Art Basel Miami Beach Enters A Second Decade Of Excellence

Art Basel Miami Beach

By Sara Faith

The 2012 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach officially closed yesterday, Sunday, December 9. Praised by critics, exhibitors and visitors as Art Basel’s most serious presentation in Miami Beach to date, its galleries across the board reported consistent sales throughout the week. The show, whose main sponsor is UBS, again attracted 50,000 visitors, generating an attendance of 70,000 over the five show days. Art Basel in Miami Beach was visited by over 130 museum and institution groups from across the world. Renowned private collectors from the Americas, Europe and emerging markets returned, and were joined by new collectors from around the globe.

As Art Basel marked its second decade in Miami Beach, more than 250 leading galleries from 31 countries from North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia presented the highest quality of work at the show, underlining its seriousness. Given a particularly strong representation of Modern material at the show, as well as the entry of a dynamic selection of younger galleries – including nine that were newly accepted to the fair from NADA– visitors explored 11 decades and over 110 years of art history within the Miami Beach Convention Center. Additionally, collaborations with local and international partners ensured a diverse and deep program of art events, from Art Basel Conversations and Art Salon to Art Public,

Art Video and Art Film, making this edition a celebration of the artists and their galleries. The experience of galleries proved highly positive:

Stefania Bortolami, Bortolami Gallery, New York
‘After the destruction that the gallery experienced from Hurricane Sandy it is significant that we were able to show at Art Basel Miami Beach. All of our efforts were rewarded by meaningful sales at the fair and wonderful exposure for our younger artists.’

Alia Fattouh, Lombard Freid Gallery, New York
‘I would say that the fair comes at a crucial time for many New York galleries that have been hit by the hurricane and the flexibility that Art Basel showed in these exceptional circumstances has been particularly appreciated and helpful.’

Silke Thomas, Galerie Thomas, Munich
‘Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 has again been a great fair. There were interesting new collectors and sales. We really enjoyed being part of the show.’

Sean Kelly, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
‘The preview of Art Basel Miami Beach was the best first day the gallery has ever had at any art fair…ever. We literally had nothing left but to sell off the iPads. We sold an Antony Gormley for 300,000 GBP, a Los Carpinteros for 110,000 Euros, and every Terence Koh we brought. We also met new collectors and viewers genuinely interested in our artists. An astonishing fair!’

Adam Sheffer, Cheim & Read, New York
‘We were delighted again this year by the results at Art Basel Miami Beach. It remains the gold standard of the international art fair circuit.’

Marc Payot, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, London and New York
‘At a moment when art fairs are almost too numerous to count, Art Basel Miami Beach stands out in attracting an extraordinary number of museum curators and directors from across the entire United States and around the world. With that in mind, we presented an exhibition-like stand that brought clarity and very high impact to new works by just two artists – Roni Horn and Guillermo Kuitca. We are now engaged in talks about several important institutional projects for both artists. So for Hauser & Wirth, this year’s fair was a major success not only in commercial terms, but also in the opportunity to connect our artists’ with museums internationally.’

Steven P. Henry, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
‘We approached the show in a very serious way this year, with a strong curatorial view. We noticed that there was a lot of thought that went into the presentations around us as well. The general statue of the Miami Beach edition has really risen to a level comparable to Basel.’

Hella Pohl, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Paris
‘There was a very strong demand for works by Georg Baselitz and Robert Longo. Our first sale, a work by Jason Martin,happened only a few minutes after the fair opened.’

Elyse Goldberg, James Cohan Gallery, New York
‘This year’s Art Basel Miami Beach was a truly wonderful fair. We were successful in placing many works in collections both public and private, as well as meeting collectors, curators, and writers new to our gallery’

Thomas Dane, Thomas Dane Gallery, London

‘We have had good fair in Miami. We had success in selling works by Arturo Herrera, Glenn Ligon and Alexandre da Cunha. Miami has always been an important fair for us and this year was no exception.’

