By Sandra Schulman
It’s big and getting bigger — Art Basel Miami, the imported fair that has revitalized the South Florida and international art scene is running through Dec. 4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Outside the doors of the main fair there are dozens of satellite fairs, parties, outdoor art parks, parades, film, and some extreme fashion this year. The main fair itself has 269 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa showing significant work from the masters of modern and contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging stars.
The booths in the main hall are the attraction with top tier, mind-blowing works from the best of the best in the world. Rauschenbergs sit next to Picassos, celebrities form the worlds of film, sports and music rub elbows with billionaire collectors, artists generally get by unnoticed.
In addition to the booths, the fair hosts specially curated sections including Nova. Designed for galleries to present one, two or three artists showing works created within the last three years, the Nova sector features strong juxtapositions and never-before-seen pieces fresh from the artist’s studio. Look for a 360-degree projected video environment by Taro Izumi at Take Ninagawa gallery this year.
Art Miami: This is the longest-running contemporary art fair in the city and the one known to kick off Miami Art Week festivities with style and big crowds. Art Miami’s glamorous VIP preview takes place at the Pérez Art Museum while the fair itself is housed in the Art Miami Pavilion in Midtown. Visitors can see more than 1,000 works from top-of-the-heap artists Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Roy Lichtenstein. Joining the contemporary artists is Academy Award winner Adrien Brody, who displayed his Hooked exhibition at both Art New York and Art Southampton earlier in the year. The acclaimed actor and artist will debut his most recent works at this year’s fair. (3101 NE First Ave.; $30-$250)
Films: Film has become an integral part of the fair with both world premieres and cult films all getting screened. This year, there will be more than 50 works and video projects created by artists from around the world. The program will feature video compilations on display within the Art Basel Film Library, as well as offsite screenings at nearby SoundScape Park at the New World Center — projected on a 7,000-square-foot wall. A main film attraction this year is from Sonic Youth rock star artist Kim Gordon’s Proposal for a Dance, involving two performers, two electric guitars and two Rodarte Dresses, it’s anti-pop music/art regarding “the female body.” The piece confronts audiences directly, involving them in an aggressive woman’s body enveloped and projecting the cacophony of sound. The squealing and looping, relentless wall of sound creates a ritualistic scenario. Gordon says she “started out writing about male bonding in music” and this piece confronts that writing with her current state of mind. (Soundscape Park, 400 17th St., Miami Beach)
This year’s special screening at Colony Theatre will be Maura Axelrod’s original and entertaining portrait of the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. The film Be Right Back presents a profile of the provocative and elusive art-world upstart. (Lincoln Road Mall, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. Dec. 2 at 8:30pm; free.)
Faena Art: A billionaire Argentinian couple have created an entire mini neighborhood for themselves in Miami Beach called Faena with a hotel, condos, a theater. Now Ximena Caminos and Alan Faena launch Faena Art with a big opening program beginning Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m., featuring a large-scale public performance called Tide by Side that will fill Collins Avenue on Miami Beach between 32nd and 36th Street. Claire Tancons is the event’s artistic director, along with musical director Arto Lindsay and architectural director Gia Wolff; plus several other artists and performers including Damian Rojo, Carlos Betancourt and the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus. It’s sure to be a wild parade with floats, costumes and unexpected art related events. Free and open to everybody.
Art collector and pop star Madonna is doing an evening of “music, art, mischief and live performance” to benefit her charity Raising Malawi on Friday, Dec. 2, in the Faena Forum (32nd Street and Collins Ave., Miami Beach). There will also be special guest appearances by funny man Chris Rock, Ariana Grande and Madge’s ex Sean Penn; plus James Corden of The Late Late Show and carpool karaoke fame is the master of ceremonies. Only 400 tickets will be available and the cheapest ticket is $5,000.
Fashion art: Cutting-edge fashion takes center stage as American style icon, Emmy winner and fashion designer Pat Field makes her Miami Art Week debut with an exhibition of a collection of one-of-a-kind pieces by eight artists. The show will be up for all of December at the White Dot Gallery (174 NW 23rd St., Miami) in Wynwood. Field hand-picked all the participants including Suzanne Mallouk, former paramour of the late art star Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose painted leather dresses and jackets address issue of feminism and maternity.
MANA Wynwood and the PINTA Miami Art Fair are teaming up to host an invite-only, “live” performance of Bill Viola‘s video/sound installation titled Inverted Birth (2014) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The film will be accompanied by the Orchestra PhilarMIA and dancers from the Miami City Ballet and Bill Viola will be present. The 10th edition of PINTA runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 in MANA Wynwood (2217 NW 5th Avenue, Miami) and features 50 galleries with a special focus on Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art.
Design Miami: The most well-heeled art collectors and voyeurs will make their way across the street from Art Basel Miami Beach to see new and cutting edge objects shown by the 35 exhibitors at Design Miami. For the first time, Louis Vuitton presents an installation of objets nomades, a collection of furniture that reinvents the house’s Art of Travel. Big-time designers, gallerists, and celebrities come together to exhibit all aspects of design, from architecture to wristwatches. Each year, the fair commissions talents to create a large-scale installation to decorate the entrance; this year SHoP Architects will build a temporary plaza called Flotsam & Jetsam. (Meridian Ave and 19th St.)
Pulse Miami Beach: For its 12th year, Pulse Miami Beach, which also has a fair in New York, will be employing the programmatic theme of “Play.” A highlight will be a site-specific installation, Miami Marbles, at the fair’s entrance by digital artist Anne Spalter, who used photos and videos of the city to create abstract images on large spheres. PULSE also partnered with the website Artsy so that viewers can go online to browse exhibitor booths and make. (Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Ave., $15–$40)
Untitled: One of the newer fairs, Untitled takes to the beach literally with a large tent right on the sand. This year, 128 galleries from 20 countries, along with nonprofit exhibition spaces and individual architects, artists and curators, will converge at this fair. To participate in artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and Tomas Vu’s collaboration, RV TV Boards, fairgoers can take Pussy Riot-inspired surfboards out into the Atlantic. The installation also features a shower for surfers to rinse off after their session in the water. (Ocean Drive and 12th St.)
The Bass Museum unveils its $12 million expansion project on December 1st after 18 months of construction. The Japanese design consultant Arata Isozaki, in consultation with the architect David Gauld, was asked to expand the museum’s exhibitions and programming space “without adding square footage to the building,” according to a statement from the museum. The museum has also shortened its name from the Bass Museum of Art to simply The Bass, and has revamped its logo and website. The Bass will inaugurate the new space with three exhibitions, including the first solo museum show of works by the Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone, titled Good Evening Beautiful Blue (until March 27). This exhibit takes up three galleries and includes a video installation and one sculptural installation titled Vocabulary of Solitude (2016) that involves 45 sculptures of clowns positioned doing everyday tasks such as “wake, sit, walk and shower.” There is a huge new totem sculpture by Rondinone in Collins Park outside The Bass.