The line of  elegantly dressed, boldface names that formed well before the doors opened to the exclusive VIP Preview of Art Miami and its new sister fair CONTEXT Art Miami is a testament to the fact that Art Miami, Miami’s longest-running contemporary art fair, remains the preeminent, must-attend event of Miami Art Week. The enthusiasm of the crowd was evident as art lovers waited eagerly to have the first view and the opportunity to acquire the most important works of contemporary, modern and cutting-edge art from a stellar roster of the world’s most prominent galleries.

The VIP Preview of the 23rd Art Miami officially kicked off Miami Art Week drawing a crowd of over 11,000 international collectors, museum curators, interior designers, artists and connoisseurs. Among the notable attendees were: 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, 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 Damien, Director of Frost Art Museum  and international collectors Ted and Ruth Baum, Marvin & Elayne Mordes,  Marvin Ross Friedman & Adrienne Bon Haynes, Jack Tilton , Eric Feder,Steve Lavigne and Jonathan Blue Louisville.

In classic sophisticated Art Miami style, guests were accorded VIP perks such as shuttle buses from Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel, the fairs Luxury Hotel partner. Upon arrival at the pavilions, guests sipped cocktails provided by Bootlegger 21 NY Vodka and Rums of Puerto Rico, while touring the mammoth space in search of that unique treasure to add to their collection. There was much discussion about the “Banksy Out of CONTEXT” exhibit of  five massive stone wall reliefs equaling six-and-a-half tons in weight that feature the artist’s most iconic stencils; “ART FROM BERLIN,” Miami’s first showcase of Berlin’s most celebrated galleries. CONTEXT Art Miami also revealed the Art Video | New Media Lounge, specially curated by Julia Draganovic and Claudia Loffelholz, founders of LaRete Art Projects and presenters of the “Girls or Boys? Who Cares?!” exhibition.  

Peter Anton’s “Sugar & Gomorrah.” a repurposed roller coaster ride through vignettes featuring scantily clad couples juxtaposed with Anton’s oversized sculptures of confections had riders positively giggling like schoolchildren at the experience presented by Arcature Fine Art. Jutta Grusdat from the Munich-based Galerie Terminus praised Art Miami for its diverse galleries and art work, saying “it exceeds expectations and gets better year after year.”

Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami exhibitors reported a number of significant sales: San Diego-based Scott White Contemporary Art sold a Claes Oldenburg sculpture for $375,000. New York-based Westwood Gallery sold Andy Warhol’s never before shown Franz Kafka Circa 1980 for $200,000 and already has reserved Willem Dekooning’s Untitled Circa 1980, which will sell for close to $200,000. London-based gallery Waterhouse & Doss Ltd sold the Robert Indiana sculpture Hope for $160,000. Dancing Bacardi’s top private collection sold for $150,000. Chicago’s Zolla/Lieberman Gallery sold a field sculpture for $125,000.

New York-based gallery Mark Borghi Fine Art sold Takashi Murakami’s Aqua Cream, 1998 for $95,000; Alexander Calder’s Kangaroo, 1974 for $85,000; and an Eric Fischl sculpture for $59,000. Bridgette Mayer Gallery sold Picasso’s Vollard Suite – Sculptor and Kneeling Model from 1933 for $40,000.

David Drebin’s Light Box sold for $25,000 and Dreams of Central Park sold for $11,800. London-based gallery Alan Cristea sold Michael Craig-Martin’s Art & Design, 2012, set of 10 screen-prints for $23,500. New York-based June Kelly Gallery sold Alex Harsley’s I’ve Arrived (Basquiat) portrait for $18,000. Julian Opie’s Walking in the City, 2012, Series of 6 lacquered sculptures with screen-printing edition of 25 for $15,300, as well as, the artist’s We Swan in the Sea / We Swam by the Pool, 2003, pair of screen-prints with woodblock on 410gsm Somerset Satin Paper for $39,000.

San Francisco-based gallery Modernism Inc sold a major painting by Californian artist Mel Ramos, last living 1st generation of American Pop Artists for an undisclosed amount, as well as over a dozen  Lucien Clergue’s photographs. London-based gallery Osborne Samuel reported six-figure sales for Henry Moore’s sculpture Mother & Child, 1953 and Draped Mother & Child on curved bench, 1980. Helsinki-based Galerie Forsblom sold Jacob Hashimoto’s Antihero, 2012.

