(illustration by the author, original photo by Claire Voon for Hyperallergic)

(illustration by the author, original photo by Claire Voon/Hyperallergic)

As Cuban Americans mark the death of Fidel Castro by celebrating in the streets of Little Havana and south Florida stares down a watery future amid rising sea levels, worsening superstorms, and a climate change denier overseeing the Environmental Protection Agency’s transition team for President-elect Donald Trump, there could not be a more poignant time to travel to Miami and look at expensive art in vast conference centers and luxurious hotels amid droves of one percenters. Yes, it’s time for Art Basel Miami Beach, its more than 20 satellite fairs — 21, by my likely incomplete count — and a full schedule of exhibition openings and parties. For those migrating south for the week, here’s what you need to know.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated, apply sunscreen regularly, and follow Hyperallergic on Instagram for pics from the fairs and exhibitions all week.

Art Fairs

Art Basel Miami Beach

Crowds at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2015 (photo © Art Basel)

Crowds at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2015 (photo © Art Basel)

When: December 1–4
Where: Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach)

The mama fair of the week boasts about 270 exhibitors spread across six sections: the main section;  “Nova,” for booths of one, two, or three artists presenting works made in the last three years; “Positions,” which features single-artist projects; “Editions,” which showcases prints and other editioned works; “Kabinett,” for curated, single-artist presentations; and “Survey,” which will showcase art historical presentations. The fair has a typically fulsome lineup of additional programming, from its film screenings and public art installation, to its schedule of talks, including Hyperallergic Senior Editor Jillian Steinhauer moderating a panel on gender in the art world (Wednesday, December 1, at 4pm) and Hyperallergic Editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian participating in a panel on art events as spectacles (Saturday, December 3, at 4pm).

Art Concept

When: November 29–December 4
Where: Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Boulevard at Chopin Plaza, Miami

This newcomer to the week’s lineup will take up residence in a doughnut-shaped tent in a waterfront park in downtown Miami. The 28 exhibitors signed up for Concept’s first outing reflect a focus on Latin America, with participating gallerists hailing from Bogotá, Santiago de Chile, Lima, La Paz, and elsewhere.

The entrance to Aqua Art Miami (photo by Kate Sierzputowski/Hyperallergic)

The entrance to Aqua Art Miami 2015 (photo by Kate Sierzputowski/Hyperallergic)

Aqua Art Miami

When: December 1–4
Where: Aqua Hotel (1530 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)

The epitome of the hotel fair, with participating galleries setting up shop in individual rooms, Aqua has an eclectic lineup of 47 exhibitors this year, coming from as nearby as Tallahassee and as far afield as Milan and Melbourne. Also worth noting — though it’s unclear how this will factor into the fair’s content beyond a special panel on the morning of December 2 — is that Aqua has partnered with the Association of Women Art Dealers for this year’s edition of the fair.

Art Beat Miami

When: November 30–December 4
Where: Caribbean Marketplace (5925 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami)

Situated in Little Haiti, this fair privileges local and Haitian artists, with more than a dozen slated to show their works in the neighborhood’s Caribbean Marketplace — including local muralist Serge Toussaint.

Art Miami

When: November 30–December 4
Where: 3101 NE 1st Avenue (Miami)

One of the biggest satellite fairs — even before factoring in its affiliation with Aqua and Context — with 134 exhibitors participating this year, Art Miami features primarily blue-chip dealers from the Americas and Europe, all spread across four vast, interconnected tents in Wynwood.


When: December 2–4
Where: 31 NW 23rd Street (Miami)

An artist-centric fair, Conception will feature works by more than 20 artists, with a lineup that looks heavy on street art and pop imagery. Its most distinguishing feature may be the organizers’ claim that it is the first Miami Art Week fair to be produced and owned exclusively by women.

Context Art Miami

The entrance to the 2015 edition of Context (photo by Dominic DeLuque/Hyperallergic)

The entrance to Context 2015 (photo by Dominic DeLuque/Hyperallergic)

When: November 30–December 4
Where: 118 NE 34th Street (Miami)

Art Miami’s slightly smaller sister fair, Context boasts 102 exhibitors, who will ply their wares at a new location this year, just a block north in Wynwood. In addition to the plethora of booths, be on the lookout for a sculpture garden curated by Claire Breukel, a new media program curated by Valerie Lamontagne, and a selection of sound art curated by Christoph Cox.

