What Were The Highest-Selling Pieces At This Year’s Art Basel?
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What Were The Highest-Selling Pieces At This Year’s Art Basel?

December 6, 2021 Share

As Art Basel Miami 2021 officially comes to a close the question on everyone’s mind is – what was the outcome? Which art pieces sold the highest?

The event took place from December 2 – December 4, 2021 this past weekend with a raging success after last years’ cancellation due to the pandemic.

The show unfolded in the usual fashion, with blue-chip dealers such as Hauser & Wirth and Pace, making seven-figure sales, alongside newer vendors that brought emerging artists to the spotlight.

Among the most expensive works sold from White Cube’s booth was an untitled abstract canvas by Julie Mehretu made in 1999. It went for $4 million (£3 million). 

Art Basel
Photo : Courtesy Gladstone Gallery/Keith Haring Foundation. Untitled painting by Keith Haring.

Art dealers reported a red-hot market, with gallerist Helly Nahmad selling Pablo Picasso’s Mousquetaire et Femme a la Fleur, for just under $20 million (£15 million) to an undisclosed buyer on opening day at Art Basel Miami Beach on Tuesday. 

Thaddeus Ropac sold Robert Rauschenberg’s Sky Marshal (Spread), from 1978, for $1.5 million (£1.1 million). It sold alongside works by Sturtevant, Georg Baselitz, Miquel Barceló, and Daniel Richter.

This untitled painting by Keith Haring from 1983, depicting his signature outlined figure revolving around a beaming sun, was the most expensive work sold by Gladstone Gallery during the first day, going for $1.75 million (£1.32 million).

However, there were two big highlight sales at the Art Basel Miami 2021 event this year.

Art Basel
Artist Andres Valencia, 10, poses with his contemporary art displayed by Chase Contemporary at Art Miami during Miami Art Week, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Miami. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Painter, Andres Valencia has become the sensation of Miami Art Week after selling out his exhibit to stars including Sofia Vergara, boxer Ryan Garcia and even “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort.

At $20,000 (£15 000) per piece, his first art exhibit has turned into the talk of the art town as the young artist is only ten years old.

According to the New York Post, Andres, from San Diego, California apparently watched a film about Jean-Michel Basquiat and told his father that he could create an art piece like that too.

So his father, attorney Guadalupe Valencia, bought him large-scale canvases during the pandemic. And the result is that Andres’ work is now featured at Chase Contemporary’s booth at Art Miami Basel.

An Art Miami insider said, “Sofia Vergara, Jordan Belfort and Ryan Garcia bought ten paintings from Andres Valencia at Art Miami on preview day.” 

Also spotted visiting the booth to see Andres’ work was Magic Mike star Channing Tatum. 

Andres is self-taught, having created his first painting at four. He’s inspired by Cubism and completes his large-scale works using a ladder. 

One artist who pulled made big sales at the event was British graffiti artist Banksy whose work — Charlie Brown— went for $4 million (£3 million) at Art Miami on opening day at Jay Rutland’s Maddox Gallery booth.

Even though the art fair closed a day earlier than scheduled, It was clear that the artists, art dealers, collectors and art enthusiasts alike were happy to be back to see one of the biggest art fairs in the world take place once more.

SEE MORE: The Whitechapel Gallery Presents A 100-Year Survey Of The Art Studio

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