ArteAmericas Celebrates 10th Anniversary With More Provocative Programming

Latin American art is sizzling. The creative nerve centers of art production in the Southern half of the hemisphere are hotter than a mouthful of wasabi right now. With the art world's peepers focused on Latin America of late it should come as little wonder that Miami is at the epicenter of the conversation.

This weekend ArteAmericas, the leading platform for the art of the region, is poised to distill the growing enthusiasm for Latin American art to a defining essence.

"For 10 years, we have been the only fair of Latin American art in Miami, which has been a challenge and an opportunity," says Emilio Calleja, the fair's vice president, adding that this year's edition promises to be "the most provocative yet."

International art dealers, museum curators, and collectors are all slavering over the quality of contemporary work pouring out from Latin American cities ranging from Caracas to Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires.

Last year, Puerto Rico-based conceptual duo Allora & Calzadilla represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. Latin American art stirred a frenzy of chin-wagging during the recent edition of Art Basel. And a blockbuster exhibit of Diego Rivera's murals is drawing hordes to the Big Apple's MOMA. Clearly, appetites for Latin American art have increased worldwide.

The boutique ArteAmericas fair, housing 50 galleries from Latin America, the U.S,. and Spain will feature the work of 300 international artists and include photography, painting, sculpture, video, installation, and multimedia works by top contemporary names and renowned masters.

ArteAmericas' special guest is Venezuela's 88-year-old Carlos Cruz-Diez, a titan of geometric art who was selected by Miami-Dade's Art in Public Places to install a major piece at the new Miami Marlins Stadium.

"Argentina is the showcased country with 17 galleries attending, one of which, Rubbers International, is the oldest gallery in Latin America", adds Calleja who says that this year the fair is unveiling a new section devoted to photography called "FOTOAMERICAS."

Also new this year is "UNIVERSAL," a silent, hour-long video projection created by more than twenty artists, curated by Grela Orihuela of Miami's Wet Heat Project designed as a tribute to "the global language of visual sensation," says

"We will also have ArtTalks on photography, collecting, and programming Latin American art, and trends in Latin American art -- all this with 51 galleries, six museums, curated spaces, art schools, art magazines, and other programming that should make for our best event ever," he says.

Leon Ferrari
Courtesy of Centro Edicion
We're hoping the hometown fair can dodge the air of scandal that plagued its 2011 incarnation with an act of art vandalism and the arrest of a Cuban painter participating in ArteAmericas on a child sexual abuse charge.

ArteAmericas runs March 2-5 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $12. For event info or hours call 305-857-0027 or visit arteamericas.com.

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