Art Basel revamps its lineup
Written by Rebecca San Juan on November 27, 2018
Art Basel has revamped its line-up for its 17th edition in Miami Beach. Organizers have swapped the outdoor exhibit in front of the Bass and film viewings at the Miami Beach SoundScape Park for free, daily twofold live performances held indoors.
About 200 art galleries specializing in contemporary pieces will flock to the event at 1901 Convention Center Dr. to showcase more than 4,000 artists’ collections. The fair opens to the public Dec. 6 and ends Dec. 9.
The 16th edition in 2017 welcomed 82,000-plus visitors, and organizers expect to attract a similar number this year. They plan to entertain spectators with free live performances, special themed exhibits, panels, and satellite events.
The live 20-minute performances will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center’s new 60,000-square-foot ballroom. Curator Philipp Kaiser and non-profit The Kitchen adapt Abraham Cruzvillegas work Autorreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist… for the Miami Beach space. Sculptures, song, and dance are added to the mix.
A select number of galleries will be participating in several themed exhibitions. Take the Nova, for example, in which 29 galleries will be highlighting artwork debuting for the first time from a given artist’s collection. The exhibit rewards galleries that prioritize the spotlighting of fresh talent, including Cape Town’s Blank Projects, Dusseldorf’s Linn Lühn, Tokyo’s Nanzuka, and Tunis’s Selma Feriani Gallery.
A total of 14 galleries will be participating in the Position exhibition, in which each vendor picks one of its artists to showcase a large-scale project. Visitors curious about contemporary social and political issues will find Parque Galeria’s offering – its artworks, housed in Mexico City, tend to dive headfirst into modern day oppressions overlooked by society. And those on the search for the innovative can take in Amsterdam’s Upstream Gallery showcase.
Another themed event, Edition, allows 11 galleries to display prints and rare publications. For some galleries, such as participant Crown Point Press, prints are their bread and butter. Artists have flocked to the San Francisco base since 1962 to produce etchings. Other younger exhibitors, like STPI Gallery from Singapore, take pride in supporting artwork in print and paper that push the envelope in content and final product.
Chicago-based Richard Gray Gallery and Miami’s own Fredric Snitzer Gallery are among the 30 organizations posting solo shows for one of their up-and-coming talents at the Kabinett exhibit.
The fifth themed exhibition, Survey, presents an opportunity for 16 galleries to lay out collections exemplifying diversity in cultures, generations, or artistic methods.
San Francisco-based Haines Gallery might have an easier time at the task. After all, the gallery can handpick works hailing from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US. London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery might also have an easy time meeting the exhibit’s requirements. The gallery offers artwork emphasizing feminist and performance artists’ experiences in the 1960s and 1970s.
Art Basel is also offering 18 free panels educating audiences on a spectrum of art-related topics. Want to know more about the intersection between art and technology? Check out the Dec. 7 chat VR, Celebrity, and Innovation analyzing the trickle-down effects of virtual reality as another medium artists can work with and how audiences are interacting with the practice.
Art, history and politics combine at the Dec. 8 Feminism – the global view, in which panelists study the impact of traveling exhibits based on the Hammer Museum’s Radical Women and We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 from the California African American Museum.
A discussion Dec. 9 looks inward at the budding art communities sprouting across Miami as well as other international cities. The talk serves to inform the public when these artistic communities started to flourish and how they can sustain the communities that border them today. Attendees can listen to these panels and others at the Convention Center’s auditorium in the west lobby.
Organizers work with satellite events offering a variety of experiences, some steps away from the Convention Center – Florida International Museum’s Jewish Museum of Florida at 301 Washington Ave. comes to mind – and others in another part of town, including the Frost Art Museum’s Breakfast in the Park at 10975 SW 17th St. in Tamiami.
Galleries kick off days in advance on the schedule of events too. The main event at the Convention Center may start Dec. 6, but partners such as the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse at 591 NW 27th St. are welcoming guests as early as three days before for special occasions.