Material matters in Miami
Bronze, marble—and scrap metal: why dealers are showing sculpture at Art Basel Miami Beach
By Charlotte Burns | From Art Basel Miami Beach daily edition, 1 Dec 10
Published online 1 Dec 10
Max Frisinger's Nichts Muss, 2010 (detail), at Contemporary Fine Arts Miami. While galleries wait to see whether the market is really on the mend, the abundance of large-scale works in the ninth edition of Art Basel Miami Beach suggests that the cash registers have been ringing at the shipping companies at least.
Gargantuan works dominated Art Basel Miami Beach at the height of the boom in 2007, but shrank in 2008, with tentative displays of domestically sized, mainly two-dimensional works. This year’s fair, opening to VIPs today, sees a reinflation in scale and a return to three dimensions. Yet sculpture is traditionally more expensive to make, slower to sell and costlier to ship than paintings. “If dealers are bringing more large-scale work, they must feel there is a market for it—especially in an art fair where every square foot matters,” says private adviser Allan Schwartzman.