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Art Wynwood Arranges One Last Art Fair and Brings Along Never-Before-Seen Warhols

The entrance to the Art Wynwood fair at One Herald Plaza.
The entrance to the Art Wynwood fair at One Herald Plaza.
Photo by Michelle VanTine

Think of it as the closing of Miami's winter art fair season.

Art Wynwood, a sister show to Miami Art Week's Art Miami and Context Art Miami, will arrive for its ninth edition on Presidents’ Day (and Valentine’s Day) weekend, this Thursday, February 13, through Monday, February 17.

There’s a good reason Art Wynwood isn't lumped into December’s Basel bash, says Julian Navarro, the fair’s director.

"There is just too much then, too much competition. Collectors and visitors like this show in February because it's another option for the big collectors who stay away [from Miami Art Week] because it is too overwhelming," says Navarro, who has also been the director of Context Art Miami since 2014.

Art Wynwood will take place at 1 Herald Plaza — overlooking Biscayne Bay at NE 14th Street — where it will continue its side-by-side partnership with the Miami Yacht Show. The former Miami Herald headquarters also houses Art Miami and Context Art Miami during Art Week.

Whereas Context Art Miami specializes in emerging and midcareer artists and Art Miami offers investment-quality blue-chip and contemporary and modern works from established artists, Art Wynwood combines the two, Navarro says.

"At this fair, you can have an emerging artist that's 23 years old and you have the postwar work — the best of both. I love to see that dialogue between the two markets in one place," Navarro says. "It's also a boutique fair with only 50 galleries. You have the best of the two: the emerging contemporary galleries and the established ones that are coming with blue-chip work."

Therefore, prices can start at $1,000 for emerging artists’ work. "Then, when we go to the Andy Warhol drawings, we can start talking about $250,000 to $300,000; to the Robert Rymans and the Boteros, we are in the millions," he says. "That's the beauty of Art Wynwood. We have all the market there."

Art Wynwood debuted in 2012 as an international contemporary art fair in the heart of Midtown Miami and, in many instances, introduced worldwide visitors to the Wynwood Arts District. Now that its permanent home is no longer in Wynwood, is a name change due?

Navarro emphatically says no. "The name was more about an idea when everything started, and it has been solid since then. Globally, everyone knows it is in Miami."

The fair highlights Miami galleries, although national and international galleries exhibit as well.

"To see Miami the way it was in 2012 to Miami now in 2020, it is two different worlds. That is why every year we work hard to present the best that we have in this market, the galleries that we have that are our champions in the city,” he says. “Every year, we have new galleries from Miami that are working with us, and that is very important to the community."

While Navarro says everything is worth seeing, when pressed for his top five, he does offer a must-see list for this year's Art Wynwood.

Andy Warhol, Flowers (circa 1956), ink on paper.EXPAND
Andy Warhol, Flowers (circa 1956), ink on paper.
Courtesy of the Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianapolis/New York

Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianapolis/New York: Never-before-exhibited Andy Warhol drawings of flower compositions from the 1950s

"You have these rare Warhols coming to town to be seen for the first time, five beautiful drawings from The Andy Warhol Foundation. This is the first time anywhere they are available in the market. This is great for Miami."

Vickie Vainionpaa, Soft Body Dynamics 18 (2019), oil on linen.
Vickie Vainionpaa, Soft Body Dynamics 18 (2019), oil on linen.
Courtesy of the Robert Fontaine Gallery, Wynwood, Miami

Robert Fontaine Gallery, Wynwood, Miami: Emerging artist Vickie Vainionpaa’s Soft Body Dynamics 18, 2019

"The quality of her paintings is just stunning. When I see these canvases by themselves, no color and then the oil on top creating shapes, it's a new language."

Lelia Mordoch Gallery, Wynwood, Miami: Jose Arellano

The Miami-based sculptor creates visual semblances from museum board and xylene-based acrylic paint.

"His pieces are lively and very interactive. This is the first time, too, this gallery is in the fair."

Robert Ryman, Section (1985), oil on aluminum.
Robert Ryman, Section (1985), oil on aluminum.
Courtesy of the Bonnier Gallery, Allapattah, Miami

The Bonnier Gallery, Allapattah, Miami: Section, Robert Ryman, 1985

"This is a work you'd find in Sotheby's or Christie's, and it's right here in Miami, so this is an opportunity for people to see this kind of quality we have at local galleries."

One of the pioneers of Minimalist painting, Ryman excludes all hues except white. In 2015, Christie's sold a Robert Ryman work for a staggering $20.6 million.

Burgess Modern and Contemporary, Fort Lauderdale

The Burgess gallery will display Marc Jansen's continuation of his 2011 Faceless series, which features striking, large-scale portraits of foreboding, faceless men in suits. Jansen is a former U.S. Army soldier turned combatant for the avant-garde.

"When the show is over, we want to make sure that the community keeps visiting the galleries and supports the artists," Navarro says. “That's important to us.”

Michelle F. Solomon, artburstmiami.com

Art Wynwood. Thursday, February 13m for VIP preview and open to the public beginning Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, at 1 Herald Plaza, Miami; 305-517-7977; artwynwood.com. Tickets cost $20 to $200 via artwynwood.com.

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