Art Basel Miami Beach's 13th Edition Prepares to Break Records
Shen Wei will present his first U.S. museum show at MOAD.
Courtesy of MDC Museum of Art and Design
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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.
Art Basel Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 2013
Photo by George Martinez/gmartnx.com
For its first anniversary, Perez Art Museum Miami's (PAMM) Basel bash December 4 will feature a time-based art presentation by Future Brown with Kalela, an underground DJ supergroup. The museum will also unveil a commissioned work by Mexico City-based artist Mario Garcia Torres, whose project "incorporates photography, film, and objects that explore notions of South Florida as a site for withdrawal from society for the purpose of artistic creation," according to the museum.
PAMM also will display "Jardim Botanico," the first major retrospective of Brazilian abstract painter Beatriz Milhazes. The artist is known for her complex and disorienting compositions bursting with wild, decorative patterns typically rendered in a glowing tropical palette.
The Frost has lined up Wang Qingsong, one of China's top talents, who has earned international raves for his innovative approach to photography. The artist, who began his career as a painter, picked up the camera in the late 1990s and now works in documentary and staged photography, computer-generated images, and sculpture. His solo, "ADinfinitum," will feature expansive images capturing his homeland's epic transformation brought on by booming globalization.
At the historic Freedom Tower December 5, MOAD will partner with MDC Live Arts to present "Shen Wei: In Black, White, and Gray." The artist's first U.S. museum show will be dedicated to a solo series of paintings in collaboration with site-specific performances. Chinese-born, New York-based Shen Wei is a choreographer, director, dancer, painter, and designer who achieved fame as the lead choreographer for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The artist, who has earned acclaim for his cross-cultural, bold movement-based spectacles, will premiere a suite of 11 theatrical and kinetic paintings while choreographing interpretive performances based on these works, resulting in a series of five public performances.
If you visit the Bass Museum of Art December 4, you'll have to navigate through a maze-like Gregor Hildebrandt installation made from hundreds of strips of tape gathered from video cassettes of the Jean Cocteau classic Orpheus. The meandering opus will be part of "One Way: Peter Marino," a sprawling exhibit opening a window on the noted American architect and luxury designer's multifaceted relationship with art.
Marino, whose pioneering cross-disciplinary practice fuses art, architecture, fashion, and creative spatial design, has long been recognized for commissioning original artworks for his architecture and design.
In addition to Hildebrandt's shimmering tape passageways will be major installations by Guy Limone, Farhad Moshiri, Jean-Michel Othoniel, and Erwin Wurm. Works from Marino's personal collection will include paintings by Loris Gréaud, Keith Haring, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, and Andy Warhol. The exhibition will also feature sections dedicated to pop art, iconic portraiture, the German spirit, and photography.
Marino worked closely with Jerome Sans, the exhibit's curator, to strike a thought-provoking balance between his architectural work and designs, personal collection, and recent edition of cast-bronze boxes that will be showcased.
Last year, North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) drew sizable Basel crowds for notorious British artist Tracy Emin's first U.S. museum solo show. But this December marks a major litmus test for MOCA, which has been involved in a yearlong controversy. The museum's board of directors filed a lawsuit against the City of North Miami in April before leaving MOCA with part of its collection and the city hiring a new director.
On December 2, the embattled museum's new administration will open "Shifting Paradigms: The Work of George Edozie," signaling an institutional shift in focus while hoping MOCA's fresh direction inspires crowds.
Curated by Nkiru Nzegwu, professor of Africana studies at Binghamton University in New York, the exhibit seeks to "articulate and draw attention to the occurrence of a millennium shift in the epistemological paradigm of art-making and interpretation" while opening "MOCA, Art Basel, and the world to a new way of thinking and being in the world as truly universal," says Babacar M'Bow, the museum's new director.
Edozie, a Nigerian artist who explores themes of identity in his narrative-based works, will present 50 works making their U.S. debut, including a series of freestanding sculptures constructed from fabric that will form his exhibit's central installation.
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