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MIAMI — Miami Art Week, which kicks off this Tuesday and continues through Sunday, encompasses Art Basel Miami Beach, its now-countless satellite fairs, and all the small events surrounding it. Though the beach is covered from south to north with fairs, the madness stretches well into the mainland — particularly downtown.
It is, admittedly, a rough time to care about buying art, because, honestly, how can you afford it? But unless you’re one of a small few, the market itself is not the point. We’re inching toward the dystopia, and there is no better time to find good work — the kind that challenges and dismantles the countless, increasingly oppressive structures dominating our existence, and the kind that offers a moment of relief from all of it. This is the work I hope to find and highlight in my coverage of Miami Art Week for Hyperallergic. (And don’t forget to follow Hyperallergic on Instagram.)
Below you’ll find a guide to the 20-plus fairs and museum events. By my possibly incorrect estimate, it seems there are more events than ever — in Art Week’s entire history — this year. Drink a lot of water, accept the traffic, and for the love of all that is holy, be kind to your Lyft drivers. They live here.
Art Basel Miami Beach
When: December 7–10 / Thursday: 3pm to 8pm; Friday–Sunday: noon–8pm ($50)
Where: Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach)
This year, the reason for the season features 268 galleries from 32 countries in its “Galleries” section. Worth noting are its sectors: “Nova,” to showcase the recent work of one, two, or three artists; “Positions,” for single-artist projects; “Kabinett,” artist-curated sections of gallery booths; “Editions,” a space for publishers to exhibit editioned works and prints; and “Survey,” for art historical presentations. The fair’s public art and film programming is consistently great. This year, the former will feature works curated by Philipp Kaiser, including “Self-Reconstructed Elipsis,” a work by Abraham Cruzvillegas based on shelters from his hometown in Mexico. As for the latter, check out Hans Berg’s project Trance — not a film, but a one-hour loop of rainforest sounds, designed for Miami Beach’s Soundscape Park’s 160-speaker sound system, and Sara Driver’s documentary, The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Aqua Art Miami
When: December 6–10 / Thursday: noon–9pm; Friday, Saturday: 11am–9pm; Sunday: 11am–6pm ($25)
Where: Aqua Hotel (1530 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL)
A sister fair to Art Miami, this year the hotel fair features 53 exhibitors, both local and international, from Delray Beach to New Delhi. There are several special projects, including a dreamy poolside installation by local art duo Nice’n Easy (showing with Miami-based &gallery) and a presentation by the New World School of the Arts.
Art Africa Miami
When: December 5–10; noon–8pm daily ($15–35)
Where: 920 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
This fair, featuring 24 artists who are part of the African and Caribbean diaspora, honors the legacy of the historically black neighborhood of Overtown. This year’s name, No On/Off Ramps, refers to the construction of a highway in the middle of the neighborhood, which displaced many families and flung the neighborhood into ruin in the 1960s. This worthwhile fair, however, was curated by Babacar M’Bow, who was fired last year from the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami due to allegations of sexual harassment.
When: December 5–10 / Wednesday–Saturday: 11am–8pm; Sunday: 11am–6pm ($50)
Where: The Art Miami Pavilion (One Miami Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street)
Art Miami — one of the biggest and best-loved satellite fairs — has 145 exhibitors, and has moved its location from midtown to downtown. You’ll find local galleries, like Bernice Steinbaum and Pan American Art Projects, and exhibitors from Seoul, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and London.
Basel x B.A.E.
When: December 8, 8pm–2am ($15)
Where: 601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami
Hosted by an organization called Socialxchange, “B.A.E.” stands for Black Art Experience, a showcase of art from 10 alumni of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) and BGLOs (Black Greek Letter Organizations), including Florida A&M University, Hampton Unviersity, and Spelman College. Though it’s not a proper fair, this is worth checking out.
Context Art Miami
When: December 5–10 / Wednesday–Saturday: 11am–8pm; Sunday: 11am–6pm ($50)
Where: The Context Art Miami Pavilion (One Miami Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street)
Another sister fair to Art Miami, Context — which this year houses 103 exhibitors — is slightly smaller. Check out booths at the Galleries Association of Korea and, at the fair’s VIP Lounge, a performance by Nadja Verena Marcin, presented by Thomas Jaeckel Gallery. Three artworks inform this performance, which is inspired by the fragility of the planet: “Ophelia” (John Everett Millais, 1852), “Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank” (Jeff Koons, 1985), and “The Werld” (Daniil Kharms, 1939).
