Upwardly Mobile


This article originally appeared in The Art Newspaper’s Art Basel Miami Beach Daily Edition on December 4th 2014.
It was temporarily taken down from their website, but now appears to be available again via their archive section.

Upwardly Mobile
Visitors find Calders galore, works on a nautical theme and some very lusty paintings at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

One of the largest and most expensive works on show at Art Basel in Miami Beach is Alexander Calder’s mobile Rouge Triomphant, 1959-62, at Helly Nahmad Gallery (B1). The sculpture has leapt in value: now priced at $35m, it sold for $9.7m just two years ago at Christie’s.

Rouge Triomphant on display at Gagosian Gallery in Paris in 2013:

Photo of Calder Mobile for Sale Large

The number of mobiles by Calder and other artists on galleries’ stands is striking. Among the works by the hundreds of artists brought by 267 galleries from 31 countries, mobiles definitely constitute a trend. The fair’s organizers have seen an increase in the number of galleries installing hanging works.

There have been big Calder shows in museums and a growing demand for his work in recent years: Poisson volant (Flying Fish), 1957, sold for a record $25.9m at Christie’s New York in May. At the fair, there are works by the artist at Galería Guillermo de Osma, Madrid (K1), Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York (F4) and Galería Elvira González, Madrid (D13). Rouge Triomphant may stay in South Florida; the work is on reserve for “someone who has a house in the area”, says gallery director Joseph Nahmad.

“It’s incredible to think that, before my grandfather began to make mobiles at the beginning of the last century, the art form did not exist,” says Alexander Rower, the president of the Calder Foundation. Contemporary mobiles on display include Ernesto Neto’s interactive canopy Egg Bed Crystal Shell A, 2014 (priced at $180,000), with Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (E6). Pae White’s intricate, mirrored Noisy Neighbors, 2014 (priced at $100,000), is at Kaufmann Repetto (J7), and Xavier Veilhan’s Mobile (Paris) n°1, 2014 (priced at $58,000), is at Galerie Perrotin (G6).

Not all mobiles refer to Calder, says Eva Presenhuber (L7), who sold Martin Boyce’s A Library of Leaves [We are still and reflective], 2014, for £35,000 within three hours of the fair’s opening. “You cannot avoid thinking of Calder when you see any mobile, but Boyce’s references are more modern design and furniture,” she says.

Also see:
Calder at Art Basel Miami Beach – Mobiles Constitute a Trend

© 2017 Marco Mahler