Miami Beach—home of well-heeled sun-seekers, retirees and a growing number of techies—is welcoming art lovers again as Art Basel launches its latest edition there after a brief hiatus due to the Covid pandemic. The fair has relaxed some of its application rules, so there will be more first-time galleries than ever before as well as a greater emphasis on diversity. Whether you’re getting ready to slather on your sunscreen or living vicariously through your computer screen, we’re here to bring you the most up-to-date sales, trends, and analysis. We'll be updating this guide every day, so be sure to keep checking in!
From new discoveries to old friends, the senior curator at the Boca Raton Museum of Art selects unmissable works at the fair
The 17th edition of Design Miami loosely explores the theme of “Human Kind”, or how design can lead to a more conscious state of being
Curator Magalí Arriola, the director of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, walked us through some of her favourite pieces in the section
As the non-profit organisation celebrates its tenth anniversary, we look back at some of its most engaging commissions in Miami Beach
It is not easy for a design fair to have an overarching theme at any time. But in the middle of another chaotic year, it is probably even harder. Still, in line with a curatorial overview introduced by Aric Chen after he was named Design Miami’s curatorial director in 2018, the practice is being sustained by Wava Carpenter, who took over the position in 2021. Fortunately, the chosen theme for this year is “Human Kind”, which gives a fair amount of interpretative scope.
While deliberation of design as a social practice will be played out more particularly through a talks programme that includes some star names including the artist Daniel Arsham and the fashion designer and artist Samuel Ross (in the hope, presumably, that some of Design Miami’s influential VIPs will sit up and pay attention), there is also a fundraiser in the works to create scholarships for Bipoc creatives. “We need to bring in a greater diversity of voices,” Carpenter says, “and open up the creative world to as many people as possible.” Equally, she says, there have been plenty of conversations about remembering the local audience and, with the scattering of Studio Proba’s sculptures throughout the Design District—super-sized candy-coloured anthropomorphic works upon which people are invited to sit and play—even the least design-minded resident will feel involved.
Our selection of unmissable shows at the city's museums
Exhibition of features contemporary works by more than 30 artists from Africa and the African diaspora from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection
Show includes never before seen works by the prolific painter Maryan whose career went far beyond the Nazi atrocities he witnessed
Los Angeles-based artist joins with Snapchat’s tech team to produce AR works designed to make even the most jaded art audiences smile
Exhibition includes rarely-seen 1980s installations that explore the nonagenarian artist's interest in spirituality
The Cuban American artist Jorge Pardo is constantly engaged in dialogue—within his work, and with his surroundings, his past and his influences. These range from his family’s escape to the US after the Castro regime wrestled control of Cuba, to the Abstract Expressionist painters that first grabbed his attention when he began to study art.
But he is far from stuck in the past. His work, which inhabits a space between art, design and architecture, is very much of the present. His techniques are modern to the point that they rely almost completely on technology, but the work itself does not seem futuristic.
His current show, Jorge Pardo: Mongrel, occupies the Skylight Gallery at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College. Comprised of 25 new drawings, Modernist chairs and exquisitely complex chandeliers, Mongrel pushes visitors to think about how shapes and hues that are steeped in a hidden narrative affect each other.
Art lovers tell us what they’ve bought and why
The Miami-based collector, real estate developer and restaurateur plans to launch the John Marquez Family Collection next year
The Cuban-born businessman and founder of the Kendall Art Center has been collecting art for nearly 30 years, starting at the age of 18
The prominent figure in the Miami art scene co-owned the Margulies Taplin Gallery until 1997, then bought the Sagamore Hotel in South Beach
The couple, well known for supporting emerging artists, displays their collection in their homes in Aspen, Colorado, and Palm Beach
We get up close and personal with leading gallerists
The director of Document in Chicago on what keeps her up at night, the spa at the Standard and dream jobs in the south of France
The Swiss dealer tells us about his love of Argentinian art movements, a culinary catastrophe and why he wants the world to know about Felipe Mujica
The established Miami dealer tells us about life-affirming breakfasts, why dealers are taste-makers and his love for Leonora Carrington
“For almost every decade of the 20th century, a new art movement or “ism” developed: Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Conceptual art, Minimalism. So what about the 21st century?” asks Josh Baer in his industry newsletter, the Baer Faxt. “Two decades in and the ‘ism’ that took hold is, in fact, the art market.”
Being an adviser embedded in the New York art trade, Baer would say that. But the question is nonetheless timely, given the ongoing sense of stasis affecting much of the West’s visual arts culture. Meanwhile, global auction sales of contemporary art between July 2020 and June 2021 reached an all-time high of $2.7bn, helped by a 5% boost from NFTs, according to Artprice.
But is it really the case that the 21st century has not yet produced a meaningful art movement? And does it matter?
The snowbirds of Palm Beach are now year-round beach birds, and the recent influx of dealers and bankers to the Florida enclave—who followed the super-rich south in autumn 2020—are there to stay. Acquavella gallery has signed a lease until June 2022. Paula Cooper, which initially committed to a six-month lease, is now there for the foreseeable future. And Pace looks to be a long-term prospect, having sold out shows of works by Sam Gilliam, Robert Nava, Julian Schnabel and Tara Donovan last season and recently hired former Salon 94 specialist Allison Raddock to run the space.
The Sotheby’s Palm Beach outpost is also “pretty permanent”, says David Schrader, the auction house’s global head of private sales, noting that the space is open seven days a week year-round, along with the other art businesses located at the Royal Poinciana Plaza shopping mall.
Clearly, the influx of collectors since the start of the pandemic brought success for Palm Beach’s new arrivals. “We were really impressed by the number of people who came in,” says Steve Henry, a partner at Paula Cooper, of the gallery’s pop-up experience in Palm Beach last season. He says the gallery connected with new collectors from not only New York and Florida, but also Boston, Philadelphia, Canada, the West Coast and South America. “In New York people are trying to see 15 to 20 shows in an afternoon. It takes a little while for them to come back around to you,” Henry says. “In Palm Beach there are six or eight galleries. There’s not a hell of a lot to do there so people come to the galleries a lot.”
Since the early 1990s, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan has been considered one of contemporary art’s most high-profile provocateurs. His praying schoolboy Hitler (Him, 2001), meteorite-struck Pope John Paul II (La Nona Ora, 1999) and fully functioning 18-carat gold toilet (America, 2016) have all garnered headlines. But Cattelan surpassed himself with his 2019 showstopper at Art Basel in Miami Beach. Comedian was just a banana attached to the wall with grey duct tape—but the conceptually audacious, over-ripe readymade drew crowds and divided critics. We asked Cattelan about his work on show this year at the fair—and how his art resonates in the age of Covid.