Art Basel Miami Beach assembles 200 of the world’s best art galleries in South Beach every December and sets the stage for more than 25 other fairs that welcome many other galleries specializing in everything from blue-chip to emerging artists, as well as photography, prints and multiples, and site-specific installations. An appreciable number of desert-based collectors attend the fairs, but until the most recent edition, no local galleries had exhibited. Art Miami Context selected Royale Projects to participate, and Christian Hohmann Fine Art showed at the Red Dot fair.
Why is Miami important?
Rick Royale: It is the epicenter of contemporary art in North America, arguably the world, for that one week. How could we not be there?
Christian Hohmann: It gives our artists national and international exposure. We also made 1,500 new Facebook friends. That was pretty cool.
What is the focus of your gallery?
Royale: Our program is split in two with some crossover — the ongoing history of West Coast abstraction and leading-edge artists who make concept-based work while respecting the beauty of an object.
Hohmann: Mostly original painting and sculpture by American and European artists, with an emphasis on figurative art.
What did you show in Miami?
Royale: A site-specific sculpture installation by Pontus Willfors and a neon piece by Alejandro Diaz.
Hohmann: We featured sculptors JD Hansen, Christopher Schulz, and Siegfried Neuenhausen; painters Robert Dunahay, Zivana Gojanovic, Heiner Meyer, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Neil Nagy, and photographer Stefanie Schneider.
What can we see in your gallery this season?
Royale: We opened a new space on El Paseo and will show a cross section of artists who have exhibited at Royale Projects over the last five years. We will also be featuring new work by L.A.-based artist Karen Lofgren in her first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Hohmann: Much anticipated are the exhibition of Neil Nagy and the premiere showing of the estate of Clemens Kindling (1916-1992).
What was the first piece of art you purchased?
Royale: When [wife] Paige and I first started dating, I bought her a painting by a Japanese artist I met on a trip to New York City. He was living and painting in the Chelsea Hotel, hustling hard, with aspirations to become a Pop star like Warhol, Basquiat, or Haring. He ended up drinking himself to death.
Hohmann: A fine print of Viennese Fantastic Realist Prof. Rudolf Hausner (1914-1996) after I met him through my parents. I was 18. Today, I own one of the largest private collections of his fine prints.