Art Basel Miami Beach’s 13th Edition Prepares to Break Records
Miami New Times
|Courtesy of MDC Museum of Art and Design
|Shen Wei will present his first U.S. museum show at MOAD.
This year, our fall Arts & Eats Guide lists all that’s timeless and fresh in Miami, from visual art to delicious food. Theater, dance, music, and drinks all make a much-needed appearance throughout the season as well. Pick up one of our printed guides Thursday, October 2, where you’ll find profiles, interviews, and detailed event calendars to guide you through the upcoming cultural season.
When Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) blitzes into town December 4 though 7, the event will likely break attendance records.
For its 13th edition, ABMB will boast 267 of the planet’s top international galleries, selected from 31 countries, that will exhibit 20th- and 21st-century works by more than 2,000 artists at the Miami Beach Convention Center and various venues throughout the city.
The zenith of Miami’s cultural calendar, Basel transforms our peninsula into a rambling art installation, with upward of 20 satellite fairs and scores of related events, including outdoor murals, installations, and pop-up shops mushrooming from South Beach to Wynwood, Little Havana, and Pinecrest.
The main event at the convention center, now recognized as the art world’s biggest block party, is expected to draw about 50,000 international visitors and generate close to a half-billion dollars in sales over its four-day run, according to experts.
This year marks an increase of nine galleries from last year’s roster, including a whopping 90 galleries from New York City. By comparison, the Magic City’s booming arts scene will have a paltry presence, with the Fredric Snitzer Gallery returning to ABMB’s centerpiece Galleries section, while downtown Miami’s Michael Jon Gallery will make its debut in the fair’s Nova section at the convention center.
It’s no surprise Snitzer’s gallery is returning. The owner has been a staple of ABMB since its inception and is a member of the fair’s selection committee. Michael Jon’s selection, however, has raised eyebrows among local dealers because the space is relatively new to a South Florida scene that, for the most part, is steaming over the repeated lack of local representation at ABMB.
Also making its debut is Survey, a new sector of the fair boasting 13 select galleries that will feature art-historical projects ranging from solo exhibits to thematic showcases. New York’s Andrew Edlin Gallery will present a two-artist focus on the works of Henry Darger and Marcel Storr, ranking among the top offerings in the section.
Special sectors will also showcase performance art, video art, public projects, and upstart galleries.
The Positions section will feature 16 curated solo booths, including a meditation on “architectural destruction” by Syrian artist Hrair Sarkissian, who is represented by Greece’s Kalfayan Galleries.
Among ABMB’s popular sectors is Public, an outdoor sculpture showcase organized by Public Art Fund director and chief curator Nicholas Baume, whose inaugural effort last year was hailed as one of the fair’s top attractions.
Another returning crowd favorite is ABMB’s Film sector, in which curators David Gryn — the director of London’s Artprojx and Zurich collector This Brunner embrace the theme of playfulness for this year’s edition. Gryn will present more than 70 films and videos by an international compilation of artists. The works will screen at Miami Beach SoundScape on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center.
This year’s satellite scene is expanding to downtown Miami with the inaugural edition of the Concept-Fair at Bayfront Park, where 80 exhibitors will feature blue-chip modern works from 1860 to 1980, including painting, sculpture, photography, design, and objets d’art in a tranquil setting far from ABMB’s more frenetic scene. The event will be housed in a $3 million spaceship-like circular tent with unobstructed views and a translucent ceiling designed to illuminate the artworks under South Florida’s tropical sunlight.
Meanwhile, the 305’s top museums will trot out their best shows of the year to seduce visiting art-world cognoscenti and local Basel enthusiasts.
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