The Best Art Fair in the World?
It’s the best art fair in the world, no doubt! Two beautiful ladies just out of the “First Choice” VIP Preview of Art Basel 2015 say. Dostinja and I ask why (we are both thinking that maybe Art Basel in Basel is the best art fair in the world?), and one lady says: well…it’s the art, and it’s the whole thing around it too, the whole atmosphere!
Despite all the glitz and glam that has surrounded the fair over the years, the team has never forgotten to fiercely cultivate Art Basel’s main ingredient: fantastic art.
What’s Happening in and Around
Art Basel Miami is global (267 leading galleries from 32 countries represent 4000 artist from allover the world), but also using all of South Florida’s strengths in the art scene: leading museums and private collections time their strongest exhibitions of the year to coincide with the show. 20 parallel fairs (including Design Miami), private collectors free views in warehouses all around the city (check our video about our visit to the De La Cruz and The margulios collections); site specific installations; performance art – free and open to the public; a film sector (in addition to the Convention Centre) at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center’s SoundScape Park (which boasts a 7,000 square-foot projection wall to showcase video art) and an endless list of parties complete the offer. To New York’s art worlders, Miami, champagne, beaches and fine art became synonymous to December instead of eggnog and mistletoe. The people, celebrities, artists, gallerists, collectors, curators, museum directors and VIPs participating almost become a part of the show.
So don’t worry: you won’t be able to do it all and see it all, in one week – pick some parts you like and enjoy. The show is officially open from December 3rd to December 6th 2015. December 2nd and the morning of December 3rd are preview days, exclusively open to art collectors and VIPs, by invitation only. We were there and picked some of the best that the fair has to offer.
It’s also Miami Beach centenary, this year. Miami Beach’s pioneer developer John Stiles Collins first dreamed of turning the area – a mosquito-infested mangrove swamp until it was cleared and dredged by migrant labourers – into the avocado capital of America. Collins and the car-magnate Carl Fisher then realised there was a fortune to be made in building.
Nova focuses on recent artistic production and Positions allows for the discovery of interesting new talents by providing galleries with a platform to present one emerging artist with one major project. So these are the two sectors to watch closely for new trends.
Figurative paintings, female artists, a high use of photography and, in general, a love for massive sizes are found in every sector.
Our Favourite Galleries
Dostinja has some very strong preferences and literally reacts to a work of art she likes. Each picture we took was the result of a choice or an emotion, and sometimes we had passionate discussions about what we liked or disliked. Who is right, and who is wrong, in art? Let your feelings decide and see if you agree with us that Art Basel Miami Beach is incredibly inspiring. Here are our choices.
Dominique Levy, Booth K11.
You Must Go On. I Can’t Go On. I’ll Go On. At Dominique Lévy.
The exhibition takes its title from the closing lines of Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnamable, and features works by Frank Stella, David Hammons, Robert Mangold, Agnes Martin, Senga Nengudi, Thomas Schütte, Rudolf Stingel, Günther Uecker, and Christopher Wool. It explores how, with Minimalist painting in the 1960s, the medium reached an endgame. After critics declared painting as dead, however, artists continued to create, to go on, pushing past the previously conceived limits of the medium. Frank Stella’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art runs from Oct 30th to Feb 07 – and might be one of the reasons of Stella’s popularity and ascending prices.
Maxwell Davidson Gallery, Booth B12 (Pedro S. De Movellan, Lotus 0.475, 2015)
Paul Stolper Editions, Booth B22 (Damien Hirst, Remedy 2014, Vacuum formed clear PETG, $12,950)
Lehmann Maupin, Booth K16 (Tracey Emin, Always More, 2015)
SCAI the Bathhouse, Booth K5 (Bosco Sodi, The Urushi Series)
Galleria Christian Stein Milano, Booth F8 (Pier Paolo Calzolari, Rapsodie Inepte, 1969)
Gladstone Gallery, Booth H13 (Anish Kapoor, Mirror Glow Bronze – Cobalt Blue, 2015)
White Cube, Booth L9 (Tracey Emin, I forgot How Beautiful You Are, 2015, and Christopher Wool).
König Galerie, Booth L05 (Jeppe Hein, Ball on Pedestal, 2007 and Jeppe Hein, We All Are, 2013)
Alexander Gray, Booth K3 (Hassan Sharif, Ladies and Gentlemen, 2014)
Fergus McCaffrey, Booth L2 (Tavares Strachan, Us, We, Them – Blue, Green, Yellow, 2015)
Marlborough, Booth F05 (Juan Genoves, Alba, 2015)
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Booth E6 (Tomas Saraceno, GSC 06214-00210/ M+W, 2105)
Lisson Gallery, Booth J01 (Shania/Lakes, 2015)
Thaddaeus Ropac, Booth C11 (Tony Cragg, Elliptical Column)
Galerie Lelong, Booth G01 (Petah Coyne, Black Heart, 1990)
Paula Cooper, Booth F10 (Sam Durant, You Have the Power, 2015).
White Cube, Booth D13 (Jac Leirner, Clowd – from Corpus Delicti, 1985/2015)
Galleria Franco Noero, Booth L10 (Mark Handforth, Indigo)