CONTEXT Art Miami Closes With Record Breaking Attendance
In its 23rd year as the anchor fair to the city of Miami, Art Miami, the premiere international contemporary and modern art fair and its new sister fair CONTEXT Art Miami closed with record breaking attendance and sales in excess of $46 million with many galleries selling important works to major museums, private foundations and international collectors. Within hours of the opening, gallery owners were reporting extraordinary, unprecedented 6 & 7 figure dollar sales with a number selling out their booths before fair's end.
Over 60,000 international collectors, museum professionals, art world luminaries and enthusiasts visited Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami throughout the week with over 11,000 patrons attending the exclusive VIP Preview that took place on Tuesday Dec 4 which benefited the Miami Art Museum.
New on the scene, Art Miami's sister fair, CONTEXT Art Miami in its inaugural edition proved to be one of the strongest markets to acquire emerging and cutting-edge art with several galleries selling out their booths.
"We have been at every Art Miami and this was probably the best of all. We met a number of new collectors, sold to two museums and generally had a very positive experience. We were regularly told by collectors how much they enjoy the buzz at Art Miami and certainly it would seem the galleries did good business. We do several prestigious fairs around the world and for the second year, Art Miami was the best," Peter Osborne, Gallery Director.
London-based Osborne Samuel.
Jamie Smith, Partner and Director of CONNERSMITH. referred to the fairs as the strongest Art Week in the past decade and added, "This week at Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami, we have made the largest volume of sales that we have ever made at any fair in Miami since 2002."
Newcomer to Art Miami, Michael Lyons Weir of Lyons Weir Gallery enthusiastically stated "This was our first year participating in Art Miami & CONTEXT. We were delighted by the quality of the attendance and extremely pleased by the brisk sales. We have been participating in Miami Art Week since it's inception and this was by far our most successful outing."
Some of the boldest names in the Art World attended the fairs throughout the week and actively acquired the works on display including Darlene & Jorge M. Pérez, developer and longtime trustee of the Miami Art Museum - to be renamed next year as the Pérez Art Museum Miami; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, Howard Frank, COO and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Carnival Corporation; Thom Collins, Director, Miami Art Museum, James Rosenquist, acclaimed American Pop Artist; Lucien Clergue, world-renowned French photographer; Arnold L. Lehman, Director of the Brooklyn Museum; Holly Hotchner, Director of the Museum of Arts & Design; Sarah Arison, arts activist and philanthropist; rocker Lenny Kravitz; Carol Damian, Director of Frost Art Museum and international collectors Dennis and Debra Scholl, Ted and Ruth Baum, Marvin & Elayne Mordes, Marvin Ross Friedman & Adrienne Bon Haynes, Jack Tilton , Eric Feder, Steve Lavigne and Jonathan Blue Louisville. Other notable attendees include Artist Béatrice Helg; Kristen Hileman curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art; Jeffreen Hayes, curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Stephen Bennett Phillips, curator for the Federal Reserve Collection; Francis Thompson, curator for Capital One Art Collection; Artists Peter Anton who created one of the highlight installations "Sugar & Gomorrah"; Artist Pablo Castillo and fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger.
The fair aisles continued to overflow with copious numbers of museum groups and collector tours through-out the week including The Phillips Collection, Washington DC - Director, Dorothy Kosinski, Curator at Large, Klaus Ottmann and Chief Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, Vesela Sretenovic; lead a delegation of trustees and high-level collectors. The Frost Art Museum, Director Carol Damian conducted a tour for trustees, donors and Fair VIP's, Groups from HSBC Private Wealth, Vivian Pfeiffer of Christie's lead a group of international collectors, The Smithsonian Institute, Curators from Apple North America and Latin America, Bass Museum, Miami Art Museum, San Antonio Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, American University Museum, International Center of Photography, NY, Museum of Art | Ft. Lauderdale, Sternersen Museum, Norway, Artadia, Cobra Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Modern Art, Franklin College of Switzerland, The Wolfsonian, ArtTable, Museum of Modern Art, NY, Museum of Modern Art, North Miami and Los Angeles, Museum of Arts + Design, Cooper Hewitt Museum, Bechtler Museum Group, The Fine Art Fund, The Collectors Fund.
Among the many spectacular highlights at this year's fairs were the display of five of famed graffiti artist Banksy's works presented by Art Miami and I PXL U, the new photo sharing platform; The Art Video | New Media Lounge curated by LaRete Art Projects, with the video program Girls or Boys? Who Cares?! showcasing a hand-picked selection of video art sourced from museums, private collections and art institutions around the globe and Peter Anton's experiential carnival ride in "Sugar and Gomorrah".