Art Basel Miami Beach

What to Keep Your Eye on for Art Basel Miami Beach 2016

South Florida's community of local artists, collectors, gallery owners, and art fans goes into a state of hibernation during the summer, quietly awaiting the upcoming season. While they lie in wait, many begin plotting and predicting the next big trends. Last year saw big moves in figurative painting; a renewed interest in women in art, with an emphasis in all-female group shows; and a boom in the fine art photography market.

This year, with more institutions making their mark on the local scene — from the Faena Forum to the new home of Institute of Contemporary Art — the competition for attention has never been stiffer. Art Basel Miami Beach and Miami Art Week 2016 are already shaping up to be the town's biggest. Although summer hasn't yet begun, the energy surrounding the fall is palpable. And with so many shifting patterns in the local creative community, the stakes have never been higher. Six months out from season, here's what you should keep your eye on. 
Thomas Bayrle at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
In a departure from last year's emphasis on contemporary figurative painting, the ICA has planned German conceptual artist Thomas Bayrle's first U.S. solo museum show. The exhibition will survey five decades of work through more than 75 pieces.

"Thomas' work can be very political, particularly in the way it criticizes the role of technology in our daily lives," curator Alex Gartenfeld says. "Since the late '60s, Thomas has used collage and painting, among many other mediums, to create a 'digital look'... before any sort of digital technologies existed."

Throughout his life, the artist has experimented with a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, video, collage, and installation, making for a rich retrospective. The centerpiece of the exhibit will be a site-specific piece made for the museum's atrium. The work marks the last presentation at the Moore Building before the ICA moves to its permanent home around the corner. 
Faena Forum Opening 
Billionaire hotelier Alan Faena has caused quite a stir in Miami Beach's social circle. Along with his swanky new hotel, the man himself turns heads at art-world functions for his staple look: all-white garb and a top hat. This fall, his efforts to revitalize the culture on the Beach comes to a head with the launch of Faena Forum. 

Located across the street from the Collins Avenue hotel and the much-talked-about condo building, the new institution is meant to function as a creative hub on the Beach. It will bring together music, dance, and visual art. It will also become the home of Faena Arts, a nonprofit spearheaded by Faena's wife, Ximena Caminos. Ultimately, the Faena Forum will bring more Latin American artists to Miami and become a hub of creative energy on the Beach. 
Contemporary African Art at Prizm 
For more than a hundred years, African folk art has lent significance influence to the Western tradition. At the turn of the century, a popular exhibit of African tribal masks famously led Pablo Picasso to experiment with cubism. The new figurative perspective shifted European artists' focus from realism to abstraction. 

This coming season, Prizm Art Fair will highlight the significant impact of the African diaspora. With more than 30 featured artists, scheduled talks, events, and installations, the local fair promises to make its mark.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Neil Vazquez is an arts and entertainment writer who works at the intersection of highbrow and lowbrow A Miami native and Northwestern University graduate, he usually can be found sipping overpriced coffee, walking his golden retriever, or doing yoga.
Contact: Neil Vazquez