Focus on Brazilian Art at Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Miami Beach became the epicenter of the art world from December 6 to 10. The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) held the leading fair in the Americas, featuring 277 galleries from 34 countries and territories, including 25 newcomers.

Brazilian and Latin American art have consistently held a presence at the fair. However, in this edition, the prominence of Brazilian art surpasses that of its predecessors. A slew of new international galleries embraced the challenge of showcasing works by Brazilian artists, confirming that investing in Brazilian art is a wise choice. This includes presentations by modern artists like Lygia Pape at White Cube and contemporary artists featured in various other galleries. This trend underscores the significance of Brazilian buyers as a pivotal and discerning audience within the global art market.

A dedicated conversation on the Brazilian art market unfolded during the fair, accompanied by three articles exclusively dedicated to Brazilian art on the fair’s app.

“The Rigor of Geometric Forms”, The Juan Carlos Maldonado Collection, Miami.

Juan Carlos Maldonado, a Venezuelan businessman specialized in the insurance, banking and health sectors, initiated his collection in 2005. With a focus in Geometric Abstraction, Maldonado’s collection is meticulously curated with the support of Carlota Perez-Appelbaum, blending personal curation with historical and market research. The Juan Carlos Maldonado Collection (JCMC) was established in 2016 in Miami’s Design District, becoming a hub for multiple exhibitions and publications.

Juan Carlos Maldonado

In addition to the JCMC collection, Ella Cisneiros’ private collection boasts Brazilian artists like Mira Schendel and Vik Muniz. The philanthropist hosted an exclusive reception in her apartment during the fair. Ella Fontanals-Cisneros initiated her art collection journey in the 1970s, focusing on artists from Latin America.

Mira Schendel’s Sarrafos (the middle work is part of the Cisneros collection).

She founded the non-profit Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in 2002. While the foundation had a permanent exhibition space in Miami from 2005 to 2018, the Collection has evolved to encompass significant historic and cutting-edge pieces from around the world, with a particular emphasis on geometric abstract art from Latin America, international video, art, photography, and installations.

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, founder of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO).


Simões de Assis

At Simões de Assis’s booth, two works by Heitor dos PrazeresSamba and Festa Junina, were acquired and incorporated into the collection of the Rennie Museum, in Vancouver, Canada. Heitor dos Prazeres (1898 – 1966) was a musician and painter from Rio de Janeiro, as well as a capoeirista. His background as a musician heavily influences his visual work, seen in the themes and formal experiments.

Heitor dos Prazeres, Festa Junina, 1957.
Oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm.
Sold $100.000 – $150.000
Acquired by the Rennie Museum, Vancouver.

A collector acquired a work of Emanoel Araújo at the fair has promised to donate it to a museum or institution.

Gomide&Co curates a selection of works that traverse the realms of the forest, Afro-Brazilian narratives, and ancestral knowledge of the land. 

Chico da Silva, Fantastic animals, 1964.
Gouache on paper, 76 x 112 cm.
Estimate: $85.000

The gallery showcased artists from the Amazonian region, such as Chico da Silva (1910/1922-1985) whose artwork sold for $85.000, and Jaider Esbell (1979-2021) whose three works were sold for prices ranging from $110.000 to $125.000.

Jaider Esbell, The Eye of Water and the Guardian, 2019.
Acrylic on canvas, 73 x 89.8 cm.
Estimate: $165.000

The Kabinett, a special sector of the fair, focused on Acre-born artist Hélio Melo(1926-2001), whose body of work is rich in ciphered references to Amazonian myths and traditions. The gallery sold 7 artworks, the larger one went for $220.000.

Hélio Melo’s paintings at Gomide & Co’s booth.

Gomide & Co also reported the sale of 7 Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato’s works for $100.000, as well as 3 pieces by Advânio Lessa, and a Sergio Camargo at $900.000.

Sergio Camargo, Sem título, 1960’s.
Painted wood relief, 32.5 x 63 x 27 cm.
Sold for $900.000

Transitioning from the cosmologies of the forest to Bahia, a Brazilian state with a strong African heritage, the exhibition featured artists like Mestre Didi (1917-2013) and Rubem Valentim (1922-1991). Complementing this narrative are works by Lygia Pape (1927-2004), and Leonilson (1957-1993).

