Oh yeah, it’s that time of year again. This week, the international art world’s top dogs and art aficionados will touchdown in Miami to take in Art Basel Miami Beach (December 4-7) and a plethora of more than 20 satellite fairs, parties, and events. Visitors will navigate through five days of high-end buying and selling of art, as well as a vast array of experimental projects, performances, and panel discussions.
The grueling Art Basel, with 500,000 square-feet of exhibition space at the Miami Beach Convention Center, features over 300 galleries. Adding to the mix this year is a new sector called “Survey,” 13 exhibitions focusing on prominent artists and movements in the second half of the 20th century.
A highly anticipated performance at the big fair is Ryan McNamara’s MEƎM 4 Miami: A Story Ballet About the Internet, which will take place on Thursday, December 4, at the Castle Beach Resort’s Miami Grand Theater. Presented in conjunction with Performa, which originally commissioned the work for its November 2013 biennial in New York. McNamara worked in collaboration with dancers to choreograph the piece, utilizing video clips they found on the Internet as source material.
The public art sector of Art Basel, in nearby Collins Park, is titled “Fieldwork” and curated for the second time by Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund in New York. It will feature 26 large-scale and site-specific installations by such artists as Lynda Benglis, Alfredo Jaar, Ryan Gander, Nancy Rubins, Tatiana Trouvé. .The opening on December 3 will feature live performances by Ryan Gander, Christian Falsnaes, Liz Glynn, Dawn Kasper, and Alix Pearlstein.
A big draw at the Select Contemporary Art Fair (7200-7300 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) is a video installation by Rashaad Newsome about the performative gestural languages of MCing and hip-hop, which debuts at the VIP cocktail reception on December 3 hosted by Usher. Newsome is also inviting recording artists to freestyle; the performances begin on December 5, from 7 to 8pm with Mykki Blanco.
The intimate Aqua Art Miami, at 1530 Collins Avenue, will again play host to Atlanta’s Whitespace gallery, joined by Ghostprint from Richmond and Mayer Fine Art from Norfolk, though the recently shuttered Get This will be missing. Georgia State University’s Welch School exhibition of MFA candidates will again take up residence, with works by Nick Adams, Carrie Brown, Lane Ketner, Lauren Peterson, Charles Snyder, Kelly Stevenson, Wesley Terpstra, Ricky Warren, and Ion Yamazaki.
Of course, the great appeal of Art Basel week is the beach. Untitled and Scope return to their pleasant beach locations, joined this year by Pulse (Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Avenue).
Untitled (Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Miami Beach) has grown to 96 exhibitors this year, threatening to make its delightful location and generous layout seem more like a standard fair. Richmond’s ADA Gallery will show works by Jared Clark, Brian Novatny, Alex Kvares, and Shannon Wright.
Callan Contemporary and Red Truck Gallery from New Orleans are among the 120 international galleries setting up shop at Scope (1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach), in a neighboring beachfront tent, where hip-hop producer and collector Swizz Beatz is curating an exhibition and presenting a project by Swoon.
NADA returns to the Deauville Beach Resort (6701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) with a heavy showing of Lower East Side galleries, such as Klaus von Nichtsagend, On Stellar Rays, Invisible-Exports, and Nicelle Beauchene, and Christian Berst Art Brut, as well as blue-chip Marlborough, and nonprofits like Independent Curators International, Whitechapel Gallery, SculptureCenter and White Columns.
Another only-in-Miami fair venue is the SeaFair Mega Yacht, which hosts the Concept Art Fair in Biscayne Bay (100 Chopin Plaza). The fair has only 16 exhibitors of blue-chip secondary market work, and will also feature the premiere of Ai Weiwei and Navajo artist Bert Benally’s video Pull of the Moon.
Art Miami, across the causeway in the Design District, will have 125 galleries, including Atlanta’s Jackson Fine Art, Arthur Roger of New Orleans, Jerald Melberg from Charlotte, and Durham Press of Durham, NC. The fair’s special focus this year is on Berlin artists and galleries.
The new Mana Miami (318 NW 23rd Street, Miami) will feature three exhibitions: “Mana Monumental,” featuring large-scale works by such artists as KAWS, Julian Schnabel, and Kate Gilmore; a show of prints by Jessica Stockholder, Marina Abramović, Robert Indiana and others, made with Gary Lichtenstein; and a show of Latin American geometric abstraction.
A lot of buzz has been building around the exhibition i feel ya: SCAD + André 3000 Benjamin, which features custom jumpsuits designed by Benjamin of Outkast, an experimental film by Greg Brunkalla and large-scale abstract paintings by Jimmy O’Neal, both SCAD alumni. The show takes place at the Mana campus, December 3-14, with Benjamin and Brunkalla participating in a panel discussion on December 3 at 3pm.
Other notable fairs include Design Miami, located across the street from Art Basel, with 35 exhibitors for the design and functional-art-minded; Context Art Miami (2901 NE 1st Avenue, Miami), Art Miami’s sister fair featuring 80 galleries; the Ink Miami Art Fair for printmaking lovers (1850 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach); Miami Project, which has 69 U.S. galleries, including Octavia and Jonathan Ferrara from New Orleans. (110 NE 36th Street, Miami).
Miami offers a slew of other attractions, including stellar private collections and museums. Here’s a selection:
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (1018 North Miami Avenue, Miami): Doug Aitken, Francis Alÿs, Daniel Buren, Lygia Clark, Olafur Eliasson, Theaster Gates, Andreas Gursky, Barbara Hepworth, Arturo Herrera, Rashid Johnson, Donald Judd, William Kentridge, Jesús Soto, Fred Tomaselli, Richard Tuttle, and more.
de la Cruz Collection (23 NE 41st Street, Miami): Works by Christopher Wool, Mark Bradford and Dan Colen.
Rubell Family Collection (95 NW 29 Street, Miami): “To Have and to Hold,” featuring Basquiat, Marlene Dumas, Keith Haring, Glenn Ligon, and Elizabeth Peyton, as well as solo projects by Will Boone, Aaron Curry, Lucy Dodd, Mark Flood, David Ostrowski, and Kaari Upson.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami): exhibitions of works and projects by Geoffrey Farmer, Beatriz Milhazes, Buckminster Fuller, Nicole Cherubini, and more. An invitation-only one-year anniversary party on December 4 will feature the first U.S. performance by Future Brown with Kelela, and performances by Total Freedom, Ian Isiah, and Maluca.
Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (4040 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami): Pedro Reyes and Andra Ursuta.
Just don’t forget to visit the beach!