When: December 8–10 / 11am–7pm daily (free)
Where: 7610 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami
Presented in partnership with In Heroes We Trust and Miami’s EXILE Books — an experimental artist bookstore and project space — Cultural Traffic is an exciting print publishing art fair. You’ll find books, zines, prints, vinyls, and tapes for sale and for trade, and in both current and obsolete formats.
When: December 6–10 / Wednesday, Saturday: 12pm–8pm; Thursday: 10am–8pm; Friday: 11am–8pm; Sunday: 12pm–6pm ($25)
Where: Meridian Avenue & 19th Street, Miami Beach
The only fair devoted solely to design has 34 exhibitors, several site-specific commissions, and the fair’s “Curio” exhibition platform, which allows curators and designers to present their own “cabinets of curiosity.” Recently, the Mwabwindo School in southern Zambia, which offers free education, won this year’s Panerai Design Miami Visionary Award; Design Miami commissioned design firm Christ & Gantenbein to create furniture for donation to the school, utilizing local Zambian fabrication materials. Prototypes of these pieces will be on view at the fair and, at 6pm on December 6, there will be a talk and panel on the project. There are 10 talks throughout the week, focused primarily on the sociopolitical impacts of design, including “Concept, Abstraction and Blackness” (with Torkwase Dyson, Dozie Kanu, and Hank Willis Thomas); “Performative Representation and Black Aesthetics” (with Rachael Rakes and Jamilah Sabur); and “A Need for Green: Improving Urban Life with Plants” (with Lily Kwong, Rodman Primack, and Daniel Vasini).
When: December 7–10 / 11am–7pm daily
Where: Brickell City Centre (701 South Miami Avenue, Miami)
Directed by Zoe Lukov and co-curated by Anthony Spinello, Fair. is, as described, an “alternative, non-commercial art fair,” featuring only female-identifying artists. While the fair is located in downtown Miami’s first shopping mall — the oppressively huge and shiny Brickell City Centre — nothing is for sale. The work — by the likes of Guerilla Girls (it’s their first Miami appearance), Yoko Ono, Juana Valdes, Ruby Rumié, Jillian Mayer, Reed van Brunschot, Nathalie Alfonso, and too many others to list here — addresses and dismantles the rampant gender inequality of the art market and the trite, problematic stereotypes associated with women.
When: December 6–10 / Thursday, Friday: 11am–8pm; Saturday: noon–8pm; Sunday: noon–6pm ($25)
Where: Washington Avenue & 17th Street, Miami Beach
This small boutique fair features 25 galleries from around the world, and it’s the only one dedicated to “the applied arts and sculpture objects.” Both wearable arts and sculpture abound here. The fair will host talks all week long, including the potentially cool “Blurring the Boundaries Between Man and Machine.”
Fridge Art Fair
When: December 4–10 / 10am–8pm daily (free)
Where: Blue Moon Hotel (944 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)
What is Fridge all about? This year is the “Art Bagel Edition,” and there seems to be an emphasis on actual bagels and something called the Doggie Wall of Fame, “proudly sponsored by the Fridge Art Fair Foundation for the equal treatment of celebrity dogs and and the Eric Ginsburg ‘Worldoferic.com’ consortium of dog painters.” The event will presumably “highlight the gesture, movement and expression of celebrity dogs.” What? There is also work by Yoko Ono (again!), Kazuko Miyamoto, and Eric Ginsburg himself — “as a dog.” Whatever the case, it seems like a potentially delightful respite from the banality of all those bright lights and endless booths.
When: December 6–10 / Wednesday: 9am–5pm; Thursday–Saturday: 10am–8pm; Sunday: 10am–3pm
Where: Suites of Dorchester (1850 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)
Ink is small and well curated, with just 15 exhibitors showing works on paper at a very sweet South Beach Hotel.
