A prelude to Art Basel for locals


By Galena Mosovich | galenascott@gmail.com


In just two weeks, most of Miami will undergo an elaborate transformation as Art Basel arrives and converts the city into a living, breathing art exhibition. A group of gallerists and organizations are revving up programming for locals in advance of Miami Art Week and the main event.

Harvey Oxenberg of Oxenberg Fine Art chose to capitalize on the comparative calm the weekend before Basel. His special event will showcase the work of Brazilian artist Fernando Vignoli at his Wynwood gallery on Saturday, Nov. 30.

“There are so many events beginning on Monday, Dec. 1. We wanted to stand out before everyone gets ‘arted out’ from the dizzying array of activities that week.”

Oxenberg is just one of many who planned a prelude. Some are starting as early as this week.

Argentine gallerist and collector David Maman of Maman Fine Art unveils his first U.S. location Tuesday, Nov. 19 in the Design District, 3930 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 240, Miami, with a reception hosted by Craig Robins of DACRA from 7 – 9 p.m. RSVP tomaman@taraink.com. Modern and contemporary works by Latin American artists such as Fernando Cánovas, Raul, Lozza, Lucia Maman, Mondongo and Fernando Botero will be on view.

Maman’s reasons for opening the new gallery now and not next month were threefold: he wanted time to prepare a special exhibit that he says, “will impact the world;” he wanted the exhibit to be ready in time for collectors’ arrivals; and, he says “it’s a smart business move since many galleries are piggy backing on Basel for a grand opening party.”

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) kicks off the season with a sold-out cocktail party for Mystery Dates, an annual fundraiser in which hundreds of guests dine at the homes of prominent collectors and arts enthusiasts in February. Members of MOCA Shakers, the museum’s young patrons, will receive VIP passes to Miami Art Week when they arrive at the event on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 7 – 9 p.m. Radio Bar, 814 1st St., Miami Beach.

Owners of the Sagamore Hotel, Martin and Cricket Taplin, are set to reveal the newest permanent additions to their collection at “The Art Hotel,” 1671 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, during Art Basel. The installation, “Framing the Moving Image,” was curated by renowned curator John Hanhardt and features films accompanied by video and performance art. Also on Thursday, Nov. 21, Hanhardt and Silvia Karmen Cubina, executive director and chief curator of the Bass Art Museum, will discuss his work for the Sagamore and his exploration of the history of media art in an “Art Talk” at 7 p.m. For more information, visit sagamorehotel.com or call 305-535-8088.

Wynwood’s Unix Gallery takes over the 25th floor of the Conrad Miami, 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami, for the opening of its “grandiose pre-Basel exhibition” on Friday, Nov. 22 from 5 – 9 p.m. “Echoes of Tomorrow,” curated by Marcy Lefton, celebrates the works six international artists: A.B. Holmes, Alexi Torres, Desire Obtain Cherish, Ingrid Dee Magidson, Peter Anton and Williams Carmona. Cocktail attire and an RSVP to miamiinfo@conradhotels.com are required.

On Saturday, Nov. 23, Fredric Snitzer Gallery presents the opening reception for Enrique Martinez Celaya’s “Burning as it were a lamp” from 6 – 8 p.m. at 2249 NW 1st Place, Miami. The exhibit will be on view through Basel, but Celaya says the focus this weekend is on the locals. “We wanted to give the Miami community an opportunity to see the work in an unfettered and unrushed environment.”

The event for Vignoli’s collection of 14 new oil paintings at Oxenberg Fine Art is Saturday, Nov. 30 from 7 – 11 p.m. at 50 NE 29th St., Miami. RSVP to gallery@oxenbergart.com or 305-854-7104.

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