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Art Basel in Miami Beach, 2016 - Acquavella Booth

Towards the upper end of the spectrum on day one in Miami was a remarkable 1964 canvas by Kenneth Noland, Mach II, which sold from Acquavella Galleries in the fair’s first hours in the region of its $1.25 million asking price. “It’s an A-plus example of his work, with really incredible provenance,” said Eleanor Acquavella of the piece, which had remained in the same private collection up until the gallery’s exhibition “Postwar New York: Capital of the Avant Garde” this past summer.

Acquavella said that dealers, like her family’s, have been experiencing the same supply constraints that have hobbled the secondary market over the past year. Sensing uncertainty in the market, collectors have shown significant reticence to offer up top-quality material. And like in the secondary market, when they have decided to sell, much of the material has been kept private. “That’s the bulk of our business,” she said, noting that fairs serve more as a form of advertising. “That’s why we really try to bring an array of things.” This time, that ranges from the Noland and a set of Andy Warhol “Dolly Partons” to paintings by rising Chinese abstract painter Wang Yan Cheng and Spanish painter and ceramist Miquel Barceló.