Design Miami

When: November 30–December 4
Where: Meridian Avenue and 19th Street (Miami Beach)

The week’s lone fair devoted to design boasts 32 exhibitors along with a special lineup of site-specific commissions and cabinet of curiosity–style installations. The schedule of panels and talks includes the likes of starchitect Jean Nouvel (Wednesday, November 30, at 1:30pm) and conceptual designer Louisa Zahareas (Thursday, December 1, at 3pm).

Ink Miami Art Fair

When: November 30–December 4
Where: Suites of Dorchester (1850 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)

Organized by the International Fine Print Dealers Association, Ink features just 11 exhibitors, a mix of members and invited dealers, all exclusively showing works on paper.

Miami Project

When: December 2–4
Where: 6625 Indian Creek Drive (Miami Beach)

Strategically located just a block from NADA Miami Beach (see below), this year’s Miami Project will feature 20 exhibitors from all around North America and one each from Paris, London, and Kauai, Hawaii. If you visit, be sure to stop at the vending machine oddly positioned near the fair’s entrance — it’s a special project titled “‘Merica” by Ti-Rock Moore, and it only contains guns and bibles. This may be the subtlest artwork you see all week.

NADA Miami Beach

The 2015 edition of NADA Miami Beach (photo by Ysabelle Cheung/Hyperallergic)

NADA Miami Beach 2015 (photo by Ysabelle Cheung/Hyperallergic)

When: December 1–4
Where: Deauville Beach Resort (6701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)

Though not quite the biggest of the satellite fairs, with its 110 exhibitors, NADA Miami Beach tends to be among the strongest, with a bevy of conventional booths as well as special projects mounted by nearly 30 of the participating galleries. Complementary programming will include a gallery prize, an artist award, and a series of conversations conducted poolside.

Pinta Miami

When: November 30–December 4
Where: Mana Wynwood (2217 NW 5th Avenue, Miami)

Giving pride of place to galleries from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Pinta displays familiar names like Jesus Soto, Julio Le Parc, and Vik Muniz alongside lesser-known ones. It might be worth visiting the more tightly curated sections, including “Drawing,” which will explore the relationship between the medium and movement through contemporary art, including Spanish artist Esther Ferrer’s performances focused on the female body. The “Photography” division will be displaying Andy Sweet’s bright photographs of 1970s Miami Beach, before the young artist was tragically murdered in the ’80s. There will also be a special focus on electronic art from Spain and artists’ books, multiples, and posters — this latter selection, of seven artists, is unfortunately all male. Finally, Pinta also offers artists’ residencies, including ones in Wynwood, and now might be an opportunity to track the current residents’ projects, like that of Luciana Lamothe, who makes vaguely threatening constructions out of wood and metal that you can climb and walk on. —EWA

Prizm Art Fair

When: November 30–December 11
Where: 7230 NW Miami Court (Miami)

This newcomer to Miami Art Week is focused exclusively on artists of the African diaspora. Its central exhibition features works by more than 35 artists, curated by Prizm founder Mikhaile Solomon, along with two parallel exhibitions (curated by William Cordova and Kirsten Magwood) and a full lineup of panels.


When: December 1–4
Where: Indian Beach Park (4601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)

Another mainstay of the satellite circuit, Pulse will features 79 exhibitors in its beachfront tent this year. A strong set of special sections helps to set Pulse apart, from the solo booths that compete for the Pulse Prize and the two-artist “Conversations” booths, to the “Play” section devoted to moving-image art — which will be screened in a theater outfitted with Casper mattresses for maximum comfort and synergy.

Red Dot Miami

When: November 30–December 4
Where: 1700 NE 2nd Avenue (Miami)

This satellite fair, with its more than 40 galleries, is entirely informed by the theme “[EVOLVE].” This is just a guess, but I suspect that is a reference to the post-structuralist notion that systems like language, typography, and yes, even caps-lock can curtail and inhibit humankind’s natural inclination to evolve. Series of participatory events and artists’ talks run throughout the fair.