Maho Kubota, SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
‘This is the only American fair where we show. We had a clear strategy to present only Japanese artists from multiple generations and through this we were able to share the diversity of Japanese art with a large number of viewers and have connected with many new and diverse collectors in return. The show’s high quality allows exhibitors to showcase works as they deserve to be seen.’

Pedro Mendes, Mendes Wood, São Paulo
‘Miami for us is a junction between the North and the South. It’s almost a port where everyone gathers. At the show in Miami, we’ve connected with collectors and curators from so many different countries and throughout the region that in a sense Art Basel Miami Beach becomes a window for Latin American thought, its art dialogue and practice.’

Paul Kasmin, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
‘This year the fair drew primarily new international clients for us and it was a great success for many of our artists. It was a particularly remarkable year for Iván Navarro, with the fair’s curated programs for Art Kabinett and Art Public.’

Flávio Cohn, DAN galleria, São Paulo

‘We are very pleased with our participation at the show and have had very positive responses to our presentations. We achieved good results, even better than we had hoped for. The interest in the Latin American and Brazilian artists we represent has definitely grown over the past two years.’

Jorge Mara, La Galería Jorge Mara La Ruche, Buenos Aires
‘This is our third time at Art Basel in Miami Beach – and it has been the best fair for us. Over the past two years visitors to the fair have come to see and buy, and now they are coming back again. We bring artists to the show not many people outside of Argentina or Latin America know and we provide the intellectual background to get to know these artists.’

Aurelia Bourquard, Press & Communication, Art: Concept, Paris
‘The fair went well, the sales were good and we met extremely interesting collectors from Europe as well as the Americas.’

For the second year running, Art Public, produced in collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art, turned Collins Park into an outdoor exhibition space with large-scale sculpture, video, installation and live performances. For this year’s edition, the sector’s curator Christine Y. Kim, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art (LACMA) and Co-founder, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) brought even more complex works to Miami Beach and extended the exhibition space into the sky, across which Dave McKenzie’s airplane carrying a banner offering different marriage proposals every day. A highlight of the week, Art Public Opening Night on December 6 was free and open to the public, offering a program of performances by Jason and Alicia Hall Moran with Brandon Ross, My Barbarian and Alex Israel. For more information please visit

Art Kabinett became one of the talking points of the show for connoisseurs. 20 select galleries from the Art Galleries sector of the show curated exhibitions in separately delineated spaces within their booths. This year’s sector presented work by artists including Fiona Banner (Galerie Barbara Thumm), Chuck Close (Two Palms), Jannis Kounellis (Galerie Lelong), Jorinde Voigt (David Nolan Gallery) and Yan Xing (Galerie Urs Meile), and curated shows on General Idea (Esther Schipper); Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Suzanne Duchamp (Francis M. Naumann Fine Art); and Helio Oiticica and Jarbas Lopes (A Gentil Carioca). For more information please visit

For others, Art Positions proved a highlight. Featuring a tight selection of 16 galleries, the sector continued as an exciting platform for collectors, museum directors, critics and art enthusiasts to gain further insight into the work of individual emerging artists. Presentations included: Matt Keegan (Altman Siegel Gallery SF), Pablo Rasgado (Arratia Beer), Nathan Peter (PSM), Leyla Cárdenas (Galería Casas Riegner), Colby Bird (Fitzroy Gallery), Christian Flamm (Galeria Fonti), Felipe Arturo (La Central), Irene Kopelman (Labor), Paulo Vivacqua (Galeria Laura Marsiaj), Julieta Aranda (Galerie mor.charpentier), Atsushi Kaga (Mother’s Tankstation), Asli Cavusoglu (NON Gallery), Ivan Seal (RaebervonStenglin), Andra Ursuta (Ramiken Crucible), Latoya Ruby Frazier (Galerie Michel Rein), and Agustina Woodgate (Spinello Projects). For more information on Art Positions, please visit

