“There’s no substitute for being at Art Basel in Switzerland, the art world’s largest energy charging station,” Iwan Wirth, Hauser & Wirth’s president, said in an email. “These digital fireworks have been a great success.”
Hauser & Wirth reported that it sold 20 works across its two digital presentations, on the Art Basel website and the gallery’s own website. Several works sold are by Black artists on its roster. Mark Bradford’s 2020 mixed-media-on-canvas work The Press of Democracy sold for $5 million to a “highly respected collection.” A 1972 abstract painting by Ed Clark sold for $1.2 million, well above the artist’s auction record of $495,000 set in November 2019 at an afternoon sale at Christie’s.
Two 2020 sculptures by Simone Leigh sold for $325,000 and $110,000, and are both promised gifts to a major American museum, while Rashid Johnson’s Untitled Broken Crowd (2019) sold for $500,000 to a Latin American arts foundation. Two editions of a 2020 Glenn Ligon neon work, titled Aftermath, both sold for $200,000, and a 2020 work on paper by Charles Gaines sold for $185,000. Other notable sales in Hauser & Wirth’s booth include Louise Bourgeois’s 36-part piece The Fragile (2007), which was bought for around $1.5 million, and a 2020 George Condo painting, purchased for $1.4 million.” https://www.artnews.com/art-news/market/art-basel-2020-sales-report-online-viewing-rooms-1202691559/
“David Zwirner, which became the first gallery to have an online sales platform in 2017, sold 10 of the 15 works it had on offer, totaling $10 million in sales. The highest-priced of these were Kerry James Marshall’s 2015 painting Untitled (Blot), which was bought by an American museum for $3 million; Joan Mitchell’s 1991 Pastel, which was bought for more than $1 million; and Josef Albers’s City (1928/36), which was bought for $1 million. As part of its digital initiatives the gallery had also again created “Basel Online: 15 Rooms” on its own digital platform, which gave an in-depth look at each of the works on offer and how they relate to each artist’s practice. As part of its separate “Studio” online series, the gallery sold Jeff Koons’s Balloon Venus Lespugue (Red), from 2013–19, for $8 million, which David Zwirner said was a record for an online sale of a single work by a gallery.
Elena Soboleva, David Zwirner’s director of online sales, said that when the gallery began “Basel Online” as a parallel presentation to the in-person fair it “in a vastly different landscape” and characterized sales as “robust.” She added, “It’s thrilling to see so much industry adoption that has happened within one year, both by necessity and design. Online viewing rooms are a new norm, and even when physical fairs resume, online presentations will surely be a critical part of the experience.”
At Art Basel, top dealers bring out their most highly valuable wares, knowing that they can easily find buyers. Works valued at tens of millions of dollars are not uncommon sights at the Swiss fair, and while no works in the viewing rooms were visible as priced above the $10 million mark, dealers said they were still bringing the best that they had to offer.
“Art Basel continues to be the leading fair in the world, and we certainly feel that caliber translated online,” Soboleva said.” https://www.artnews.com/art-news/market/art-basel-2020-sales-report-online-viewing-rooms-1202691559/