Rubem Valentim, Emblema XI – Logotipo poético, 1973.
Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 73 cm.
Estimate: $165.000

Millan showcased artwork from over 20 artists, highlighting the major trends in Brazilian art

Millan’s booth, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.

The gallery announced the sale of artworks by Thiago Rocha PittaGuga Szabzon, Fran Chang, David AlmeidaLidia LisbôaEmmanuel Nassar, as well as two pieces by Maxwell Alexandre. Vivian Caccuri was acquired by a museum in Quebec, and a Tunga artwork joined a good collection. In the Kabinet sector, the gallery made a partnership with David Nolan, and sold 24 small-scale paintings by Paulo Pasta.

Through watercolours, photographs, sculpture, and video, Thiago Rocha Pitta  (b. 1980) captures the ominous and melancholic elements of the natural world.

Thiago Rocha Pitta, Dois de Fevereiro, 2023.
Watercolor on paper, 75 x 114 cm.

Maxwell Alexandre (b.1990) is known for his monumental-scaled paintings on craft paper paints depicting confident Black characters in art spaces such as galleries, museums, and fashion shows.

Maxwell Alexandre, Untitled, 2021.
Shoe polish, bitumen, charcoal, graphite, latex and acrylic on pardo paper, 320 x 480 cm.

The gallery exhibited pieces by other Brazilian artists, including Jaider Esbell. He has contributed to the development of an art system driven by indigenous artists, merging artistic creation with the protection of indigenous and land rights through an approach he termed Artivism. His worldwide influence has been solidified through exhibitions like “Siamo Foresta” at Triennale Milano in 2023, his participation at the 59th Venice Biennale, and the exhibition “Le Serpent Cosmique”, organized by Fondation Cartier in 2022.

Jaider Esbell, Transmakunaima, 2018.
Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 207 cm.
Estimate: $450.000

Brazilian gallery Nara Roesler achieved positive results, with sales of 40 works by 10 artists. 

Nara Roesler’s booth, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.

One of the highlight was the acquisition of Elian Almeida’s Não sabe o nome do santo, mas pediu misericórdia II by ICA Miami.

Elian Almeida, Não sabe o nome do santo, mas pediu misericórdia II, 2023.
Acrylic paint and oil paint on canvas, 165 x 228 x 4,2 cm.

Sales also include works by artists such as Vik MunizHeinz MackTomie OhtakeMarco CastilloThiago BarbalhoArtur LescherDaniel SeniseJosé Davila, and André Griffo.

Heinz Mack, Chromatic constellation: untitled, 2017.
Acrylic paint on canvas, 159 x 146 cm.
Thiago Barbalho, Rumi e Shams, 2022.
Colored pencils, graphite, ballpoint pen, oil paint, acrylic paint and permanent marker on canvas, 40 x 30 cm.
Marco A. Castillo, Wakamba 12, 2023.
Cardboard, 2 pieces 120 x 80 x 21.6 cm (each).
Jose Dávila, Aporia, 2023.
Metal, automotive paint, sandstone and one way mirror, 190 x 155 x 92 cm.
Vik Muniz, The lake, after Tarsila do Amaral, 2023.
Archival inkjet print, ed 1/6, 160 x 213,4 cm

The gallery has announced the sale of a Manfredo Souza Neto for $16.000, which will join the Juan Carlos Maldonado Art Collection (JCMAC). Among the other sales, five pieces by Pascal Dombis were sold for €20.000, four Lab(au) engravings went for $3.000. In the Kabinett sector, a work by Luis Tomasello was sold $50.000. Negotiations are ongoing for a 1990 work by Jesús-Rafael Soto, while Origami, a Lab(au) work priced at $50.000, is currently being sold.

Works by Luis Tomasello at Dan Galeria’s Booth, Kabinett sector, Art Basel Miami 2023.

Galeria Raquel Arnaud reported sales of works by Sergio Camargo, Jesus Rafael SotoWaltercio Caldas, Elizabeth JobimIole de Freitas and Wolfram Ullrich. Some of these pieces will join the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros collection. The Almandrade‘s sculpture went to the Juan Carlos Maldonado Collection (JCMC). Carla Chaim‘s drawings were acquired by Jorge M. Pérez.