While the origins and future of Mana are dubious, what they’re bringing to Miami Art Week feels pretty nourishing. The arts organization is hosting a massive series of events this year between two separate locations, Mana Wynwood and Mana Downtown. There will be takeovers at a shopping mall by art residency Focus on Puerto Rico, O, Miami poetry festival/ publishing imprint, and Dale Zine; performative installations by Azikiwe Mohammed (Jimmy’s Thrift) and Mark Niskanen and Jani-Matti Salo (No Names, which connects two strangers); an exhibition entitled Exquisite Corpse: Moving Image in Latin American and Asian Art (in partnership with Asia Society Museum and Smack Mellon); and a performance by Samson Young, and one by Bjork, too. The downtown location is also hosting Prizm and Pinta, two satellite fairs.
When: December 7–10 / Thursday: 2pm–7pm; Friday, Saturday: 11am–7pm; Sunday: 11am–5pm ($20–40)
Where: Ice Palace Studios (1400 North Miami Avenue, Miami)
NADA is consistently strong, exciting, and steadfast in its willingness to pay homage to young galleries. Of its 108 exhibitors, 23 have never shown at the fair before. It’s worth noting that NADA Miami is the only major US art fair produced by a nonprofit. Of note this year: special projects by Lonnie Holley, Loni Johnson, and Ioanna Pantazopoulou.
When: December 6–10 / Wednesday: 5pm–9pm; Thursday–Saturday: 12pm–8pm; Sunday: 12pm–7pm ($20)
Where: Mana Wynwood (2217 NW 5th Avenue)
Pinta, which focuses on art from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, has two new projects: Pinta Platforms, curated by Roc Laseca, a section specifically for contemporary art; and Pinta Country Sections, housing works representative of their country of origin. The fair’s main project this year, though, is “Solo-Duo,” a collaboration between curators Dan Cameron and Jesus Fuenmayor and an attempt to create “an exchange between Latino and Latin American artists,” confronting ideas about place and cultural fluidity.
Prizm Art Fair
When: December 5–17 / 10am–6pm daily ($15)
Where: Mana Downtown (145 East Flagler Street, Miami)
Curated by Mikhaile Solomon and primarily focused on artists representing the African diaspora, Prizm’s programming is big this year: along with the main exhibition, Solomon’s Universal Belonging, there are four smaller, parallel exhibitions, by Lafayette College + the Printmaking Institute, the Aftab Committee (which promotes Iranian-American art), and William Cordova (who curated two). On Thursday, December 7, between 5pm and 8pm, check out “Prizm Perform,” featuring performances by Tsedaye Makonnen, Helina Metafaria, and Nyugen Smith + Marvin Fabien.
Pulse Art Fair
When: December 7–10 / Thursday: 1pm–5pm; Friday, Saturday: 10am–7pm; Sunday: 10am–5pm ($25)
Where: Indian Beach Park (4601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach)
Pulse has a consistently strong selection in all its separate sections: “Galleries,” “Solo,” “Conversations,” and, especially, “Points,” a section dedicated to representing alternative models and nonprofits. There, you’ll find Project for Empty Space, SVA Galleries, and the National YoungArts Foundation.
Red Dot Miami, Spectrum Miami, ArtSpot Miami
When: December 6–10 / Thursday: 1pm–9pm; Friday: 1pm–10pm; Saturday: 1pm–9pm; Sunday: 12pm–5pm ($25 online)
Where: Red Dot Miami Tent (1700 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami)
Red Dot takes place alongside Spectrum Miami and ArtSpot Miami under one roof in the Arts + Entertainment District, and it seems to emphasize the luxe quality of the brand, describing itself as “contemporary and upscale.” That said, the exhibitor list looks solid; despite being sparse on international galleries, there are plenty local and emergent spaces and artists to sort through. The theme for this year is “IMPACT.” (Capital letters, just like last year.) ArtSpot has more international artists; check out Spectrum for its photo exhibition, “Foto Solo.”
Satellite Art Show
When: December 7–10 / Thursday–Saturday: 2pm–10pm; Sunday: 2pm–6pm ($20)
Where: The Ocean Terrace Hotel (7410 Ocean Terrace, Miami Beach)
This three-year-old fair is the most delightfully weird and artist-driven one to hit the beach (or anywhere else in Miami). Now, Satellite returns to its first location, the old Ocean Terrace Hotel in North Beach, and features an exciting schedule of exhibitors. Best of all, there’s Performance Is Alive, a four-day performance art program that includes performances by the sea, a pajama party, film screening, impromptu interventions, and lectures. Most of these works address human rights, cultural and sexual identity, and mental health; others provide whimsical reprieve from the state of things.