Paris-based Galerie Paris Beijing sold Yang Yonghang’s Before the Rain, an 8-minute video, edition 5, for $16,000.; New-York based Galerie Richard sold a photograph by Dionisio Gonzalez for $15,000; and New York-based Magnan Metz Gallery sold an Alexandre Arrechea piece for $8,000.

During the special event, Art Miami LLC presented a generous donation to the Miami Art Museum, which will reopen next year in a new Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility as a world-class museum for the city’s thriving community of artists, designers, collectors and its avid and growing art-engaged public. The Miami Art Museum will host a specially curated on-site booth in the Art Miami Pavilion for the duration of the Fair, featuring information about the 2013 reopening of MAM as Pérez Art Museum Miami, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of arts patron Jorge Perez.

“Last night we welcomed CONTEXT Art Miami and celebrated the 23rd edition of the city’s longest running contemporary art fair, Art Miami, with an outstanding attendance,” said Nicholas Korniloff, Director of Art Miami. “We are thrilled to have unveiled some of Art Week’s most highly anticipated exhibitions, including ‘BANKSY Out of CONTEXT,’ and look forward to sharing it with the general public.”

During the exclusive soiree, a compelling array of works selected by the combined 190 galleries participating in Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami showcased the best in emerging, cutting-edge contemporary and modern paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and prints from Europe, Asia, Latin America, India, the Middle East and the United States. Fairgoers reactions ranged from reverential to incredulous to child-like awe at the extraordinarily diverse works on display.

Art Miami Participating 2012 Galleries:

101 / Exhibit | Miami, Abby M. Taylor Fine Art | Greenwich, Adrian Sassoon | London, Alan Cristea Gallery | London, Aldo de Sousa Gallery | Buenos Aires, Alfredo Ginocchio | Mexico, Allan Stone Gallery | New York, Alpha Gallery | Boston, Antoine Helwaser | New York, Arcature Fine Art | Palm Beach, Armand Bartos Fine Art | New York, Art Forum Ute Barth | Zurich, Art Nouveau Gallery | Miami, Arthur Roger Gallery | New Orleans, Ascaso Gallery | Miami, Barry Friedman | New York, Blue Leaf Gallery | Dublin, Bolsa De Arte | Porto Alegre, Bridgette Mayer Gallery | Philadelphia, C. Grimaldis Gallery | Baltimore, Catherine Edelman | Chicago, Cernuda Arte | Coral Gables, Christopher Cutts Gallery | Toronto, Claire Oliver Gallery | New York, CONNERSMITH. | Washington, DC, Contessa Gallery | Cleveland, Cynthia Corbett Gallery | London, Cynthia-Reeves | New York, Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. | New York, David Klein Gallery | Birmingham, David Lusk Gallery | Memphis, David Richard Gallery | Santa Fe, De Buck Gallery | New York, Dean Project | New York, Denise Bibro Fine Art | New York, DeVera.Iglesias | Miami, Dillon Gallery | New York, Dot Fiftyone Gallery | Miami, Douglas Dawson | Chicago, Durban Segnini Gallery | Miami, Durham Press | Durham, Eckert Fine Art | Millerton, Eli Klein Fine Art | New York, Evelyn Aimis Fine Art | Miami, Fama Gallery | Verona, Ferrin Gallery | Pittsfield, Galería Patricia Ready | Santiago, Galerie Forsblom | Helsinki, Galerie Kleindienst | Leipzig, Galerie Olivier Waltman | Paris, Galerie Peter Zimmermann | Mannhein, Galerie Renate Bender | Munich, Galerie Terminus | Munich, Galerie Von Braunbehrens | Munich, Galleri Andersson/Sandstrom | Stockholm, Galleria Bianconi | Milan, Galleria D’Arte Contini | Venice, Goya Contemporary | Baltimore, Hackelbury Fine Art | London, Haunch of Venison | New York, Heller Gallery | New York, Hollis Taggart Galleries | New York, Jackson Fine Art | Atlanta, James Barron Art | South Kent, Jenkins Johnson Gallery | New York, Jerald Melberg Gallery | Charlotte, JGM. Galerie | Paris, Jim Kempner Fine Art | New York, Joel Soroka Gallery | Aspen, Juan Ruiz Gallery | Miami, June Kelly Gallery | New York, KM Fine Arts | Chicago, Kreisler Art Gallery | Madrid, Lausberg Contemporary | Düsseldorf, Leila Heller Gallery | New York, Leon Tovar Gallery | New York, Leslie Sacks Contemporary | Santa Monica, Leslie Smith Gallery | Amsterdam, Lisa Sette Gallery | Scottsdale, Lyons Wier Gallery | New York, Magnan Metz Gallery | New York, Mark Borghi Fine Art Inc | New York, Mayoral Galeria D’Art | Barcelona, McCormick Gallery | Chicago, Michael Goedhuis | London, Michael Schultz Gallery | Berlin, Mike Weiss Gallery | New York, Mindy Solomon Gallery | St. Petersburg, Modernbook Gallery | San Francisco, Modernism Inc. | San Francisco, Nancy Hoffman Gallery | New York, Nicholas Metivier Gallery | Toronto, Nikola Rukaj Gallery | Toronto, Nohra Haime Gallery | New York, Now Contemporary | Miami, Olyvia Fine Art | London, Osborne Samuel | London, Pace Prints | New York, Pan American Art Projects | Miami, Paul Thiebaud Gallery | San Francisco, Peter Fetterman Gallery | Santa Monica, Piece Unique | Paris, Priveekollektie Contemporary Art & Design | Heusden, Rosenbaum Contemporary | Boca Raton, Rudolf Budja Gallery LLC | Miami, Santa Giustina | Lucca, Schantz Galleries | Stockbridge, Schuebbe Projects | Düsseldorf, Scott White Contemporary Art | La Jolla, Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art | Cleveland, Simon Capstick-Dale Fine Art | New York, Sundaram Tagore | New York, Talento / Guijarro de Pablo | Mexico City, Tresart | Coral Gables, Unix Contemporary | London, Vincent Vallarino Fine Art | New York, Waterhouse & Dodd | London, Westwood Gallery | New York, Wetterling Gallery | Stockholm, William Shearburn Gallery | St. Louis, Woolff Gallery | London, Yares Art Projects | Santa Fe, Zadok Gallery | Miami, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery Inc. | Chicago

