Miami — One of the most fascinating things about Art Basel Miami Beach, is that you can see art from all corners of the world in one place - and it’s the best of the best. This year we walked through the main fair and scouted pieces from some of the top Brazilian artists. Here are the highlights (in no particular order).
When it comes to art, Basel has it all. Some of it is huge, spanning an atrium, and this year we even saw performance art. But other pieces, though important, can be tiny, such as “O Bicho” by Lygia Clark. The small sculpture is for sale for $520,000 and the artist is represented by Simões de Assis gallery from São Paulo/Curitiba. Clark was known for being an abstract artist and having co-founded the Neo Concrete movement in Brazil. In addition to sculptures, she also painted, and studied with the famed Roberto Burle Marx. In 1960 she started creating “bichos” or “critters,” and the one below is from a series of several that were made.
The next piece is the most important of them all. It was on view at Henrique Faria Gallery, and Faria himself described it as “The Mona Lisa of Brazilian art.” The piece, titled “A Negra,” is by famed Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral, who participated in the modernist movement. Her work has been on view at the Moma in New York, and the museum describes her style as " sensuous, vibrant landscapes and everyday scenes.” And similar to the Mona Lisa, no matter where you look at this piece from, it looks like she’s looking at you. The piece is for sale for $4 million.
This piece by Sonia Gomes, who only became an artist at the age of 45 after being a lawyer for many years, is very much emblematic of her general work. The artist, who was born in Caetanópolis, Minas Gerais, grew up in an area known for textiles. Her first expression as an artist was making custom clothes and jewelry, and this experience carries on in her work today. Her pieces are largely made of old fabrics, pieces from someone’s past life that are turned into fabric sculptures. She is represented by Mendes Wood DM of São Paulo, and this piece titled “O intervalo” (The break) is going for $180,000.
To close out our highlights, a sculpture by Carlito Carvalhosa titled, “It was like this when.” Carvalhosa died this year of cancer. Like Tarsila do Amaral, Carvalhosa had also had an exhibit at Moma in New York. He worked in various mediums from paintings, to small pieces in wax, to large pieces in plaster, such as the one below. The gallerist wouldn’t quote a specific price, it’s negotiable after all, but she did say this piece was in the range of $50,000 - $100,000.