Art Basel Edition Day One- Sponsored by Art Miami

On The Day Before

Good morning and welcome to Miami! We hope you're enjoying the humidity as much as we are. We'll be reporting daily from the fairs throughout the week, with each daily edition (with the exception of today's of course) publishing in the evening after we've had a chance to ferret out the various sales and speak to all the relevant players. 

In the meantime, the December edition of The Canvas monthly will be sent out tonight to our paying subscribers whom we adore with the fullest of hearts. But don't be jealous- we love you too. There's plenty of our love to go around. 

Tonight's edition is our longest yet- over thirty pages of can't-miss interviews with legitimate industry heavyweights. We have in-depth interviews in which we discuss some of the thorniest issues plaguing the art world with the likes of Noah HorowitzDominique LévySukanya RajaratnamDaniella Luxembourg & Amalia Dayan, and Pamela Cohen & Nick Korniloff of Art Miami. We also features an exclusive interview with Lawrence Fairchild of Stones Wines; our usual round-up all the relevant job listings, artist representations, and industry hires/resignations; and a data-intense look at November's evening sales at Christie'sSotheby's, and Phillips as part of an exciting new partnership we're thrilled to be launching with Athena Art Finance

So we hope you'll consider subscribing to our monthly editions, and invite you to do so by clicking the link below. After all, what's the point of flying down to Miami, fighting the waves of traffic, humidity and locals, and spending all that money on copious amounts of Margaritas if you don't end up having anything to talk about with your fellow art world denizens while you're here? Remember $18 per month or $179 per year is oh so low a price to pay for true insider access and knowledge.

The Three Things People Are Talking About- Christie's Edition

1. As The Canvas is sure you're aware, a steady drumbeat has been building in the art world of people wanting to know where exactly Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' is. Having supposed to have been unveiled at the Louvre Abu Dhabi on September 18th, news of the $450 million dollar painting has been notably sparse over the past four months. Whether it be issues with the authentication, problems regarding payment, or the painting being a victim of a complex web of geopolitical gamesmanship, The Canvas wanted answers. When we reached out to a Christie's spokesman for comment, we were provided with the following statement:

“We can confirm the painting has been successfully transferred to its new owners, under the scrutiny of appropriate experts, to the satisfaction of all parties. We can also confirm payment was received in full; we don’t discuss the particulars of any financial arrangement as a matter of policy."  

This should at least put to rest the idea that was floating around some corners of the market that the buyer reneged on part of the payment due to authentication issues. However, we do think it's interesting that Christie's made sure to mention that the painting was transferred "under the scrutiny of appropriate experts"- an area of concern in a lot of the recent press coverage about the missing masterpiece. The Canvas just hopes that if it is indeed hanging in a Middle Eastern palace right now- and not in the climate controlled, carefully cultivated, restoration rooms of the Louvre Abu Dhabi- that 'Salvator Mundi' is receiving the same kind of expert care and consideration we'd all hope for in the case of a genuine work by da Vinci. 

2. As we're sure you've heard by now, Francis Outred is out at Christie's. While the departure of the now former head of postwar and contemporary art for Europe is being billed as a resignation initiated by Francis himself, The Canvas has been hearing differing versions from sources both within Christie's, as well as people familiar with the situation outside of the auction house. Top of mind for many was the notable buy-in of Gerhard Richter's"Schädel (Skull)" that was estimated to sell for between £12-18m at the house's post-war & contemporary evening sale in London in October. However, everyone we spoke to agreed that the conversations about his stepping down began before that embarrassing flop. It remains to be seen what Outred's next move will be- be it private advisory, starting his own gallery (à la Emmanuel Di Donna) or partnering with a market heavyweight like Brett Gorvy did with Dominique Lévy. Speaking of Dominique, we asked her for her thoughts on the recent spate of high level departures from the auction houses in our December edition of The Canvas Monthly, and her answer was quite illuminating. You can subscribe by clicking here

3. In addition to being a market mover in terms of the consignments he wins and deals he makes in-house at  Christie's, the house's co-chair of the postwar and contemporary art department for the Americas, Loïc Gouzer, is proving he has the ability and cachet to move the market at auction houses he's not employed at as well. While a number of environmental groups had campaigned for Bonhams to end the practice of offering rhino horn artifacts in its upcoming sales, it wasn't until Gouzer called out the perennial fourth-place auction house (on a good day) via his widely followed Instagram account. Bonhams quickly acquiesced and announced that it would no longer offer artifacts made from rhinoceros horn in its salesrooms. Sotheby's then jumped on board and announced that it too would longer be in the rhino horn business. Good for Loïc who's a noted environmentalist and avid spear-fisherman for using his influential position to enact some social good. No wonder he and Leo DiCaprio get along so well

Five Museum Shows to See While in Miami

"Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83" at The Pérez Art Museum Miami

"Judy Chicago: A Reckoning" at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

"Paola Pivi: Art With A View" at The Bass Museum of Art

"Remember to React: 60 Years of Collecting" at the NSU Art Museum

New Instillations featuring Imi Knoebel, Ibrahim Mahama, and others at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

Don't worry- our usual 'Party Circuit' section will be back in tomorrow's edition. But for today, we wanted to highlight a wine that has caught The Canvas's attention. Produced in an extremely limited number, carefully sourced from select vineyards in Napa Valley, and undeniably beautifully packaged- just look at those bottles- Stones Wines make for unbeatable gifts for both the wine and art collector in your life. To learn more about the brand, check out our interview with founder, Lawrence Fairchild, in the December edition of The Canvas Monthly. You'll thank us later.