When: December 1–4
Where: The Parisian Hotel (1510 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)

When your eyes are hurting and you can’t look at another colorful abstract painting or mirror-cum-sculpture without crying, head to Satellite. The conceptually driven, artist-focused event will take up residence in South Beach’s Parisian hotel this year, once again offering an antidote to the usual art fair fare. Look forward to a steady schedule of performance art and music, a new edition of the Digital Museum of Digital Art, an exhibitor list that skews heavily alternative, and, oh, performers floating around in a giant cereal bowl with milk perpetually flowing into it, thanks to the artists Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw. —JS


When: November 30–December 4
Where: 801 Ocean Drive (Miami Beach)

If you’ve recently been hired to furnish a Russian oil magnate’s South Beach pied-à-terre, this is the fair for you. Among its 135 participating galleries you’re sure to find enough second-rate street art, selfie-facilitating statues, and sculptures made of or featuring guns to fill any Ocean Drive penthouse.


When: November 30–December 4
Where: 1700 NE 2nd Avenue (Miami)

This hybrid fair — brought to you by the same folks who are behind Red Dot — is made up of both galleries and individual artists, and features a whopping 176 exhibitors.


When: December 1–4
Where: 56 NE 29th Street (Miami)

From the exclamation point in its name to its claim of being “the fairest fair,” Superfine! seems bent on making a splash. Its lineup of 50 participating artists, galleries, collectives, and performers skews local, with more than half of the participants hailing from south Florida. Its intriguing program of talks and events includes a promising, performative response to climate change by Monica Jahan Bose.

Inside the 2015 edition of Untitled (photo by Allison Meier/Hyperallergic)

Inside Untitled 2015 (photo by Allison Meier/Hyperallergic)


When: November 30–December 4
Where: Ocean Drive and 12th Street (Miami Beach)

The big tent on the beach will be packed to the gills this year, with 128 exhibitors slated to participate in this top-tier satellite fair. Among the most enticing of Untitled’s special programs are a silkscreening station where Rirkrit Tiravanija, Tomas Vu, and a cadre of Columbia MFA students will be churning out T-shirts emblazoned with phrases like “Police the Police” and “The Future Is Chrome,” a re-creation of a 1995 participatory installation by Noemí Escandell that lets visitors write their own newspaper headlines, plus artist Austin Lee is going to bury three bronze sculptures in the sand near the fair — finders keepers!

X Contemporary

When: November 30–December 4
Where: Nobu Hotel Miami Beach (4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)

By the logic of generation naming, it shouldn’t be long before someone launches “Y Contemporary,” but for now, alphabetically speaking, this is the week’s final fair. It boasts an impressive lineup of 30 galleries, an exhibition of early drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat, a historical show about 12 women art dealers active in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, and, for good measure, a sculptural phone charging station by artist Rachel Lee Hovnanian.

Museums and Collections

American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora

When: December 1–6
Where: 1200 Coral Way (Miami)

Hard to believe this museum only opened nine days ago, but what timing! Its inaugural exhibition features works by Luiz Cruz Azaceta, an artist who fled Cuba when he was 18 in the wake of Fidel Castro’s rise to power. His work mixes elements of Surrealism, Pop, and the Chicago Imagists, with hints of George Grosz’s visceral anti-war art.

Bass Museum of Art

When: Closed (public art viewable anytime)
Where: 2100 Collins Avenue (Miami Beach)

Currently closed for a renovation and expansion that’s slated to be complete in spring 2017, the Bass will nevertheless host on its front lawn (aka Collins Park) Ugo Rondinone’s towering sculpture “Miami Mountain” and Art Basel Miami Beach’s public art exhibition.

#glennkaino #gkstudio #invisibleman just installed for my exhibition #groundcontrol @artbasel opening Tuesday

A photo posted by Nicholas Baume (@nicholasbaume) on

de la Cruz Collection

When: November 29–December 3
Where: 23 NE 41st Street (Miami)

Reading the description of the de la Cruz Collection’s 2016 show is enough to make you want to stay away; Progressive Praxis, as the exhibition is titled, promises works “that mirror contemporary culture while allowing an open-ended conversation of various interpretations and possibilities” — which means, I think, that just about anything goes (which, in the context of a themed art exhibition, usually means that nothing comes together). Still, the artist lineup holds promise — Tauba Auerbach, Glenn Ligon, Félix González-Torres, Rashid Johnson, Ana Mendieta, Reena Spaulings, among many others — and peering inside Miami’s private collections tends to prove worthwhile. —JS

Frost Art Museum

When: November 29–December 4
Where: 10975 SW 17th Street (Miami)

