Art Basel in Miami Beach 2018

A gift for Chicago, a new work for Norway, and a Rothko rockets in price: talking points at Art Basel in Miami Beach

From a Tschabalala Self painting donated to the Art Institute of Chicago to Goshka Macuga's commission the Norwegian parliament

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Work by Tschabalala Self, shown by Thierry Goldberg gallery at Art Basel in Miami Beach Photo: courtesy of Thierry Goldberg

Chicago gets a Miami gift

Tschabalala Self’s painting Thank You (2018) is heading to the Art Institute of Chicago after a collector bought it from Thierry Goldberg gallery at the fair, on the condition that the piece is donated to the institution. The New York-based gallery, in the Positions section, sold its entire installation of new work by the Harlem-born artist. The pieces are from Self’s ongoing Bodega Run series, which is “based on her personal interactions with the metropolitan corner store”, the gallery’s Ron Segev says.

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange), 1955, shown by Helly Nahmad © Vanessa Ruiz

Big Rothko, bigger price

Mark Rothko’s 1955 painting Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange), on reserve with New York’s Helly Nahmad gallery as we went to press (6 December), is priced at $50m. But the work, formerly owned by Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, sold for $36.6m with fees at Sotheby’s New York in 2014, in a sale of works from the late philanthropist’s estate. So how does one account for the 35% increase in price in four years? “That’s one strategy that secondary-market dealers employ. Buy at auction, hold for a few years, add around 50% and then try to flip,” says the art adviser Todd Levin, the director of the Levin Art Group.

Goshka Macuga, Make Tofu Not War, 2018, shown by Andrew Kreps Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz

Sneak peek at Norway’s new work

Visitors to the fair can get a feel for a piece that will soon hang in Norway’s parliament building in Oslo. The London-based artist Goshka Macuga has been commissioned by the government to create a 3D tapestry with a similar theme to Make Tofu Not War (2018), on Andrew Kreps Gallery’s stand. The work will contain political overtones and references to humans’ destruction of the environment. For more on tapestries, see our feature.

Appeared in Fair Dailies, Art Basel in Miami Beach 2018