Art Basel Miami Beach released its list of 2018 galleries this morning, and the numbers break down thusly: 268 galleries from 34 countries, two Miami art spaces, and zero surprises.
Miami Beach's David Castillo Gallery and Miami's Fredric Snitzer Gallery are the two South Florida representatives at the nation's biggest art fair this year, continuing a pattern that stretches back to Castillo's Art Basel acceptance in 2008. Castillo and Snitzer have been the only local galleries inside the Miami Beach Convention Center several times since Basel landed in town in 2002, including last year, the year before that, and 2011.
Fredric Snitzer Gallery, located in Miami's Omni neighborhood just north of downtown, is a near-guaranteed presence at the fair — owner Fredric Snitzer is on its selection committee. The gallery represents some of Miami's biggest names in art, including Hernan Bas and Kenny Scharf, and recently opened an apocalyptic exhibit by Tomas Vu complete with 148 ceramic skulls.
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David Castillo Gallery launched in Wynwood in 2005, back when art spaces could afford to do that kind of thing. Castillo boasts its own lineup of impressive talent: Jillian Mayer, Adler Guerrier, Sanford Biggers. In 2014, the gallery moved to Lincoln Road in South Beach. Right now, visitors to the space will find an exhibit of text paintings, sculpture, and photography by artist Xaviera Simmons, inspired by the history of "sundown towns" — communities where black people were unwelcome after dark.
Art aside, one of the biggest revelations for Art Basel Miami Beach visitors this year stands to be the new look of the convention center following its lengthy and expensive renovations.
Art Basel Miami Beach. Thursday, December 6, through Sunday, December 9, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; artbasel.com/miami-beach. Tickets cost $50 to $500; discounts are available for students and seniors, and children aged 12 or younger get in free.