Inaugural CONTEXT Participating 2012 Galleries:

AJLart | Berlin, Asymmetrik | New York, Atlas Gallery | London, Aureus I Contemporary | Providence, Bankrobber | London, Berlin Lounge by LVBG | Berlin, Beth Urdang Gallery | Boston, Black Square Gallery | Miami, Cancio Contemporary | Bal Harbour, Centro De Edicion | San Martin, ClampArt | New York, CONNERSMITH. | Washington, DC, Contemporary by Angela Li | Hong Kong, Curator’s Office | Washington, DC, Dialogue Space Gallery | Beijing, Dmitriy Semenov Gallery | Saint-Petersburg, Fabien Castanier Gallery | Studio City, Frederieke Taylor Gallery | New York, FREIGHT + VOLUME | New York, Gaga Gallery | Seoul, Galeria Enrique Guerrero | Mexico City, Galeria Sicart | Barcelona, Galerie cubus-m | Berlin, Galerie Kornfeld | Berlin, Galerie Leroyer | Montreal, Galerie Paris – Beijing | Paris, Galerie Richard | Paris, Gering & Lopéz Gallery | New York, Glaz Gallery | Moscow, J. Cacciola Gallery | New York, Jennifer Kostuik Gallery | Vancouver, Kasia Kay Art Projects | Chicago, Kavachnina Contemporary | Miami, Kit Schulte Contemporary Art | Berlin, Kunst Limited | San Jose, Licht Feld | Basel, Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery | Santo Domingo, Lyons Wier Gallery | New York, Magnan Metz Gallery | New York, Marcia Wood Gallery | Atlanta, The McLoughlin Gallery | San Francisco, Merry Karnowsky Gallery | Los Angeles, Morgen Contemporary | Berlin, Nina Menocal Gallery | Mexico, NOMAD Gallery | Brussels, Packer Schopf Gallery | Chicago, Patricia Conde Galería | Mexico City, Porter Contemporary | New York, Praxis International Art | New York, Robert Klein Gallery | Boston, Robert Mann Gallery | New York, Stewart Gallery | Boise, Swedish Photography | Berlin, Traeger & Pinto Arte Contemporaneo | Mexico, The Proposition | New York, Torbandena | Trieste, Varnish Fine Art | San Francisco, Villa del Arte galleries | Barcelona, White Room Art System | Positano, Witzenhausen Gallery | Amsterdam, z2o Galleria | Rome, Zadok Gallery | Miami, zone B | Berlin, Zemack Contemporary Art | Tel Aviv, 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel | New York

