Art Basel

Art lovers’ agenda: a year of art


Dec. 4-8: Art Basel, Miami Beach: One of the big sales at last year’s fair was made by the Helly Nahmad Gallery, which reportedly sold one of Richard Prince’s naughty nurse paintings — Nurse on Horseback — to a European collector for nearly $6.5 million. At the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive. Contact: 305-674-1292;

Dec. 4-8, Design Miami, Miami Beach: Venue adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center: Meridian Avenue at 19th Street. An estimated 30,000 visitors attended the 2012 fair, where designers are now taking their cue from contemporary artists and creating limited editions of furnishings that sell at comparable prices to those for artworks. Contact: 305-572-0866;


Feb. 11-12: Post War and Contemporary Art Auction, Christie’s London. Last February, Christie’s sold 65 lots during its contemporary art sale for a total of ₤81.7 million GBP ($127.7 million). Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Museum Security (Broadway Meltdown) was the highest sale at ₤9.3 million GBP ($14.6 million).

February, dates TBA: Sotheby’s London, Contemporary Art Evening Auction: Last year’s sales totaled ₤74.4 million GBP ($116.4 million). Francis Bacon’s 1980 oil on canvas triptych Three Studies for a Self-Portrait sold for ₤13.8 million GBP ($21.5 million).

March 6- 9: The Armory Show: The original Armory Show took place at the more compact Armory in 1913. A hundred years later, some 66,000 people visited the sprawling show on the Hudson. Highlights include the sale of an Anish Kapoor for an undisclosed amount by Lisson Gallery and Victoria Miro’s sale of two Yayoi Kusama works for a total of $800,000. Piers 92 & 94, New York.

March 19-22: Art Duba i: The leading international art fair in the Middle East/North Africa/South Asia region, Art Dubai hosted 75 galleries from 30 countries and 25,000 people last year. According to the Art Market Monitor, Belgian collector Guy Ullens “went on a $1 million spree to acquire Middle Eastern artists, buying Ahmad Mater at Athr gallery, Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh at Isabelle van den Eynde and Pascale Martine Tayou at Continua. He also reserved Ahmed Moualla’s 12-metre long Power and People (2011), an apocalyptic scene that references the Arab Spring, for $300,000 at Atassi Gallery.”

April 10-13: AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) Photography Show New York: Last year four score and two galleries crammed into New York’s largest photo fair, featuring a lot of the old stalwarts such as two of Brazil’s most famous contemporary artists, economist turned photographer Sebastião Salgado and humanist Vik Muniz — who went from creating iconic images in chocolate to immortalizing the trash pickers in his native country. Park Avenue Armory, New York.

May 9-12: Frieze Art Fair New York: New York’s answer to the British art fair saw some interesting art, including Paul McCarthy’s tweaking of Jeff Koons’ balloon sculptures. Hauser & Wirth sold McCarthy’s 80-foot-tall inflatable Balloon Dog sculpture for $950,000.

May 13-14: Spring Post War/Contemporary auction, Christie’s, New York: Last year’s record-breaking spring sale broke $495 million, with the top seller Jackson Pollock’s Number 19, 1948 going to an anonymous bidder for more than $58 million.

May 14-15: Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art Evening Sale in May 2013 saw exceptional prices for works from every decade from the 1940s through today with records set for Barnett Newman and Gerhard Richter, among others. Newman’s Onement VI sold for $43.8 million, and Richter’s Domplatz, Mailand sold for $37.1 million.

May 15-18: Art Basel, Hong Kong: The debut show of Art Basel in Hong Kong earlier this year featured memorable works such as American artist Kris Kuksi’s Churchtanks, reimaging cathedrals atop armored tanks.

June, dates TBA : Sotheby’s London Contemporary Evening Sale: Last year, total sales reached ₤75.8 million GBP ($116.9 million.). The highlight was Francis Bacon’s 1966 triptych portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne, which sold for ₤11.3 million GBP.

July 2-3: Post War and Contemporary Art Auction, Christie’s London: In 2013, the evening auction took place on June 25, realizing a total of ₤70.3 million GBP ($108.5 million). Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) work took the top sale at ₤18.8 million GBP ($29 million).

June 19-22: Art Basel, Switzerland: Some 86,000 people attended the 2013 fair, and they brought their wallets. According to the Artobserved website, Alexander Calder was hot. The Tina Kim Gallery and Kukje Gallery sold Calder’s Blue Flower, Red Flower (1975) for $2.8 million; London-based Helly Nahmad sold his Sumac (1961) for roughly $12 million.

Sept. 21-Dec. 8: Bienal de São Paulo: Founded in 1951, this is the second oldest art biennial in the world, after the Venice Biennial, which originated in 1895.

Oct. 16-1 7: Post War and Contemporary Art Auction, Christie’s London: In 2012 (the most recent data available pre-publication), 45 lots sold for a total of ₤23 million GBP ($36.8 million). The big seller was Martin Kippenberger’s Untitled (from the series Hand-Painted Pictures). The work sold for ₤3.2 million GBP ($5.1 million), which was also a world record price for the artist at auction.

October, dates TBA: Contemporary Art Evening and Day sales, Sotheby’s London: Sotheby’s October 2012 Evening Auctions of Contemporary Art & 20th Century Italian Art set a record for an October Series of Evening Sales during Frieze Week, with sales totaling ₤60 million GBP ($95.6 million). The contemporary art auction realized ₤44.1 million GBP ($70.7 million). Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (809-4) from Eric Clapton’s collection topped the sales at ₤21.3 million GBP ($34.2 million), setting an auction sales record for the artist.

Oct. 16-19: Frieze London: On the 10th anniversary of the fair in 2012, reported sales highlights included Paul McCarthy’s Snow White Head (2012) within minutes of opening, for $1.3 million.

Nov. 12-13: Post War and Contemporary Art Auction, Christie’s New York: In 2012, (the latest sales data available prior to publication) Christie’s realized the highest sales ever for a contemporary art auction, at $412.3 million. Andy Warhol led sales with his Statue of Liberty, which sold for $40.4 million, setting a world auction record for the artist.

November dates TBA: Sotheby’s, New York: In 2012 (the latest sales data available prior to publishing), Sotheby’s realized its highest ever sales total to date for postwar and contemporary art, hitting $375.1 million. Auction sales records were set for Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, Arshile Gorky and Robert Motherwell, among others. Mark Rothko’s No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue) led with a sale of $75.1 million.