Miami Beach Art Basel is so much more than a merging of international galleries in what is disputably the most important commercial art event in the calendar. Art comes together in all shapes and forms to create a meeting of minds and a collective experience in an environment conducive to sharing trends in any sort of the pure sense of the word. The main impetus behind the fair is to promote and sell art by established and emerging contemporary artists. This is not to say that it is the sole purpose of this important week.
This is a week of intense cultural marketing. Museums, auction houses, galleries, studios collectors and international fairs are are all in attendance. They come to Miami to watch and share ideas with one another, in a highly charged social hub. Art Basel Miami Beach has become an annual focus for dialogue. It is also about bringing art to larger audiences and for art connoisseurs to show what they are made of and how much they actually understand. It is challenging. The bottom line is you can take many things away with you, discovery, acquisition or just a great week-long art party. It works on many different levels. This was my first Miami fair attending both Frieze in London and New York and Art Basel’s main fair last June. I think the added bonus of the weather makes this fair perfect. The fair is now ten years old and Art Basel Miami which is twined with Basel in Switzerland is an off-shoot of the older established mother fair held annually. December is the perfect time to mount this fair the weather and temperature is perfect for events in and out of doors.
Miami was inundated with satellite fairs this year, some two dozen, many excellent and worth noting, NADA, which had sold a great painting by Eddie Martinez. The Compendium mounted a group project called ‘Do It’ there were also several British galleries showing, including ArtLyst favourite, Bischoff Weiss. Untitled, Miami Project where the Haines Gallery had outstanding work by Ai Weiwei and David Nash, as well as the established Scope and Pulse who were showing some first rate work from first rate emerging galleries. Design Miami, was filled with eye candy and some unusual emerging cutting edge features. Bill Viola’s solo exhibition at the Miami Contemporary Museum of Art was a must see. David Grinn’s excellent handling of the Video Project program this year’s main fair was also unmissable. Art NOva also had interesting emerging work to digest. Private Collection’s worth seeing were mounted at the Rubell and the De La Cruz family collections both fine examples of what money can buy when you actually have taste.
The Parties were opulent this year. The opening night party at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami’s Deco district was the ultimate art party I’ve seen this year. Other good events were the launch of Dior Homme‘s Kris Van Assche, Bruce Weber and W Magazine‘s Stefano Tonchi party to celebrate the world premiere of Bruce Weber‘s new film ‘Can I Make The Music Fly’ all was in celebration of the brand new and fabulous Dior Homme Miami boutique. The Warhol party at Fendi Casa also a place to be, Hole Gallery party at Delano Hotel. Lisson Gallery’s dinner at Milos and White Cube Soho House bash and Vito Schnabel’s Party at the W Hotel. The curators brunch was also a great way to wake up on Saturday morning at the Sagamore Art Hotel. Absolut Vodka,sponsored one of the best pavilions this year. Los Carpinteros erected a beach bar by the ocean and then hosted concerts and parties fueled by the best vodka beverages on the planet.
The Murals at the Wynwood Walls founded by real estate developer Tony Goldmawere well worth a visit and even Shepard Fairey had pride of place creating one of the most visual wall piece.
Lots more to add to this so please check back tomorrow for more photos and words! – Paul Carter Robinson ArtLyst 2012