With the mercury dropping in the art world power centers of old, it’s time for the annual migration to Miami for Art Basel Miami Beach, its ever-expanding roster of satellite fairs and pop-up exhibitions, and the impossible schedule of parties and performances all week long (December 1–7, 2014). Hyperallergic is on the scene and in the sand, and for your benefit and ours we’ve mapped out the week’s most important and most off-beat events, fairs, and exhibitions.
- Art Basel Miami Beach (1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Florida) — The big kahuna keeps getting bigger; this year’s edition of Miami’s marquee fair boasts a terrifying lineup of nearly 300 galleries. An especially noteworthy addition this year is the art historically inclined “Survey” sector, whose debut edition includes 13 exhibitions looking at artists and movements that rose to prominence in the second half of the 20th century, including the Brazilian painter Alfredo Volpi and the conceptual artist Michelle Stuart. And when you feel your retinas starting to detach from an abundance of visual stimuli, take a stroll over to the fair’s outdoor sculpture garden in Collins Park. (VIP preview: December 3, 11 am–8 pm)
- Aqua Art Miami (1530 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) — Now in its 10th year, Aqua once again takes up residence in the rooms surrounding the Aqua Hotel courtyard. In addition to the low-pressure setting, the satellite fair boasts one of the week’s most eclectic exhibitor lists, which includes Artêria from Quebec and Galerie 103 from the island of Kauai in Hawaii. (VIP preview: December 3, 3–10 pm)
- Art Miami (3101 NE 1st Avenue, Miami) — With its 125 participating galleries, this 25-year-old fair is one of the biggest among ABMB’s satellites. Distinguishing features of this year’s Art Miami include a focus on artists and galleries from Berlin organized in partnership with the Galleries Association of Berlin and a group exhibition of site-specific installations around the theme of value located in the fair’s bustling passageways (which link it to its sister fair, Context). (VIP preview: December 2, 5:30–10 pm)
- Concept Art Fair (100 Chopin Plaza, Miami) — This tiny fair (only 16 exhibitors) has a valid excuse: It takes place on a megayacht. The SeaFair Mega Yacht, to be exact, which is moored in Biscayune Bay at Bayfront Park and will host the week’s only art fair devoted to showing and selling secondary market works. The SeaFair will also host the premiere of “Pull of the Moon,” the video work made by Navajo artist Bert Benally and the Chinese artist-activist Ai Weiwei, in its “projection dome.” (VIP preview: December 2, 6–7:30 pm)
- Context Art Miami (2901 NE 1st Avenue, Miami) — From the folks also bringing you Art Miami and Aqua, Context prides itself on its tight curation — this year’s curatorial committee includes Alberto Magnan and Dara Metz, of New York gallery Magnan Metz, and Mexico City dealer Enrique Guerrero, among others. The lineup of 80 galleries they’ve picked is an agreeably offbeat and international bunch, such as ten472 Contemporary Art from Nevada City and Da Xiang Art Space from Taichung, Taiwan. And if you need your Banksy fix for the week, stop by the Bankrobber booth to check out “Art Buff,” which was promptly excavated and flown across the pond after the secretive street artist painted it on a wall in Folkestone in September. (VIP preview: December 2, 5:30–10 pm)
- Design Miami (Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, Miami Beach) — Far from merely providing the modernist couch to match the massive painting you just bought across the street at ABMB, this fair’s 35 exhibitors aim to showcase the very best in modern and contemporary design, including new commissions created expressly for the occasion and an immersive “Curio” section in which dealers, curators, and designers curate total environments marrying art, furniture, decorative elements, and functional objects. (VIP preview: December 2, 12–8 pm)
- Ink Miami Art Fair (1850 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) — As its name suggests, this small but underrated fair housed in the Suites of Dorchester hotel and sponsored by the International Fine Print Dealers Association focuses exclusively on works on paper. Its intimate setting and (comparatively) small-scale works are a welcome antidote to the bigger-is-better attitude that prevails at most of the week’s other fairs. (Preview breakfast: December 3, 9–11 am)
- Mana Miami (318 NW 23rd Street, Miami) — As self-storage mogul Moishe Mana’s art empire continues to expand, he’s launching a fair at his Miami hub with a lineup of three exhibitions: “Mana Monumental,” featuring, you guessed it, big art by boldfaced names like Julian Schnabel, and David Salle; a show of prints produced by Gary Lichtenstein Editions (a Mana tenant in Jersey City) for the likes of Jessica Stockholder, Marina Abramović, and others; and, most intriguingly, a show curated by Osvaldo Romberg featuring 23 Latin American artists who subvert the rules of geometry in their abstract works. (VIP preview: December 2, 5:30–10 pm)
- Miami Project (110 NE 36th Street, Miami) — With 69 galleries hailing from both coasts of the US and a few points in between, one thing that sets Miami Project apart from other satellite fairs is Andy Diaz Hope and Jon Bernson’s “Beautification Machine,” an interactive installation that will, according to fair, “neutralize the bile and fear spewed forth daily over the networks and transform polarizing media sources into vehicles of contemplation and peace.” By Friday, we will all be dying for some contemplation and peace. (VIP preview: December 2, 5:30–10 pm)
