What we’re looking forward to at Art Basel Miami Beach

Patrons wear masks while viewing art at Art Basel in Miami Beach last year.

Art Basel in Miami Beach last year. Photo courtesy of Art Basel

It’s about to look like 100 paint bombs went off all at once.

What’s happening: Art Basel is readying to host its largest art exhibition to date in Miami Beach in just a few weeks, plus art fairs will start popping up across Miami for the city’s Art Week this month.

  • That may seem intimidating, so we wanted to cut through the noise and share some of the Art Basel exhibits and events we’re most excited about:

The Meridians sector: Here you’ll find 20 large-scale projects — ranging from physical performances to virtual artwork — curated by Magalí Arriola, director of Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City.

  • “Let The Mermaids Flirt with Me”: New York-based artist, author and playwright Christopher Myers’ stained-glass paintings are placed in lightboxes and installed in a free-standing chapel-like structure. The piece, accompanied by a performance, is said to explore “the relationships between Black bodies, diaspora and the ocean.”
  • “Columbus Day”: Created by Native American artist Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nation, this artwork consists of 24 primary ink monoprints and 24 “ghost prints” made with the leftover ink from the print plates. They represent how Indigenous communities are often perceived as disappearing or faded.
  • “Silla”: Colombian artist María José Arjona’s installation of chairs, which hang from the ceiling, and a 6-hour daily performance unpack “objecthood, experience and the body’s critical role in movement as a form of political choreography.”

Galleries: This main sector of the fair features work from 212 galleries, including paintings, sculptures and installations.

  • “Peach Mask Face Jug” by Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon is a colorful earthenware jug decorated with a smiling mouth and peaches, all made out of clay.

Nova: This area is dedicated to galleries showcasing new work from up to three artists. This year, it will feature 22 presentations from 23 galleries.

  • Tenuous Support” by Canadian artist Sharona Franklin looks like a walking cane at first glance. But its base is made of expired pills, a syringe, mixed botanicals and more suspended in a gelatin mold. Franklin, a disability activist, has labeled her gelatin sculptures as “bio-shrines” to the medical treatment she has received during her life.

If you go: Art Basel runs Dec. 1-3. Day tickets are $70.

Be smart: Check out the other art fairs happening in Miami for Art Week, which include:

  • Fridge Art Fair at Esquina de Abuela in Allapattah. (The theme is “Art Camp,” and the fair is billed as the most dog friendly around.)
  • Art Miami and Context Art Miami at One Herald Plaza.
  • Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami at Mana Wynwood, which will cover more than 100,000 square feet of indoor exhibition space.
  • Nada Art Fair at Ice Palace Studios.
  • Pinta Miami at The Hangar in Coconut Grove, which will feature Latin American and Spanish creators.
  • Untitled Art on the sands of South Beach, which will feature over 100 international contemporary galleries.
A yellow clay jug decorated with a clay mouth and peaches.
“Peach Mask Face Jug” by artist Jiha Moon. Image courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery
A man holding his hand over his heart with blue light on him and specks flying around him.
“Vinson,” by artist Carrie Mae Weems. Image courtesy of Galerie Barbara Thumm and Jack Shainman Gallery
A painting of a woman wearing a bright green skirt sitting on top of a laundry machine.
“Cold Water,” by Robyn Tsinnajinnie. Image courtesy of K Art Gallery


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