker, Paternity Test, detail

How many gold sculptures did we see at Art Basel Miami Beach today. Uh, we lost count. Here are just a few of the artists.

Madeln , Spread 023. silver and gold chain word art laid out on the floor and lit by flashlights, at Shanghart

Madeln , Spread 023. silver and gold chain word art laid out on the floor and lit by flashlights, at Shanghart

James Lee Byers’ golden zen globes
Marilyn Minter’s golden tongue
Chris Martin turns cardboard into gold
Rudy Stingel’s gouged gold
Sherry Levine’s double headed golden calf

Kara Walker, Paternity Test, detail

Kara Walker, Paternity Test, detail

These a just a few samples. But more to the point, a lot of gold was changing hands. We saw a Kara Walker silhouette group for $450,000 at Sikkema Jenkins. It was on reserve and pretty much sold, said Mr. Jenkins. Amy Sillman, at the same gallery, was selling $1. zines on the honor system. Put your buck in the glass jelly jar and take home your own Amy Sillman.

Also in the stratasphere was Nathalie Djurberg’s The Experiment (Cave), a video plus sculpture set for $65,000 at Zach Feuer. To help you put things into perspective, some nice ceramic assemblages of kitsch knicknacks by Brazilian artist Barrao were $18,000 to $30,000 at Marsiaj Gallery.

Barrao's ceramic assemblage of tschotschkes, broken and reassembled

Barrao's ceramic assemblage of tschotschkes, broken and reassembled

At Gallery Miro, we have Elmgreen and Dragset’s figure of fiberglass painted with 24 K gold lacquer, going for $95,000 on hold. Hold your wild horses and hold on to your last buck. And a Robert Indiana Love look-alike, the word Porn, by artist Marc Bijl, was asking $37,000 at Breeder gallery from Athens.

Some modest watercolor drawings (funny, charming, comic and full of Americana) by Robert Williams, at Tony Shafrazi were going for $16,000 each. We’re talking paper. And we saw a couple of trippy double-sided Julian Hoeber pieces, also not made of gold, that were asking $7,500. His gallery Blum + Poe said one sold.

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8 Responses to “Art Basel Miami Beach goes for the gold”

  1. Zoe Strauss says:

    Gold, shmold, hope you’re having a great time!

  2. Kelsey says:

    I would have loved to see photos of each of the gold pieces!

    Also, Amy Sillman happens to be one of my favorite painters– I would buy her zine for at least one hundred pennies. Talk about recession friendly.

    Overall, I am green with envy. Hope the panel talk went well!

  3. MATTHEW ROSE says:

    We’re about to open a Screw Art Basel Miami exhibition here in Paris. With Max Mulhern, Sarah de Teliga, Bernard Matussiere et moi. Called Double Trouble. No gold. Red wine! Enjoy the sand!

  4. libby says:

    Hi, Kelsey, My photos are up on my Flickr (link at the bottom of artblog’s front page). It’s a bit of a mess, sideways pix and labels still in there, but you can see some grand ones there.
    Thanks for the good wishes.

  5. libby says:

    Hi, Zoe, it’s both of us. Wish you were here. The gold makes for swell photos. And that warehouse district was made for you and your camera (this is a more serious photo op for you).
    love, us

  6. libby and roberta says:

    We both have flickr sets with more pictures of this and the other fairs. Click the flickr links below.

  7. “We’re talking paper”

    Poor paper. Is it the Rodney Dangerfield of substrates?

    Oh to be in Miami! For the weather mostly. Just saw the Burchfield show here in L.A. at the Hammer. Talk about paper!

  8. roberta says:

    Haha, paper can’t get no respect. Funny, Scott. I think paper will always have respect and in some circles adoration. I bet that Burchfield was nice! Miami was hot and humid with one spectacular downpour that lasted about 20 minutes.

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