Scope Miami Beach
When: December 5–10 / 11am–8pm daily ($35)
Where: 801 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
If you want selfie-friendly reflective surfaces and bright candy colors, look no further. To be fair, Scope may be breaking out of its particularly ostentatious mold. This year, they’re hosting “Feminist Art for a New Era: Harnessing the Power of Art in the Fight for Women’s Equality,” a panel discussion moderated by artnet’s Sarah Cascone, and a performance by Jesse Boykins III on Friday, December 8.
As usual, Superfine! gives lots of love to locals, with 15 of its 49 exhibitors based in South or Central Florida. With daily panel discussions, a queer film series and LGBTQ party, and an opening night performance by Miami sweethearts, Afrobeta, Superfine! is one of the most charming satellite fairs. Bonus: tickets for their opening night party, Miami Love, go to the Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder, which saves stranded dolphins and whales (yes, that’s a concern here in Florida).
Untitled Miami Beach
When: December 6–10 / Wednesday–Saturday: 11am–7pm; Sunday: 11am–5pm ($30)
Where: Ocean Drive & 12th Street, Miami Beach
Untitled boasts the most naturally lit of all tents, 136 exhibitors, and several artist projects and editions: Untitled Radio (hear the web stream at wynwoodradio.com); works by Gordon Matta-Clark, Thiago Martins de Melo, and Esvin Alarcón Lam (among many others); and Alexsa Durrans’s “Stork Phrase Lines Up with the Shoreline,” a choreographed, profoundly feminine ritual to take place by the ocean, inspired by the paintings of Jamie Felton. Also intriguing is Galeri’s “Immaterial Artworks & Performances,” which includes “performance, immaterial artworks, and daily sessions facilitated by the galleries for mindfulness and presence enhancement.” Here’s hoping there’s a guided meditation to get us through the foot traffic.
Museums and Collections
Bass Museum of Art
When: Visit thebass.org for regular hours
Where: 2100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Following its recent reopening, the Bass has a slew of great solo exhibitions on view, including Pascale Marthine Tayou’s Beautiful, which presents Tayou’s work alongside the museum’s permanent collection, and Ugo Rondinone’s good evening beautiful blue. Rondinone’s series vocabulary of solitude, featuring 45 life-size clowns cast from real bodies, is wonderfully eerie and sad. On December 7, a sweeping, self-titled solo exhibition by Mika Rottenberg opens.
de la Cruz Collection
When: Visit delacruzcollection.org for regular hours
Where: 23 NE 41st Street, Miami
The de la Cruz Collection’s 2017 show is huge, selected from artists whose work confront issues of power, identity, and gender. While it’ll be potentially overwhelming, the de la Cruz Collection is one of the best in the city, often built from real bonds between Rosa and Carlso de la Cruz and the artists themselves. Expect work by Ana Mendieta, Hernan Bas, Félix González-Torres, Rashid Johnson, and many more.
Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum
When: See above for regular hours
Where: 10975 SW 17th Street, Miami
If you can make it south of downtown while you’re here, it’ll be worth checking out the Frost Art Museum, which also acts as a resource for the Florida International University campus. An exhibition of works by Rafael Soriano, The Artist as Mystic; Continental Abstraction, a set of Latin American works; and a series of photograph by Lewis Hine, documenting child labor in the 20th century, are all on view.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
When: December 6-10
Where: 61 NE 41st St, Miami
Now at its new, permanent, and much larger location, the ICA’s inaugural exhibition, The Everywhere Studio, contains the work of over 50 artists — from Martin Kippenberger to Faith Ringgold. Also check out the work of Hélio Oiticica, Tomm El-Saieh, Abigail DeVille, and quite a few more. As always, the ICA is free.
