With 283 leading galleries from 38 countries, there’s something for everyone at this international glamourous art fair in American soil. Galleries showcase significant works by Modern Masters, contemporary artists and a new generation of bold, emerging stars. Everything is a spotlight at Art Basel Miami Beach!
The largest edition of Art Basel Miami Beach extends beyond the convention center floor and into the Miami community, with a cultural program involving the city’s world-class cultural institutions and private collections. The best advice for serious browsers is: wear comfortable shoes!
This year, Art Basel Miami Beach comprises eight sections. The galleries sector includes works from leading galleries distributed all over the floor, some exhibiting in their usual secured spots and some moving around from year to year. The Meridians sector, curated by Magalí Arriola, Director of Museuo Tamayo in Mexico City, includes 20 primarily large-scale new projects by renowned and emerging artists who are represented by participating galleries.
The Nova sector has works created within the last three years, and some of the artists are on-site to present and talk about their work. The Positions sector is dedicated to emerging artists; the Survey sector highlights artistic practices of historical relevance; the Edition sector highlights printing pieces; the Kabinett sector features curated exhibitions of selected artists by 29 galleries; and the Magazines sector brings a large array of international art publications available for the public. The show also includes a schedule of moderated panels as part of its Conversations series, featuring 35 speakers who provide insights into various areas of the art world. There is a place for every taste, flavor and style under the roof of the Miami Beach Convention Center.
With no Covid-19 restrictions, masks are scarce. Maybe it was the calm before the storm, but the first two days of Art Basel Miami Beach, which was only open for VIPs, press and guests, was cheerful, serene and joyful. Not yet showing the usual exhaustion of such a massive event, veterans and alumni, gallerists and artists were genuinely welcoming. It engendered a clear, relieved feeling of being back to full speed and ready to move forward, leaving all pandemic traumas behind. Perhaps I am being too Pollyanna, but those were my first impressions. Follow up with me on Sunday!
Regardless of the audacity, irregularity and complexity of the commercial art market, contemporary artists continue to alert us to the most pressing issues. Modern Masters continue to arouse us with their timeless, avant-garde forward thinking and living arts continue to offer an alternative way to see and reflect upon the world around us.
According to an old adage, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” Apparently, Argentinean based conceptual artist Leandro Erlich can. To celebrate a great comeback and the 20th anniversary of Art Basel Miami Beach, Luciana Brito Gallery, based in New York and Sao Paulo, Brazil, celebrated in style. No banana and duct tape, but a hyper-realistic playful sculptural edible cake, a replica of the famous Mies van der Rohe’s Rohe’s Pavillion Ottoman piece of furniture. Slices of the cake were distributed to whoever passed by, adding to the fantastic opening of a hopefully healthy and prosperous event. I found myself wondering if those who ate the cake own a piece of the artwork.
As the showcase continues there will be many surprises for visitors, such as an ATM machine that displays account balances and photos of users on large public screen. Presented by Perrotin Gallery, the work titled “Leaderboard” has been one of the busiest focal points as it displays on the screen how much money the user has in their bank account. This interactive work, that has been already sold to a local Miami collector, is an installation created by art collective MSCHF (Miscellaneous Mischief) based in Brooklyn, New York and founded in 2016.
MSCHF is part of a new cult-like artivism brand that is gaining traction in the art world. It was sued by Nike and by English artist for Damien Hirst for allegedly purchasing, cutting up and selling his work. So far, visitors taking part in this experience seem to not be alarmed with privacy issues concerns or the validity of the results. Hopefully, it will be the case until the end of the fair.
(Art Basel Miami Beach is open to the public December 1-3, 2022 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, Florida. If you attend, pick up a copy of the November/December 2022 issue of Artscope Magazine in the Magazines Sector. For information, visit artbasel.com/miami-beach.)