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Business Booms Again at Major Manhattan Art Fairs

Dealers reported a surge in sales—as compared with those of recent years—at the annual Armory Show, held on two Hudson River piers on Manhattan’s West Side from March 3–6, and at the Art Show, presented by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) and held at the 67th Regiment Armory on Park Avenue from March

NEW YORK— Dealers reported a surge in sales—as compared with those of recent years—at the annual Armory Show, held on two Hudson River piers on Manhattan’s West Side from March 3–6, and at the Art Show, presented by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) and held at the 67th Regiment Armory on Park Avenue from March 2–6.

Organizers of the Armory Show, which featured a contemporary and a modern component, reported attendance of nearly 65,000, up from 60,000 reported last year (ANL, 3/23/10).

Hauser & Wirth’s vice president, partner and manager of the New York branch, Marc Payot, said the gallery’s sales included a work by Bharti Kher, which went to a Latin American collector for $175,000; a painting by Martin Creed, sold for $35,000; a sculpture by Paul McCarthy that brought $120,000; a painting by Anj Smith, sold to a U.S. collector for $38,000; a Michael Raedecker painting, sold to a U.S. collector for $110,000; and a David Zink Yi sculpture, sold to a European collector for $45,000.

Chicago dealer Catherine Edelman told ARTnewsletter her gallery sold 12 video pieces by Gregory Scott, ranging from $24,000/28,000 each, as well as two photos by Nan Goldin, priced from $18,000/20,000 apiece, and one by Julie Blackmon, for $5,000.

New York dealer Hollis Taggart, who exhibited work in the Armory’s modern section, told ARTnewsletter, “We had a very successful show. Attendance was excellent and steady, and we closed over 12 sales during the fair.” These included an oil painting by Sam Francis in the $100,000 range; several oils by Richard Pousette-Dart, “all major works,” Taggart said, in the $150,000/350,000 range; an Alexander Calder mobile, fresh to the market and sold for an undisclosed price; oils and acrylics by Pop artist Marjorie Strider ranging in price from $15,000/50,000; a major oil by Sal Sirugo in the $50,000/60,000 range; and a large early oil by Fritz Bultman in the $60,000/75,000 range.

London-based Stuart Shave/Modern Art, which featured a solo show of work by Ansel Krut, was among the galleries reporting a sold-out booth. Prices for the artist’s oils ranged from £13,000/25.000 ($21,000/40,500); framed watercolors were priced at £2,000 ($3,200).

The ADAA Art Show, now in its 23rd year, reported attendance of nearly 20,000 visitors, up from 15,000 last year, with 70 dealers exhibiting.

Among the galleries reporting strong sales was David Zwirner, whose booth featured a solo show of work by Alice Neel. Among the oils it sold were: Ed Meschi, 1933, for $500,000; Maynard Stone (first version), 1957, for $550,000; and Nancy, 1980, for $850,000.

The Pace Gallery sold out its solo show of ash paintings by Zhang Huan, which were priced at $100,000 and under.

Sperone Westwater director and partner David Leiber said the gallery sold a 1965 “fire painting” by Otto Piene for $400,000 and a 1963 painting by artist Günther Uecker—with Piene and Heinz Mack, key members of the Zero group—for about $500,000, as well as several works on paper by Piene and by Mack at prices ranging from $20,000/45,000.

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