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Art Basel Miami Beach 2015 Preview: Our Favourite Galleries

Beatrice Lessi

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.


A fashionable encounter: Dostinja, Elle McPherson and Beatrice at Art Basel Miami Beach 2015. The Monsters are wearing dresses by Amaro (www.amaro.com).

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.


Eva and Adele: they chose to lead their life as living works of art.


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.

If you are going, don’t forget your Wallpaper Miami City Guide as well as a copy of Collecting Art for Love, Money and More.


To make this huge event more manageable, the fair is divided into 5 sectors: Nova, Positions, Galleries, Survey and Edition.

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)

Pedro-S-De-Movellan-Maxwell-Davidson Gallery

Pedro S. De Movellan’s moving sculpture is always getting people’s attention. Dostinja wears an Amaro dress, Gucci shoes and Calvin Klein bag.

Paul Stolper Editions, Booth B22 (Damien Hirst, Remedy 2014, Vacuum formed clear PETG, $12,950)


Damien Hirst’ trademark remedy cabinet. Dostinja wears a dress by Amaro.


Typical Damien Hirst: Cabinet Remedies. Paul Stolper Gallery.

Lehmann Maupin, Booth K16 (Tracey Emin, Always More, 2015)


Typical Dostinja: Always More!

SCAI the Bathhouse, Booth K5 (Bosco Sodi, The Urushi Series)


Galleria Christian Stein Milano, Booth F8 (Pier Paolo Calzolari, Rapsodie Inepte, 1969)


Dostinja loves the look and structure of this Calzolari piece

Gladstone Gallery, Booth H13 (Anish Kapoor, Mirror Glow Bronze – Cobalt Blue, 2015)


The amazing effect of this bronze mirror shows your image refeclected upside down.

White Cube, Booth L9 (Tracey Emin, I forgot How Beautiful You Are, 2015, and Christopher Wool).


Black and white minimalism and…I Forgot How Beautiful You Are.

König Galerie, Booth L05 (Jeppe Hein, Ball on Pedestal, 2007 and Jeppe Hein, We All Are, 2013)


Jeppe Hein’s ball on pedestal caused a small sensation: everybody was watching Dostinja moving it with her thoughts!


One of Dostinja’s passions: LED lights with interesting sentences. This is a work of Jeppe Hein “We All Are”.

Alexander Gray, Booth K3 (Hassan Sharif, Ladies and Gentlemen, 2014)


Fashionista can’t miss this incredible mixed media called Ladies and Gentlemen at Art Basel Miami Beach 2015.

Fergus McCaffrey, Booth L2 (Tavares Strachan, Us, We, Them – Blue, Green, Yellow, 2015)


Through color, text and structure developed in his neon works, Strachan explores the multiracial diversity of the Caribbean that emerged from the duress of politics, trade, and slavery centuries ago.


Tavares Strachan makes me think hard..

Marlborough, Booth F05 (Juan Genoves, Alba, 2015)


One of Dostinja’s all-time favourites: Juan Genoves. She can’t touch it, but she can get very close to it!

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Booth E6 (Tomas Saraceno, GSC 06214-00210/ M+W, 2105)


Tomas Saraceno’s hanging sculpture is made of metal, polyester rope, wood, steel and fishing line.

Lisson Gallery, Booth J01 (Shania/Lakes, 2015)

Cory Arcangel's Shania - it doesn't get more fashion than this!

Cory Arcangel’s Shania – it doesn’t get more fashion than this!

Thaddaeus Ropac, Booth C11 (Tony Cragg, Elliptical Column)


Tony Cragg’s elliptical column is one of Dostinja’s favourite shapes.

Galerie Lelong, Booth G01 (Petah Coyne, Black Heart, 1990)


Petah Coyne’s “Black Heart” exhibited at Galerie Lelong.

Paula Cooper, Booth F10 (Sam Durant, You Have the Power, 2015).


Who has the power here? Sam Duran’s electric sign with Vinyl text.

White Cube, Booth D13 (Jac Leirner, Clowd – from Corpus Delicti, 1985/2015)

Dostinja in front of Jad Leirner's Clowd - White Cube Gallery.

Dostinja in front of Jad Leirner’s Clowd – White Cube Gallery.

Galleria Franco Noero, Booth L10 (Mark Handforth, Indigo)


Skinny shapes!

Miscellaneous at Art Basel Miami Beach 2015


Interesting art and interesting crowd.

Interesting art and interesting crowd.


Beautiful landscape by Richard Mosse: Beast of Burden. The high use of photography is one of the fair’s main trends.


After admiring Keith Haring in New York, more at Art Basel Miami 2015 – Pace Gallery.


Witty and Gagosian!


We identify! Blah Blah, by Mel Bochner.


Feeling Thankful – Mel Bochner says it better than us!