Carla Chaim, Mole, 2023.
Oil stick on japanese paper, 156 x 97,5 and 124,5 x 97,5 cm (diptyph).
Carla Chaim, Scribble III, 2021.
Oil stick on japanese paper, 210 x 100 cm.
Almandrade, 2020.
Corten steel, 87 x 82 cm.
Wolfram Ullrich, Bicu, 2023.
Acrylic on steel 4-parts, 45,5 x 95 x 7,5 cm.
Elizabeth Jobim, 2012.
Oil on canvas, 70 x 95 x 10 cm.

A selection of works by Amilcar de Castro, from the 1970s to the 2000s, were showcased by Almeida & Dale which now represents the artist’s estate. Two large-scale sculptures were purchased for $250.000 – $300.000 by French and American collectors. The gallery sold all the 7 small sculptures for $10.000 each.

Galeria Luisa Strina, the first Latin American gallery to join Basel Art Fair in 1992, presented a large scale painting by Anna Maria Maiolino. She has been selected for the main pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2024.

Anna Maria Maiolino, Sem título, da série Propícios, 2014.
Tinta acrílica sobre tela, 140 x 300 cm.
Estimate: $450.000

aleria Luisa Strina’s booth, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.

Galatea’s booth featured the solo project “Allan Weber: Dealing Art!”. With an original approach, his research delves into the multifaceted and often conflicting realities of Rio’s slums. Using references to drug dealing, he recontextualizes them within his own conceptual vocabulary, forging a historical connection with the Neoconcrete movement. 

Galatea’s booth, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.

This year, the Survey section showcased Paulo Kuczynski’s booth highlighting Antonio Henrique Amaral. He brought a singular voice to Brazilian and Latin American art of the second half of the 20th century. By incorporating subliminal messages into the aesthetic vocabulary of his artworks, he fights against censorship under the dictatorship, establishing himself as a brilliant and historical artist. 

Paulo Kuczynski’s booth, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.

Casa Triangluo showcased works by Assume Vivid Astro Focus. Some of his artworks integrated the De La Cruz Collection, Miami.  Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz have assembled one of Miami’s finest collections of contemporary art, including a significant number of postwar German paintings. Their collection is estimated to exceed a thousand objects, with many housed in the De La Cruz Collection space in Miami. It is a renowned reference for international contemporary artists as a solid investment.

Casa Triangulo’s booth, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.
Assume Vivid Astro Focus’installation, at Carlos and Rosa de La Cruz’s home in Miami, 2023.

The gallery reported the sales of an installation by Estudio Campana and paintings by artists Ivan NavarroAfonso Tostes and Deslon Uchôa.

Luciana Brito’s booth, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.
Afonso Tostes, “5” da série “Reforma”, 2023.
PVA and wood sawdust on canvas, 200,5 × 65 cm.

The gallery reported the sale of a Lynda Benglis‘ artwork. 

Lynda Benglis, Striking Cobra, 2020.
Everdur bronze (golden), 165.1 x 208.3 x 233.7 cm.
Edition of 6 plus 1 artist’s proof (#3/6)

Rubem Valentim artworks were exhibited at Mendes Wood’s booth. His works unite various sources of Brazilian cultural heritage; referencing popular traditions from Northeastern ceramic production in Bahia to Southwest modernist proposals and the idea of cultural anthropophagy. 

Rubem Valentim, Objeto Emblemático 1, 1975.
Acrylic on wood, 198 x 109 x 77 cm.
Rubem Valentim, Emblema – Logotipo Poético, 1974.
Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 50 cm.

The visual artist Beatriz Milhazes (b.1960) is known for the heterogenous style of references ranging from the brazilian baroque to the matissian arabesque integrated in a multicolor composition.

Beatriz Milhazes, Salcinha I, 2001.
Acrylic on canvas, 168.9 × 69.9 cm.
Estimate: $950.000.

Brazilian artist Marina Perez Simão (b. 1981), is known for her dreamlike, colorful paintings of imaginary landscapes and views based essentially on the accumulation and juxtaposition of memories and images. On October 13, during Phillips London’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, a new auction record was established by Brazilian artist Marina Perez Simão, whose oil on canvas sold for £95.250.

Marina Perez Simão, Untitled, 2023.
Oil on linen, 200 × 170 cm.
Estimate: $165.000

White Cube announced a few weeks ago the representation of the estate of pioneering Brazilian artist Lygia Pape (1927–2004). The gallery present four of her works at the fair. A prominent figure in the Neo-Concrete movement and preceding Concrete movement, Pape was instrumental in the emergence of contemporary art in Brazil from the mid-20th-century.