About Art Miami, LLC

Art Miami, LLC, is a partnership consisting of art and media industry veterans Nick Korniloff, Mike Tansey and Brian Tyler.  Art Miami, LLC, produces Art Miami (www.art-miami.com), Miami’s longest-running contemporary art fair, CONTEXT Art Miami (www.contextartmiami.com), Art Wynwood (www.art-wynwood.com) and the prestigious Art Southampton (www.art-southampton.com).

About Art Miami

Known as Miami’s premier anchor fair, Art Miami kicks off the opening day of Art Week. The fair will commence on Dec. 4, 2012, with Art Miami’s highly anticipated Opening Night VIP Preview, which benefits the Miami Art Museum. World-famous for its outstanding quality, extraordinary variety and stylish, gallery-like decor, Art Miami showcases the finest in modern and contemporary art from more than 125 of the most prestigious international art galleries. Art Miami maintains a preeminent position in America’s modern and contemporary art fair market. With its rich history, it is the original and longest-running contemporary art fair in Miami, and continues to receive praise for the variety of unparalleled art that it offers. Art Miami is the must-see event for all serious collectors, curators, museum directors, and interior designers, providing an intimate look at some of the most important work at the forefront of the international contemporary art movement. (www.art-miami.com)

About CONTEXT Art Miami

Miami’s newest international emerging and cutting-edge art fair will launch with a VIP Private Preview on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, coinciding with the 23rd edition of Art Miami. Trendsetting galleries from around the globe will exhibit in a state-of-the-art pavilion directly adjacent to Art Miami. CONTEXT Art Miami will feature a curated group of 65 galleries representing exceptional emerging and mid-career cutting edge artists, including solo artist installations, immersive environments, curated projects and multimedia exhibits. The CONTEXT Art Miami Pavilion will feature a VIP Lounge, Art Video New Media Lounge, performance stage, indoor and outdoor curated projects, and will be located just 50 feet north of the existing 125,000-square-foot Art Miami Pavilion. The combined exhibition space will increase the overall roster of galleries to 190 participants and cover 250,000 square feet. Ample and convenient parking is available for both fairs through the use of a four-story parking garage with 2,000 spots, located directly across the street from the CONTEXT & Art Miami Pavilions, as well as valet parking. A network of complimentary shuttle buses will run round-trip service between Art Miami, CONTEXT Art Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach. (www.contextartmiami.com)

About the Miami Art Museum

Miami Art Museum, a modern and contemporary art museum located in downtown Miami, FL, is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries with an emphasis on the cultures of the Atlantic Rim—the Americas, Europe and Africa—from which the vast majority of Miami residents hail. Miami Art Museum’s educational programming currently reaches more than 30,000 people every year, with the largest art education program outside the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Miami Art Museum will reopen as Pérez Art Museum Miami, next year in downtown Miami’s Museum Park. The new, expanded museum, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, will provide room to showcase growing collections, expanded exhibition space to bring more world-class exhibitions to Miami-Dade County and an educational complex. For more information about Miami Art Museum, visit (www.miamiartmuseum.org) or call 305.375.3000.

Sponsors & Partners

Art Miami and CONTEXT’s generous 2012 Sponsors and Partners – Christie’s International Real Estate, Official Luxury Real Estate Partner of Art Miami, Epic Miami, A Kimpton Hotel, Official Luxury Hotel of Art Miami, Haute Living, I PXL U, Rums of Puerto Rico, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Art From Berlin, LaRete Art Projects, Heineken, Bootlegger 21 NY Vodka, Société Perrier, Flavorpill, The Miami Herald, Kushner Moving Group, ARTLOG, Puerto Rico Does It, Midtown Miami.

Via John Wegorzewski and Edward Callaghan