- NADA Miami Beach (6701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) — The New Art Dealers Association returns to the Deauville Beach Resort for their 11th outing in Miami with its usual mix of internationally revered nonprofits — Independent Curators International, Whitechapel Gallery, SculptureCenter, White Columns, etc. — and hip, mostly Lower East Side galleries, among them Rachel Uffner, On Stellar Rays, Invisible-Exports, and Nicelle Beauchene. (VIP preview: December 4, 10 am–2 pm)
- Newd Art Show (2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach) — The upstart Brooklyn art fair is putting a decidedly Bushwick spin on the hotel fair trend for its Floridian debut, taking over part of the Freehand Miami hostel with a three-hour exhibition on Wednesday evening pairing Brooklyn’s SIGNAL with Los Angeles’s Metro PCS. (December 3, 6–9 pm)
- Pulse Contemporary Art Fair (4601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) — A standby of the satellite circuit, Pulse has relocated to Indian Beach Park this year with 71 galleries and its trademark lineup of special projects, emerging gallery showcases, informal roundtable discussions, and artists competing for the coveted Pulse Prize. (Private preview brunch: December 4, 9 am–1 pm)
- Scope (1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach) — We could tell you all sorts of things about Scope this year — its massive list of exhibitors, its successful Breeder Program for supporting young galleries, its focus on Korean galleries — but all you really need to know is that hip-hop producer extraordinaire and collector Swizz Beatz is curating an exhibition at the fair. (Platinum VIP Preview: December 2, 12–4pm; VIP preview: December 2, 4–8 pm)
- Select Contemporary Art Fair (7200-7300 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) — Though we’re excited about Select’s showcases of works by Swoon and Rashaad Newsome, one of the entries listed under “Special Projects” on their website has us perplexed, a little project space from Germany called “Lufthansa First Class Experience.” (VIP preview: December 2, 4–8 pm)
- Untitled (Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Miami Beach) — With 110 galleries in its revamped waterfront tent, Untitled’s third edition is its biggest to date. Among the special projects at the fair, the most enticing look to be an interactive installation piece titled “Solar Helix” by the duo MSHR (Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper) and a totemic, sci-fi sculpture by Julia Kunin. There will also be new push-pin sculptures by Paul Ramírez Jonas and a new photo by Ryan McGinley, if that’s the type of thing you’re into. (VIP preview: December 2, 3–7 pm)
Museums and Private Collections
Bass Museum of Art (2100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) — Why o why did the Bass do this Gold exhibition? Organized to celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Bass Museum of Art decided to feature artworks by contemporary artists “who physically or conceptually utilize gold in their practice.” Dumb idea, but who knows, might be good.
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (1018 North Miami Avenue, Miami) — Take a love of abstraction, add dozens of old and new bold-faced artist names to the mix (Doug Aitken, Francis Alÿs, Daniel Buren, Lygia Clark, Olafur Eliasson, Theaster Gates, Andreas Gursky, Barbara Hepworth, Arturo Herrera, Alfred Jensen, Rashid Johnson, Donald Judd, William Kentridge, Jannis Kounellis, Jesús Soto, Fred Tomaselli, Richard Tuttle … ) and voila, this.
de la Cruz Collection (23 NE 41st Street, Miami) — The curatorial vision of this collection isn’t always the best but the works themselves can be surprisingly great (though there’s always a dash of trendy crap too). This year, the institution decided to “chose works by artists that focus on patterns and the laying bare of processes. Each artist explores distinct notions of production methods. Through their experimentation with process, these artists are defining contemporary culture as they see it.”
Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (4040 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami) — This new museum is creating a lot of buzz even before it has a permanent space. Currently they’re showing Pedro Reyes and Andra Ursuta, but we’re all waiting for the new building.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami) — This Herzog & de Meuron-designed museum opened with a smash last year, and now they’re featuring a solo show of Dada-inspired Geoffrey Farmer. It’s a great break from the fairs.
Rubell Family Collection (95 NW 29 Street, Miami) — If you come to Miami for fair week and miss out on the latest Rubell show then you haven’t really seen Miami art fair week. There’s something welcoming about this family collection, but there’s also a lot of wacky about the stuff they collect (it’s part of the charm, no?). This year, the Rubells are presenting To Have and to Hold, which is their way of celebrating their history of art collecting (aaaawwww). Works by Jean Michel-Basquiat, Marlene Dumas, Keith Haring, Glenn Ligon, Elizabeth Peyton, and others will be exhibited on the second floor for the occasion, while on the first floor there are specially commissioned solo exhibitions by Will Boone, Aaron Curry, Lucy Dodd, Mark Flood, David Ostrowski, and Kaari Upson. Since they’re the Rubells, they are also celebrating with a 700-page catalogue.
Wolfsonian Museum (1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach) — A great little design museum, the Wolfsonian is currently exhibiting the visual culture of World War I, political posters from the Middle East, children’s propaganda, downtown Miami architecture of the 1920s and 30s, and more. The shop is particularly great at this museum.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.