Florida International University’s campus art museum has a promising lineup this season, including an exhibition on historical forms of body modification and contemporary artists’ interpretations of current ones, and a show devoted to the minimalist Cuban American fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

Rendering of Thomas Bayrle's forthcoming "Wire Madonna" (2016) (rendering by Office GA, Miami; courtesy of the artist and ICA Miami)

Rendering of Thomas Bayrle’s forthcoming “Wire Madonna” (2016) (rendering by Office GA, Miami; courtesy of the artist and ICA Miami)

When: November 30–December 4
Where: 4040 NE 2nd Avenue (Miami)

While the opening of its new building is still a year off, the ICA Miami is giving over its whole current space to the German artist Thomas Bayrle, best known for his playful, Op art–inflected prints — though this show also features a very large-scale sculpture that just barely fits in the museum’s atrium.

Lowe Art Museum

When: November 29–December 4
Where: 1301 Stanford Drive (Miami)

The current array of a half-dozen shows at the University of Miami’s art museum will make the trek to Coral Gables worth your while, especially solo shows by Titus Kaphar — his The Vesper Project recreates the history of an imagined, mixed-race family living in 19th-century New England — and Donald Sultan — whose Disaster Paintings (1984–90) feature apocalyptic scenes hewn from tar and tile.

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse (photo by Robert Moeller/Hyperallergic)

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse (photo by Robert Moeller/Hyperallergic)

The Margulies Collection

When: November 28–December 4
Where: 591 NW 27th Street (Miami)

A standby of the local private collection circuit, the Margulies warehouse has two special shows up right now — a new installation by Anselm Kiefer and a group of works by the Greek Arte Povera artist Jannis Kounellis — along with a selection of pieces by familiar names from the family’s holdings.

Pérez Art Museum Miami

When: November 28–December 4
Where: 1103 Biscayne Boulevard (Miami)

If you’re looking for an all-day destination to do an art fair detox, the Pérez is the place for you. Its current slate of shows includes solo projects by Sarah OppenheimerCarlos Motta, and Susan Hiller, a show of Matthew Ronay‘s I-can’t-believe-it’s-wood abstract sculptures, a recent video by Danish collective SUPERFLEX, and a survey of Argentine kinetic artist Julio Le Parc.

Rubell Family Collection

When: November 30–December 4
Where: 95 NW 29th Street (Miami)

The Rubell Family Collection is dedicating itself to contemporary Brazilian art for the next several months with two exhibitions. New Shamans: Novos Xamãs: Brazilian Artists — a curious title that puts faith in the divination of artists — features 12 artists whose work is often dedicated to an indigenous culture or their personal history and native roots. You’ll find Sonia Gomes’s intricate sculptures of cloth, found materials, and wire, as well as works by Paulo Nazareth, who once walked the streets with signs that said “I clean your bathroom for a fair price” and makes mask-like accessories that recall Lygia Clark’s. The second exhibition, Video Artin Latin America: Selections from Brazil, is part of a larger project by the Getty to focus on Latin American and Latino art. The videos here will span the 1970s to the present and will notably feature work by Sonia Andrade, in which she deforms her body. Finally, the Rubell will also showcase some of the works it’s acquired in the last two years in High Anxiety, which includes a vast range of artists, from John Waters to Isa Genzken. —EWA


The Wolfsonian-FIU (photo by Jillian Steinhauer/Hyperallergic)

The Wolfsonian-FIU (photo by Jillian Steinhauer/Hyperallergic)

When: November 28–December 4
Where: 1001 Washington Avenue (Miami Beach)

Just steps from many of this week’s fairs, Florida International University’s design museum is offering a rich array of shows, among them an exhibition tracking the evolution of modern Dutch design from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, a show highlighting artists’ and designers’ renewed interest in abstraction, mysticism, and spirituality during the first half of the 20th century — when belief in rationality and scientific reason became more widespread than ever — and an enveloping, site-specific installation by artist Christie van der Haak spanning the building’s façade and lobby.

World Erotic Art Museum

When: November 28–December 4
Where: 1205 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

This veteran South Beach institution just opened what looks like a legitimately powerful exhibition, Protected Beauty, which features images of masculine beauty from the collection of the Kinsey Institute, including works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Paul Cadmus, and Marcel Vertes.

With contributions by Elisa Wouk Almino and Jillian Steinhauer

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...