Lygia Pape, Canvas, 1987.
Acrylic paint and marble powder on canvas, 100 x 100 cm.
Estimate: $850.000
Lygia Pape, Tecelar, 1955.
Woodcut print on Japanese paper, 49.5 x 61 cm.
Estimate: $150.000
Lygia Pape, Metallic Ttéia (#3), 2003.
Gold-plated copper, 49 x 33 x 28 cm.

The gallery exhibited works by Maria NepomucenoVik Muniz and Luiz Zerbini

Maria Nepomuceno, Lingua furacão, 2023.
Ropes, beads, wood, ceramic, acrylic paint, resin, 190 x 185 x 60 cm.
Estimate: $30.000
Vik Muniz, Lady with a Fan, after Gustav Klimt, 2023.
Archival inkjet print, 163.1 x 160 cm.
Estimate: $45.000
Luiz Zerbini, The small bridge over the red lake, 2023.
Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm.

Anton Kern Gallery highlighted paintings by Yuli Yamagata.

Yuli Yamagata, Italian living room, 2023.
Silk, elastane, plastic rope, aluminum wire, aluminum net, cotton fabric, silicone fiber, sewing thread, 220 x 300 cm.
Yuli Yamagata, Dirty Socks, 2023.
Cyanotype, oxford fabric, glue, rope, dried flowers, epoxy resin, felt, elastane, silicon fiber, sewing thread, silk, serigraphy ink, 160 x 130 cm.

As part of the fair’s Kabinett sector, Lehmann Maupin presented an installation of new works by Brazilian artist duo OSGEMEOS. They blend Brazilian culture’s traditional, folkloric, and contemporary elements with graffiti, hip-hop, and music, creating a symbolic visual language filled with personal meaning. One of the artworks was sold for $250.000 to a US collectors.

OSGEMEOS, Guitarrada, 2023.
Mixed media with sequins on MDF board, 204 x 164 x 11 cm.
Estimate: $250.000

Ben Brown Fine Arts curated a selection of works by some international contemporary artists, including Vik Muniz.

Vik Muniz, Mappa 1983, after Alighiero Boetti (Newsprints), 2023.
Archival inkjet print, 101.6 x 147.3 cm.

Galerie 1900-2000 presented works by Arthur Luiz Piza and Ciceros Dias.

Galerie 1900-2000’s booth.

Works by Lucas Arruda were showcased at David Zwirner’s booth.

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2018.
Oil on canvas, 24.4 x 29.9 cm.

Galerie Peter Kilchmann presented sculpture by Brazilian modern artist Fernanda Gomes, with prices ranged from $30.000 to $50.000.

Galerie Peter Kilchmann’s booth with works by Fernanda Gomes, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2023.

Sean Kelly Gallery presented works by Janaina Tschäpe. Her artistic practice intricately navigates the realms of memory, emotion, and nature.

Janaina Tschäpe, Purple Haze, 2023.
Oil and oil stick on linen, 203.2 × 152.4 × 3.8 cm.

For Art Basel Miami Beach, Galeria Sur presented a show in two parts: METROPOLIS: The City With No Name and Other Latin American masters.

Ione Saldanha, Untitled, 1960.
Oil on canvas, 54 x 76 cm.
Alfredo Volpi, Fachada, 1969.
Gouache on canvas, 47 x 34 cm.
María Freire, 1956.
Tempera on paper, 50 x 41,5 cm.
Lygia Pape, Serie Tecelar, 1955.
Woodcut on paper, 21,1 x 20,8 cm.

Solidifying its status as the premier art fair in the Americas, Art Basel Miami Beach’s 2023 edition concluded on December 10. The show brought together 277 leading international galleries across its five sectors, drawing an overall attendance of 79.000 throughout its VIP and public days. Art patrons and collectors from over 92 countries and territories graced the fair with representatives from over 200 cultural institutions and foundations.

Marked by an exceptional diversity of artistic positions both within and beyond the halls, a redesigned floor-plan, and the inclusion of 25 new participating galleries spanning the US, Mexico, Brazil, France, The Netherlands, Poland, and Egypt, the fair showcased a dynamic blend of creativity. The event also featured a powerful presence of leading collectors and institutions from the region and around the world, alongside a vibrant program of events and activations unfolding across the city’s rich cultural landscape.

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