With 40 galleries on display, this year’s edition of Art Nova featured work by more than 100 artists from across the world including juxtapositions such as: Yael Bartana, Tal R. and Tom Burr (Sommer Contemporary Art); Tania Pérez Cordova and Nina Beier (Proyectos Monclova); Becky Beasley and Simon Dybbroe Möller (Francesca Minini); Theaster Gates and Angel Otero (Kavi Gupta Gallery); John Gerrard, Michelle Lopez and Hans Schabus (Simon Preston); Brigida Baltar, Lucia Koch and Melanie Smith (Galeria Nara Roesler); Julião Sarmento and Leigh Ledare (Pilar Corrias); Dove Allouche, Jonathan Binet and Jessica Warboys (Gaudel de Stampa); and Hao Liang, Yangjiang Group and Zheng Guogu (Vitamin Creative Space). The sector again became a space of discovery for works fresh from the studio. For a full list of galleries and the artists, please visit

Also in its second year, Art Video was produced in collaboration with the New World Center and David Gryn of London’s Artprojx. Following its success last year, the free screenings in SoundScape Park on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the Frank Gehry designed building were extended by one additional night of programming and attracted an estimated 1,200 visitors. Showing just over 60 videos, the program was marked by the dusk- till-dawn screening of ‘Bliss’ by Ragnar Kjartansson, which was presented in collaboration with MOCA North Miami and the New World Center. For more information please visit

Art Film was again selected by Zurich film connoisseur This Brunner and presented the feature-length documentary film ‘Painters Painting’ (1973) by Emile de Antonio on the New York art scene from 1940 to 1970. For more information please visit

Steering debate and discussions not only on the state of the art market but the arts in general, Art Basel’s daily program of talks offered its patrons and the general public another platform to engage with art in a meaningful way. Many leading artworld figures took part in the morning

Art Basel Conversations. The Premiere Artist Talk featured legendary artist Richard Tuttle in conversation with Chris Dercon, Director Tate Modern, London. Further topics included the ‘Public/Private’ panel discussing ‘The Encyclopedic Museum’ on the Friday of the show. Saturday’s panel focused on ‘Why Japanese Post-War Art Matters Now’. On Sunday the ‘Artistic Practice’ series presented ‘The Artist as Musician’. Art Basel Conversations is presented by Absolut Art Bureau, responsible for The Absolut Company’s international art initiatives.

Art Salon, which includes shorter presentations each afternoon, featured 20 talks, ranging in topics from the Latin American art market to ‘New Perspectives from the Edge of Arabia’. Taken together, both talks programs represent an essential aspect of Art Basel’s concept, reflecting the idea that the show is not only a marketplace for artworks, but also a meeting place for all of the artworld’s key players.

Videos of Art Basel Conversations and Art Salon are being made available by Absolut Art Bureau and can be viewed on and

Once again, Miami’s leading private collections – among them the Rubell Family Collection, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, the De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, World Class Boxing, the Margulies Collection, and the Dacra Collection – opened their homes and warehouses to guests of the international art show, putting on museum-quality exhibitions especially for the duration of the show.

The museums of South Florida organized significant exhibitions. Shows included: ‘New Work Miami 2013’ at the Miami Art Museum; ‘The Endless Renaissance – Six Solo Artist Projects: Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Barry X Ball, Walead Beshty, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ged Quinn, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’ at the Bass Museum of Art; ‘Bill Viola: Liber Insularum’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami; ‘2012 Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers’ and ‘Sylvia Plimack Mangold: Landscape and Trees’ at the Norton Museum and ‘Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte: Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection’ and ‘Esther Shalev- Gerz: Describing Labor’ at the Wolfsonian-FIU.

130 international museum and collectors groups came from all over the world to attend Art Basel Miami Beach. The delegations included trustee and patron groups from the Brooklyn Museum; Museu de Arte Moderna Sao Paulo; Dallas Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New Museum, New York; Tate, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou, Paris and many more.

Art Basel stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique,

which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show’s singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration and new contacts in the art world.