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PULSE Miami Beach provides a ray of sunshine during Miami Arts Week
Exhibitors report strong sales and attendance throughout the week. Image Courtesy of Ara Isadora/

MIAMI, FLA.- PULSE Miami Beach closed its eleventh edition with a marathon of sales, consistent crowds and engaging programming. During the dreariest Miami Art Week since the first Miami Beach edition, PULSE Contemporary Art Fair cemented its position as a “must-see” event on the jam-packed art calendar. Closing with a celebratory energy shared by its beloved community of exhibitors, many of whom participated in the first Miami fair eleven years ago, PULSE Miami Beach 2015 encapsulated the vision of its recently appointed director Helen Toomer. “We are very proud of our contribution to the country’s largest art week. Despite the weather, visitors were upbeat and committed to experiencing what we had to offer. We are grateful to our exhibitors and their artists for their thoughtful presentations and communal spirit,” says Helen Toomer.

PULSE was presented in two expansive tents that captivated collectors, curators and the public with their wide and airy aisles. The North Tent contained a mix of group exhibitions and solo presentations produced by a number of international galleries - including several ADAA members. The South Tent contained a new special focus called Conversations, a group of dual-artist exhibitions, which encouraged viewers to explore the visual and conceptual dialogues between the works. Continuing its focus on providing a platform for discovery, PULSE attracted curators from the Andy Warhol Museum, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Perez Art Museum of Miami, Peabody Essex Museum, Ringling Museum of Art, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Smith College of Art Museum and corporate collections like 21C Museum Hotels and Microsoft Art Collection. “We are thrilled with our experience returning to PULSE Miami Beach this year. The fair had great attendance, and the majority of our sales were to new collectors. The two artists we presented generated a lot of press and interest from institutions,” says Mary Ryan of Ryan Lee Gallery. The week also included visits from Chuck Close, Kevin Durant, Mara Hoffman, Jesse Williams, Robert Verdi, Susan and Michael Hort, Peter Wittig the German Ambassador to the United States, Harry Philbrick Director of the Pennslyvania Academy of Fine Arts, Bill Arning Director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and collectors Herbert Newman and Beth DeWoody.

Strong sales were reported throughout the week. Established galleries selling notable mid-career artists reported multiple sales over $100,000. Gallery Poulsen of Copenhagen, GALERIE FREY of Vienna and Salzburg, Garis & Hahn of New York and others reportedly sold out of specific artists or entire booths “This is the most insane day ever and quite fun. We have been busy since 10:01am and are now selling works that have yet to be painted,” said Morton Poulsen of Gallery Poulsen on Saturday evening. Davidson Contemporary, founded in 2006, noted the best fair sales to date. Joining the gallery in notable sales are Beers Contemporary, Carl Solway Gallery, Cecilia Gonzalez Arte Contemporaneo, Danziger Gallery, LMAKprojects, Lyons Wier Gallery, Morgan Lehman Gallery, Rena Bransten Projects, Tibor de Nagy Gallery and Von Lintel Gallery. Artists Stephen Wilkes and Jim Campbell at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery; Jacques Flechmuller at first-time exhibitor Good Luck Gallery; Sam Messinger and Boo Saville at Davidson Contemporary, Travis Louie at William Baczek Fine Arts, Markus Linnenbrink at taubert contemporary; and Andrew Salgado at Beers Contemporary were among the weeks’ favorites driving strong sales for their galleries. The fitting and often photographed large-scale neon sign at the entrance of PULSE Miami Beach, You are (on) an Island, 2011-2013, by Alicia Eggert and Mike Fleming, presented by Sienna Patti of Lenox, MA, was sold to a Miami-based private collector and will reside on a private island.

Programming punctuated the week’s beginning and end. On Tuesday, Amir Baradaran drew crowds with Man Na Manam Na Man Manam + {AR}Ticulations of the Self, his Sufi-poetry-meets-augmented-reality installation. Kate Durbin’s Hello! Selfie Miami created a scene and brought much needed attention to the narcissistic phenomenon of the ubiquitous habit. Celebrated performance artist Kalup Linzy performed as Kaye singing playfully provocative songs from his most popular video pieces. Programming partner, Target Too, offered visitors a place to play lightening the mood and entertaining guests with interactive sculptures called “spectacles.” Hyperallergic’s editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian moderated two stimulating panel discussions as part of the PERSPECTIVES talks. On Tuesday, Spectacle, Spector and Performance included PLAY guest curator Stacy Engman along with the artists Amir Baradaran, Kate Durbin and Kalup Linzy. The last day of PULSE closed with a day focused on celebrating the arts in Miami featuring free admission for Miami-Dade residents and a public Sunset Celebration. The evening included a talk focused on the future of visual arts in Miami with representatives from the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Knight Foundation followed by a magnificent performance by singers from the Florida Grand Opera Young Artists program whose crescendo closed the fair at 7pm on Saturday night.

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