Art Basel Miami Beach: Excitement And Optimism

Ana B. Remos

Art collector Solita Mishaan shares her picks of the Best of Art Basel Week.

As it has become the norm, the first week of December ends with great excitement and optimism for the city of Miami. Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 closed its doors on Sunday December 8th to great acclaim.

Art Basel director, Marc Spiegler, said, “buying and selling remained robust all week. At the convention center, sales have been strong both for works by major international artists as well as emerging artists”.

Art Basel Collector's Review
TRACEY EMIN. Angel Without You. MOCA.

In a statement, gallerist Peter Macgill of New York’s Pace/MacGill Gallery said, “I think it was good for our artists to be exposed to this enormously diverse crowd.” Judging by the positive response from exhibitors and collectors, it seems this was one of the gigantic fair’s best editions. “I’ve participated in Art Basel Miami Beach since its inception in 2002, and without any exception, this is the most successful of all its editions in terms of quality, conversations, volume of visitors and new audiences,” said a statement from New York gallerist Sean Kelly.

Art Basel has become a yearly cultural feast without rival in the United States, which expands beyond the confines of the Miami Beach Convention Center, where the fair is held, towards the vast expanse of this great metropolis, creating a calendar of collateral activities to the delight of art lovers, collectors and art professionals.

In my opinion, the highlight of the week was, without a doubt, the opening of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Although not an official Art Basel event, the new museum, took advantage of the fair’s international exposure to place itself as the epicenter for contemporary art in the Americas. Now, it is up to the community to enrich and enhance its permanent collection and maintain the artistic narrative established by its founders. The magnificent opening show According to What? by Ai Weiwei heralds a new era of fresh exhibits that complement the Museum’s permanent collection with novel ideas that introduce global concepts to this multicultural environment.

Art Basel Collector's Review
ANGEL MARCOS. The Intimate Subversion, Galerie Ernst Hilger.

The Wynwood Art District, where Miami’s most established galleries are located, hosted Art Miami, the city’s oldest art fair since 1990, in its 24th edition. The festive atmosphere, characteristic of Miami’s night life, did not stop the enthusiasm shown by a new breed of collectors, young professionals eager to learn the intrinsic pleasure of purchasing artwork that will accompany them throughout their lives. Seeing our youth interested in collecting art, made me feel, as a collector, very optimistic about the future of the art market. There were parties, store openings, new galleries, restaurants and projects, all basking in the glow of Art Basel but shining with their own light.

I loved Art Untitled, which in its second edition doubled the number of exhibitors to more than 90 galleries from 18 countries. This year, Art Untitled featured large sculpture, performance and technology. Artist Marina Abramovic, hosted the VIP preview where she presented a limited edition of 300 pieces of a photographic self-portrait, The Current, whose proceeds will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Marina Abramovic Institute.

Another outstanding exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami was part of the Knight Exhibition Series. Angel Without You by the acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin, curated by Bonnie Clearwater, kicked off Art Basel week with a selection of more than 60 neon works that have played an important role in the development of the artist’s work.

Art Basel Collector's Review
CHARLOTTE PERRIAND. La Maison au Bord de l’Eau presented by Louis Vuitton.

And who can forget Charlotte Perriand’s lost masterpiece, brought to life by Louis Vuitton. La Maison au Bord de l’Eau, a compact beach house designed in 1934 by the celebrated architect, a close associate of Le Corbusier, was installed on the beach behind the Raleigh Hotel as part of Design Miami. Louis Vuitton presented the original design, which was never built, in the presence of the architect’s daughter, Pernette Perriand-Barsac.

It is difficult to navigate the labyrinth of activities that Art Basel brings to Miami each year, and it is true that the festive atmosphere can distract from the actual pleasure of seeing the best contemporary art in the world, reunited in one city, but I think most people will agree that Art Basel Miami Beach is the ideal place to be during the first week of December.


© | 2019