For a week in December, the sunny empire of Tony Montana, LeBron James, and Gianni Versace becomes a playground of business and pleasure for the intrepid art enthusiast. For art-world pilgrims to Miami Beach, consolidating collections, collecting reconnaissance, and catching up on connections are the orders of the day.
Art Basel Miami Beach and its satellite fairs and happenings (parties, dinners, parties, exhibitions, parties) present a rare opportunity to glean what the art world’s crème de la crème, from Russia to Rio, currently has to offer.
As you prepare to saunter, see, and strike sales (and then regroup for some socializing), we draw from the welter of hotspots and happenings a selection of recommendations to squeeze into your itinerary.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)
Opened to the public this month, Miami’s impressive new “front porch” is a cutting edge architectural feat by Ai Weiwei collaborators Herzog & de Meuron. Playing host to a modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries, it changed its name from the Miami Art Museum after a landmark donation from real-estate mogul Jorge Pérez.
Jeffrey Deitch curates “Women on the Walls” at the Wynwood Walls
The daily journeys from South Beach across the causeway and back again will be frustrating and inspiring in equal measure (a word to the wise: Alton Road is under construction in both directions!). A trip to Miami proper is worth it: visit the street-art exhibition curated by formed MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, or find a moment of calm in a Kenny Scharf-designed garden.
Founded by L’Arcobelano’s Ambra Medda in 2005, Design Miami has become one of the leading global forums for design, and its makers and users. Each fair convenes the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics, in celebration of design culture and commerce. Now that Design Miami has moved from its original location in Wynwood to a special tent across the road from the main fair, there’s no excuse not to branch out.
Tracey Emin “Angel Without You” at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
Emin has a longstanding relationship with MOCA North Miami — it was the first American museum to purchase Emin’s work, in the form of her seminal video Why I Never Became a Dancer (1998). The video is included in this exhibition, along with Emin’s most notable neon works, including a new large-scale neon created for MOCA’s courtyard — the source of the exhibition’s title.
The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE
The Margulies Collection is one of a trio of outstanding Miami private collections that are open to the art world during Art Basel (along with the De la Cruz and Rubell collections). With an extraordinary permanent collection boasting immense works by Willem de Kooning, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Richard Serra, the WAREhOUSE’s current exhibitions feature new photography by Olafur Eliasson, sculpture by Ai Weiwei, work by Anselm Kiefer, and an exhibition dedicated to Arte Povera, “Calzolari, Kounellis, Pistoletto”.
John Baldessari and Jeff Koons at Dominique Levy
Two legends of creating art, and one of dealing it. At the main fair this week, this mélange of names alone warrants tracking down the booth playing host to the quasi-exhibition.
“28 Chinese” at the Rubell Family Collection
The Rubells conducted five ‘research’ trips to China between 2001 and 2012, visiting one hundred artists’ studios in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai, acquiring artwork from twenty-eight artists, from Zhang Huan to Liu Wei.
Putting the B in BRIC since 2001, Brazil has quickly become South America’s powerhouse, and its art has kept pace. This will be the first fair dedicated to Brazilian galleries during Miami Art Week, with the organizers’ professed intention being the creation of an environment for visitors more akin to the galleries of Brazil than an orthodox art fair, bringing innovation and Brazilian art to the art world at large.