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basel blog

Big Paintings, Big Sales, and Big Dinners at Art Basel Miami

Art patrons enjoy a shiny thing by Anish Kapoor at the Lisson Gallery exhibit yesterday.Photo: Getty Images

At Art Basel Miami, where lobsters at the UBS dinner on the beach are as big as cats, the overwhelming trend this year is size. Dealers, eager to justify high prices with "important" pieces, have, by and large, brought wall-eaters to the fair — Matthew Marks is showing a seventeen-foot-long Andreas Gursky (sold, for $900,000), just one of several dozen oversize works on view in the halls. At Gagosian, where they've done $10 million worth of business in a day, "the market is very strong, it's stabilizing at the top," says director John Good.

Then there were the big guns. Michael Govan of LACMA. Adam Lindemann chatting design with Nadia Swarovski under giant stone chandeliers at the Delano. Major Warhol collector Alberto ("Tico") Mugrabi shopping. Big star Tobey Maguire dropping coin at a satellite fair, Art Miami. At Gagosian, how many pieces have sold? "It sounds vulgar, but we lost count," says Good. —Alexandra Peers