A Guide to This Year’s Art Basel Miami Beach Show and Events

Katherine Mellan

With an impressive display of art to enjoy, exhibitions throughout the city, guided tours and talks, this year's Art Basel may surprise or move you. Below is a brief guide by highlighting the best of 2018's art season.

Miami Beach’s brand new state-of-the-art convention center will welcome Art Basel’s 18th edition this holiday season. Galleries and artists from all over the world will present their art in a variety of mediums, including paint, sculpture, photography, film and installations from Dec. 5 until Dec. 9.

Art Basel 2018
Art Basel 2018

Because of the renovations to the Miami Beach Convention Center, this year’s Art Basel will have a “redesigned floor plan and enhanced layout,” according to a press release. 2017’s Art Basel in Miami Beach was held in the convention center while it was still under renovations. But this year’s completed convention center will boast wider aisles.

Eight different sections of the event will guide visitors through modern and contemporary art created by masters as well as art by a new generation of talented emerging artists.

Trevor Paglen
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2018. Trevor Paglen, Agathla Peak Hough Transform; Haar, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco.

This year’s show will feature 268 galleries from all over the world. The Galleries is the main sector of the show and will display modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The Galleries sector includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, prints, photography, film, video and even digital art. There is artwork ranging from inexpensive pieces by young artists to multimillion-dollar masterpieces.

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ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2018. Fred Tomasselli. Untitled, in the Galleries section. Image: courtesy Fred Tomasselli and James Cohan, New York.

The Edition sector of Art Basel shows off the leading publishers of edition works and their collaborations with international artists. The Survey section of this year’s show takes visitors back in time with art historical projects that date prior to the year 2000. Exhibitions for Survey are developed specifically for Art Basel.

Art Basel 2018
Art Basel 2018. Billie Zangewa, Afternoon delight I, 2018. This year in the Nova section. Image: courtesy of the artist and the gallery.

The Nova Sector focuses on recent artworks and Positions is to promote the discovery of new talented artists by providing galleries with a platform to present one emerging artist with one major project.

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ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2018. Works by Rosario Zorraquín in the Positions section. Image: courtesy Rosario Zorraquín and the gallery.

Kabinett, Magazines and Conversations round out the event as the last three sectors. Kabinett sector galleries are chosen from the Galleries sector to show off in a separate space within their booths. The selections for Kabinett are diverse, including thematic group exhibitions, art-historical showcases and solo shows for rising talent. The Magazines sector features art publications from around the world in stands or booths.

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ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2018. Bruno Munari, Tetracono (multiple Danese Milano), 1965. In Kabinett section. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery.

Finally, Conversations invites the public to participate in a series of meetings with prominent figures from the international art world to hear their perspectives on the production, collection and exhibition of works of art. The guests include artists, curators, collectors, architects, art experts and critics, with the purpose of broadening our view of contemporary art. The Premiere Artist Talk presentation with Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla on December 6th at ten o’clock in the morning stands out in this section. Manuel Cirauqui of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao will also be present, among many others. You can see the schedules of these talks here.

Art Basel kicks off on Dec. 5 with an invite-only day from 11am to 8pm. Vernissage, held on Thursday, Dec. 6, is also another invite-only day from 11am to 3pm. The public is welcome to Art Basel Miami Beach starting Thursday, Dec. 6 from 3pm to 8pm, Friday, December 7, 12 noon to 8pm, Saturday, December 8 from 12 noon to 8pm and Sunday, December 9, from 12 noon to 6pm.

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ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2018. Kapwani Kiwanga, Soft Measures, 2018. Courtesy of the Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris.

There are also dozens of other events to highlight Art Basel, from brunches to open galleries. On Dec. 5 from 9am to 12 noon, there is a breakfast reception for the The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse with a with $10 donation to Lotus Village Homeless Shelter, which rescues and temporarily takes in female victims of domestic violence along with their children. The event is at 591 NW 27th Street. This event repeats on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. Get your morning coffee kick at the Bakehouse Art Complex at 561 Northwest 32nd Street on Dec. 6. It showcases more than 50 Bakehouse artists from 9am to 12 noon with a ticket purchased at

A performance by Bethany Collins will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6 at Locust Projects from 10am to 12 pm. Collins will be reading from America: A Hymnal, a performance that debuts as part of Collins’ solo exhibition ‘The Litany’.

Where there is Art Basel, there is brunch. Accessible to the general public, get your brunch on at CasaLin from 9am to 12 noon on Dec. 6 while the New World School of the Arts showcases ‘Diaspora at the Yard’.

On Dec. 7, a brunch is hosted at The Kampong, a  tropical botanical garden on the water, in Coconut Grove, from 10am to 12 pm for another exhibition of ‘Diaspora at the Yard’. On Saturday 8, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Art Center of South Florida will offer its brunch. Attendees will be able to see the work of their resident artists, the current exhibition of the gallery, Parallels and Peripheries, and the special exhibition for Art Basel of 8 women who use their art to challenge the existing dynamic between American society and its marginal classes. On the same day, and also at 9:30 am, a tour of the museum’s sculptures will take place in the Frost Art Museum park. The event will close with a lecture by the American sculptor Elizabeth Turk.

And if all this were not enough, there will also be two other options to choose from: the Arts Center event or the Girls’ Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, the latter with an exhibition of women artists from the Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz collection. Breakfast will be available at the Coral Gables Museum on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 9:30 am to 10:30 am celebrating the exhibition ‘Kindred Spirits: Ten Artists by the Hudson’.

Also, on Sunday is Breakfast in the Park at the Frost Art Museum from 9:30 am to 12 noon with a Tour of the Sculpture Park featuring a lecture by American sculptor Elizabeth Turk. The last brunches will be held on Sunday from 10am to 12pm at the Lowe Art Museum followed by a talk at the adjacent Storer Auditorium, featuring American artist Hank Willis Thomas and another brunch will be at the Jewish Museum of Florida from 10am to 12pm featuring artist and fashion designer Daniel Chimowitz.

Art Basel 2018
Art Basel 2018. Breakfast will be available at the Coral Gables Museum on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 9:30 am to 10:30 am celebrating the exhibition ‘Kindred Spirits: Ten Artists by the Hudson.’

There are dozens of events scattered throughout the week and even the days leading up to the start of Art Basel Miami Beach.


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