What to expect from Art Basel Miami Beach
A ballet about The Internet, extra VIP days and a new art-historical strand are all part of the fun of the 2014 fair
What is it with ballet? Frieze spiced up its London edition with a balletic dance project by Nick Mauss and now Art Basel Miami Beach, the American continent’s leading art fair, will present ‘a story ballet about The Internet’ at next month’s event. The piece, MEEM 4 Miami by New York artist Ryan McNamara, is an adaptation of a piece McNamara produced for Performa13 last year. It will be staged off-site, 2-4 December, at the Miami Grand Theater at Castle Beach Resort, about ten minutes north of the Miami Beach Convention Center, where the fair itself will take place, 4-7 December.
Ballet aside, this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach follows the usual format. There will be a main Galleries section, where the bulk of the booths will be installed. This is where conventional commercial galleries to show and sell their goods, and the competition for the best spots is fierce. Art Basel’s director, Marc Spiegler says every gallery which took a booth in 2013 has reapplied for this year’s event. In December the fair will host 267 galleries here - including the big names Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, Sadie Coles, White Cube and David Zwirner - drawn from 31 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
There’s also the Nova sector for nascent galleries focussing on a couple of artists; look out for the Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost at MOT International and the Colombian art photographer Oscar Muñoz at Mor Charpentier.
The fair’s Kabinett section is for curated solo and group exhibitions; in this area Kavi Gupta will be showing new bronze works by Mickalene Thomas, inspired, of course, by the artist’s mother, Sandra Bush. James Turrell will also have an installation, and there will be new paintings by Terry Winters and an exhibition of early painting and photography by the Vienna Actionist Günter Brus.
Survey, a new sector for art historical shows, is sort of a response to Frieze Masters. However, don’t expect any Rembrandts here. Visitors to this section can take in the pairing of US outsider artist Henry Darger with the French art autodidact, Marcel Storr, as well as some 1960s pieces by Niki de Saint Phalle, and some gloomy, surrealist works capturing the pall of 1990s Japan, by the late Tetsuya Ishida.
There’s also Positions, for curated solo booths; Editions, for limited-edition prints and other short-run artworks; as well as an outdoor sculpture park, performances, films and talks.
Officially, the show runs 4 – 7 December. However, this year, in keeping with Frieze’s changes, Art Basel Miami Beach has staggered its opening, allowing certain VIP attendees in on 3 December, while shifting the official vernissage to the following morning. On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, admission to the show will be by invitation only, with limited to First Choice VIP guests at 11am, joined by Preview VIP guests at 3pm. On Thursday, access is limited to VIPs again until 3pm, when regular ticket holders will also be able to gain admittance.
Offsite, Design Miami, the regular design-oriented counterpart to the art fair, will take place 3 -7 December, in a specially created pavilion just across from the Convention Center; Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s sister, will oversee the live performances at the SELECT satellite art fair’s stage, at the North Shore Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave, 2 – 7 Miami; and the Perez Art Museum celebrates its first anniversary in its Herzog & de Meuron home with a part on December 4th. Sounds like great fun, even if you’re not an art lover.
If you’re going, don’t forget your Wallpaper Miami City Guide as well as a copy of Collecting Art for Love, Money and More, our indispensable book on acquiring a great collection. You can buy them both from the people who made them, here.