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Recap of Art Basel Miami Beach: Amazing week of art fairs in Miami!
by Julie Dunn | images taken by the author

arge-scale installation by American artist Tom Friedman titled ‘Cocktail Party'

As I made my way through the art fairs in Miami, I had this sense of women empowerment from seeing so much spectacular art of women created by women.

The first week in December, Miami is always the place to be for art lovers, art collectors, gallerists, designers, curators, and critics from around the world. There’s VIP previews, exhibition openings, talks and panels, and museum parties to attend. There’s even brunches, lunches, and dinners to celebrate art of all kinds. More than 10 art fairs coincide over this week-long extravaganza, with Art Basel as the main attraction.

Mickalene Thomas "Untitled #3" Yancey Richardson Gallery

Art Basel, the international art fair that started in Switzerland in 1970, presents the world’s leading art galleries that exhibit works from top artists. In 2002, Art Basel Miami Beach formed to bring this elite art world to the United States, selecting sunny Miami to host over 200 galleries and 4,000 artists. Works range from young up-and-coming artists to established artists with museum-caliber masterpieces. My favorite: an oil, lacquer, and mirror on canvas piece created in 1989 by the famous German artist Albert Oehlen called Untitled from Galerie Max Hetzler with an asking price of four million…or was it six?

Press Photo Context Miami
Photo by Casey Kelbaugh courtesy of Untitled, ART

With so many art fairs coinciding this week, all within a short Uber or Lyft ride of each other, you’re sure to find your favorites. In addition to Art Basel, there’s Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami, which are two shows located in the Wynwood Art District. South Beach hosts Context Art Miami, NADA, SCOPE, and UNTITLED, ART. Pulse and Aqua Art Miami are located in Miami Beach. Aqua is at the Aqua Hotel on Collins Avenue, which closes as a hotel for the week to transforms into a wonderful space for an art exhibition. And Design Miami brings us full circle, located across the street from the main Art Basel exhibit.

Max Zorn, tape artist shown at SCOPE art fair in Miami

WE ALL heard about the “Banana Gate” during Art Basellove it or hate it! Having a background in marketing, curating, collecting, selling, and creating art, I thought it was brilliant! I saw knock offs like this one (pictured above) at SCOPE by artist Max Zorn, who creates these stunning women art pieces using packing tape. Yes, tape!

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Another highlight of my week was “The Power of Community” panel discussion, hosted by Art Miami discussing the theme of women in the arts. Moderated by Sarah Cascone from Artnet News, the panel comprised of founders and leaders of three outstanding organizations: ArtTable, POWarts, and Association of Women Art Dealers. All three of these organizations are for women in the arts to support one another around the world. It was so wonderful to be in a room with like-minded women discussing my industry of art.

More exhibits run through the surrounding parks and hotels along Collins Avenue in South Beach. Special exhibits like the first NBA exhibit “Momentum” debuted at the Nautilus by Arlo Hotel, which showcased vintage footage, golden shoes, and basketball-related paintings and memorabilia any sports fan would enjoy. I also stopped to see the whimsical Les Lalanne installation of gorillas and sheep in the gardens at the Raleigh Hotel.

There really is art for all during this weekfrom the high-end contemporary and modern art, to more mainstream contemporary art, to pop-style mixed media, to sculpture, artist and panel talks, hotel installation venues, and even sandcastles on the beach.

Wonder Woman by Multimedia Artist Cabell Molina

Art Basel Miami Art Fair Tips: 

-Wear comfortable shoes…you will be doing lots of walking inside the art fairs.

-Use Uber or Lyft to go everywhere. There really is no need to rent a car, and parking can be difficult.

-Download the apps. Each art fair has its individual one and there’s also one for the city. It’s great to see what is going on, including exhibits at local Miami Beach hotels. 

-Stay one extra day to rest by the pool or on the beach. You’re going to need to decompress and reflect from all the Art Basel-ing you do. 

See you next year Art Basel Miami Beach!

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Posted on December 12, 2019 by Matt Mill.

Categories: Visual Art

Tags: Art Basel, Art Fair, Art Miami

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