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Missed Art Basel Miami this year? No worries!

Start planning your trip for December 2018. It’s absolutely worth the while. Co-founder and specialist Michael Elmenbeck shares his impressions from the first opening days.

  Hammer Galleries: Henri Matisse, Jeune femme assise en robe gris, 1942

Hammer Galleries: Henri Matisse, Jeune femme assise en robe gris, 1942

  Lisson: Anish Kapoor, Mirror, 2017

Lisson: Anish Kapoor, Mirror, 2017

  Perrotin: Klara Kristalova, Camouflage, 2017

Perrotin: Klara Kristalova, Camouflage, 2017

 

What’s been the talk of the town?

Sorry to tell you all who’ve stayed in dark Stockholm, but the weather has been terrific, the fair has been larger than ever and the same with the selection of events. Worth mentioning is Carsten Höller’s and Prada’s three-day-club. Ain't no party like an art-world party, right? Höller's ephemeral pop-up, The Prada Double Club, definitely proved to be such an after-hours mega hit. Gucci and Artsy were celebrating their latest partnership with a packed VIP party. Their partnership aimed at raising awareness of gender equality in the art world. The collaboration spans “Artists for Gender Equality. Not to mention all the interesting talks and open studios arranged. The fair was greater than ever, also geographically speaking. Many new countries debuted this year. 

So parties and nice weather. What about the art? Could you spot any trends?

Without doubt, the quality is extremely high. With more than 30 new galleries, it’s clear that the Art Basel Direction wants to attract more young energy. This is a trend also valid for established giants such Zwirner and Gagosian. Secondly, I hardly saw any photography. Instead there was an abundance of really great painting. This year textile based art was more represented than any other year I can remember. As a counter trend with young emerging artists, I could sense a strong hype for modern masters. Art dealers and galleries had braught som fantastics works: a beautiful Picasso, Buste au Chapeau, 1972 and a lot of Calder whose prices obviously have doubled. The sale of a five slashes red Fontana also bacame a talk of the town: One of the first reported sales during the first day was an infinity net by Yayoi Kusama. Two million dollars, which is double as much as earlier.

What will you not forget from this year’s Art Basel Miami?

The mega-hype of Stanley Whitney, a tantalising Anish Kapoor (sold for 600 000 dollars), which was not surprisingly sold within the first fifteen minutes and a heart-stopping sculpture by Swedish Klara Kristalova (Perrotin). My impressions this year will also be a breakthrough for street-art and graffiti, as an extension from Pop art, Basquiat and Keith Haring.

 
  Skarstedt: George Condo, On the Corner, 2017

Skarstedt: George Condo, On the Corner, 2017

  Gagosian: John Currin

Gagosian: John Currin

  Helly Nahmad Gallery: Jean Dubuffet, Promenade Agreste, 1974

Helly Nahmad Gallery: Jean Dubuffet, Promenade Agreste, 1974

 

What is the advantage to buy at an art fair like Art Basel Miami?

Being the best art fair in the world means all galleries have to bring their best works to be qualified to participate, this means as a collector you get to see and choose from the most interesting artists and their best works. It’s also a great way of discovering and doing research for your own personal taste, and maybe buy later on.

I really like an art work I've seen in a booth.
How big is the chance it’ll be mine?


The chances are usually quite big and today there are many ways of showing interest. A week before the opening many of the works are already presented online where you can request info and pre-buy some of the artists. Another way is to be on the galleries preview mailing lists. But mostly It’s about being at the Fair at the opening or pre-opening, then your chances are very big to find a great work. And as always, talk to the galleries, show your interest and if needed: be patient. Some artists are so in demand you have to wait for years to find your beloved artwork.

What can one expect from going with CFHILL to ABM (compared to going by your own)?

Going with CFHILL is like going with your best friend who happens to know everyone and everything, from the gallery owners to the host of the VIP party. But also someone who listens in and introduce you to new names and ideas. Going with CFHILL is a way of finding great art and great inspiration and make it accessible.