Flash News: Miami in the NFT era – The Brafa is postponed – Historic record for Phillips


Art Basel Miami… in the NFT era

A one-day symposium on NFTs, conferences in museums (notably with BEEPLE at the Bass Museum), special NFT offers everywhere, the chance to create your own NFTs… crypto-art has invaded Miami’s art fairs (ending December 5).

Even before the official opening of the 2021 Miami Art Week, the 20th edition of SCOPE Miami Beach has already caused a sensation by issuing its VIP invitations in the form of non-fungible tokens… and it’s not the only outfit seeking to benefit from the crypto-fever. In Miami this week, everything is in place to invite collectors, artists, gallery owners, curators, amateurs and critics to dive into the seemingly endless universe of NFTs, which is clearly the hottest segment of the art market this year.

The main event – The Art Basel Miami Beach fair – will be offering visitors the opportunity to create their own NFTs, accompanied by German artist Mario Klingemann, alias Quasimodo. Quasimodo generates AI portraits of visitors to the fair as part of the exhibition “Humans + Machines: NFTs and the Ever-Evolving World of Art”, organized by Tezos (a POS Blockchain network). This immersive and interactive exhibition includes other digital artists and a series of conferences featuring artists and NFT experts.

Some galleries are participating in the ‘NFT thing’ for the first time, while others are already deeply rooted in the world of NFTs such as the Pace Gallery (its stand is at Art Basel Miami Beach) with works by DRIFT’s Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, created in collaboration with the musician Don Diablo. A few days ago, the Pace Gallery launched its own dedicated NFT platform – Pace Verso – to “create the tools our artists need” says Marc Glimcher, President and CEO of Pace Gallery.

Multiple experiences linked to crypto-art have invaded Miami this year – even at its emblematic Art Deco hotel, the Sagamore, under the title “Beyond the Paint”.

A profound change is clearly shaking up Miami Art Week, with numerous hybrid exhibitions exploring the fusion of digital and traditional art.

In reaction to a 5th wave of covid, the Brafa is postponed

134 exhibitors from 14 countries were lined up for the next edition of the Brussels Art Fair (Brafa), due to be held from Sunday 23 January to Sunday 30 January 2022. But the arrival of a 5th wave of the Covid epidemic and an aggravation of the overall health context in Europe has prompted the organizers of the fair to postpone the event.

Brafa’s President Harold t’Kint de Roodebeke announced the news in a November 29 statement, explaining that while the Board of Directors had to face an “extremely difficult decision, it is nevertheless better to postpone the fair to 2023 in order to host an edition that perfectly matches the enthusiasm of our visitors. Our current priority is to support our exhibitors”.

Archaeological objects, wonders from ancient Egypt, the Near East, Asia, Africa, 20th century design, Impressionist and Modern art … the Brafa stands out from other fairs with a transversal and demanding approach. The postponed January edition would have seen superb works by Camille Pissarro (Stern Pissarro gallery), Paul Delvaux (The Storm, 1962, De Jonckheere gallery, image opposite), Roberto Matta (Die Galerie), Karel Appel (Galerie Boulakia) among others… and a host of highly Contemporary works by artists like Barthélémy Toguo (Nosbaum Reding) and Bill Viola (Rueb modern and contemporary art).

Collectors will therefore have to be patient. According to the press release, details of an alternative version of the Brafa 2022 will follow soon.

Historic record for Phillips

On November 17 and 18, the combined turnover total from Phillips’ evening and day sales of Contemporary art in New York reached $172.5 million.

The day sale ($33.3 million) set 18 new auction records, including records for Anne Truitt, Bernar Venet and Ron Gorchov. John McCord and Rebekah Bowling who co-managed the sale, said that “Raymond Pettibon dominated the sale and cemented the current dynamism of his market. A work by Stanley Whitney titled Stay Song 21 also elicited fierce competition, pushing the 2018 painting up to $693,000, more than 8 times its low estimate.

More prestige-oriented, the evening sale raised $139.1 million, with new records for Raymond PETTIBON ($3.4 million for No Title (Let him come), (2011), Shara HUGHES ($1.5 million for Inside Outside, 2018 ) and Ewa JUSZKIEWICZ ($730,800 for Girl in Blue, 2013). For Jean-Paul Engelen and Robert Manley, Vice-Presidents and co-heads of 20th Century Art and Contemporary Art at Phillips: “Tonight’s sale, which hit a record for all sales at Phillips, was an extremely rewarding step and a validation of our strategy”. The strategy in question, described as ‘transversal’ and aiming to foster an “expansion of taste”, has also been adopted by Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

These results reflect the incredible dynamism of the Contemporary art market, driven by a strong demand from collectors, both for the important artists of the past century and for the youngest multimedia artists.