The Haitian Heritage Museum was founded in 2004, in honor of Haiti’s Bicentennial. Its goal: helping to creatively maintain the identity of Little Haiti, a local neighborhood you might not even drive through if you only stick to the fairs this week. The space is hosting its own Art Week event, featuring the work of Alexis Peskine, Tracy Guiteau, Belina Wright, Troy Simmons, and Kandy Lopez.
Little Haiti Cultural Center/Now or Neverland Art Fair/Art Beat Miami
When: December 6–10
Where: 212 Northeast 59th Terrace, Miami
Also known as the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, this Downtown Little Haiti mainstay has been dedicated to preserving the history of the neighborhood for 11 years. For Miami Art Week, they’ll host two small fairs: Now or Neverland Art Fair, an exhibition of 15 artists honoring hip-hop culture, and Art Beat Miami, a fair showcasing artists from both Haiti and all over the globe. On December 8, Visionary Aponte will open to the public. This exhibition, curated by Édouard Duval Carrié, Tosha Grantham, and Marie Vickles — with help from New York University and Duke researchers — finds its artists responding to and interpreting a lost artifact: a “Book of Paintings” by José Antonio Aponte, a free black carpenter, artist, and leader of antislavery movement in Cuba.
There are a few worthwhile shows at the University of Miami’s art museum, especially the Miami-based Michele Oka Doner’s, Into the Mysterium, a kind of taxonomic curio of natural, beautiful objects: stones, twigs, pods, shells, and other traces of the environment.
The Margulies Collection
When: December 4–December 10
Where: 591 NW 27th Street, Miami
With two current shows — Anselm Kiefer and a Pop Art exhibition — it’s a good idea to go to the Margulies, if only to see a crucial part of Miami’s private collections.
Pérez Art Museum Miami
When: December 4–10 (free admission on Thursday, December 7 and Saturday, December 9)
Where: 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
The current exhibitions on view at the Pérez are unmissable, and will provide a bayside break from the madness: Dara Friedman’s Perfect Stranger, Steve McQueen’s End Credits, Haroon Mirza’s A C I D G E S T, John Dunkley’s Neither day nor Night, Hew Locke’s For Those in Peril on the Sea, and On the Horizon, a three-part exhibition of contemporary Cuban art, much of which was donated by Jorge M. Pérez himself.
Rubell Family Collection
When: December 6–10
Where: 95 NW 29th Street
December 6 marks the opening of two exhibitions at this private collection: Stranger in Paradise, the work of artist-in-residence Allison Zuckerman, and Still Human, a show examining “the complex consequences of the digital revolution.” Gulp. There are 25 artists on view there, including Hank Wilis Thomas, Anicka Yi, Hito Steyerl, and Isa Genzken.
When: Hours adjusted to Monday–Sunday: 10am–6pm
Where: 1001 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
Both the Wolfsonian’s ongoing exhibitions (like Americans All: Race Relations in Depression-Era Murals) and current ones (like Selling the Golden Leaf: Exoticism in Tobacco Advertising) are historical, informative, and worth seeing. You’ll be on the beach anyway.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
When: December 4–10
Where: 1 E Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale
It’s hard enough to get locals to travel north of Dade County, but treat yourself to a day without crowds and check out Frank Stella: Experiment and Change, this Fort Lauderdale art museum’s latest exhibition. Curated by Bonnie Clearwater, it spans the expressionist’s 60-year career.
Boca Raton Museum of Art
When: See above for regular hours
Where: 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
Ditto for Boca — admittedly far and equally worth it, particularly for one of the museum’s current exhibitions, Alex Katz: Small Paintings.
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)
When: December 6–10
Where: 1018 N Miami Ave, Miami
On December 6, CIFO will present Triángulo: Loló Soldevilla, Sandu Darie and Carmen Herrera, an exhibition featuring three pioneers of Cuban geometric art. CIFO is a nonprofit organization that provides support for emerging Latin American artists. It’s also the home of the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, pieces of which are exhibited every year at Art Basel Miami Beach.
The National YoungArts Foundation
When: December 4–10, 10am–4pm
Where: 2100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
Late this fall, the National YoungArts Foundation hosted three exhibitions of work by YoungArts alumni alongside other big names. Roots by José Parlá and IMAGINATION LAND: Fantastical Narrative — a sublime exhibition of YoungArts alumni, curated by Derrick Adams — are still on view through December 15.