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Ready for Frenzy? Art Week Arrives

A Crescendo of Art and Design


Pink Beasts | Fernando Laposse (Courtesy of Design District)

Photographer:

Pink Beasts | Fernando Laposse (Courtesy of Design District)

Irene Sperber

More than 70,000 people are expected to walk through the doors of the voluptuous Miami Beach Convention Center during Miami's Art Week (Thursday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 8, invitation previews, Tuesday, Dec. 3 and Wednesday, Dec. 4). The role of art in 2019 will be fully examined by each and every one.

Jacob Gils, In the Gallery (Courtesy of Art Miami)

Photographer:

Jacob Gils, In the Gallery (Courtesy of Art Miami)

This main event, Art Basel Miami Beach, is billed as the premiere show of modern and contemporary art, featuring established masters with room for the up and comers to join the top tier. Geared towards curators, museums, galleries and collectors, Art Week will provide a remarkable opportunity to form individual thoughts through the prism of contemporary art. It's impossible to fathom a world devoid of design and the thirst for creative ideas. Even if you do not imagine yourself as "into art," it's woven into the fabric of who we are.

Nineteen satellite fairs will pepper the Miami-Dade landscape. It's hopeless to spin by more than a large handful without exploding into a cultural casserole. Concentrate on fairs that mean something personally, then toss in several that may open strange new vistas just for fun. A few alluring moments of frothy bliss are allowed if you insist…there is no shortage of Champagne chic and celebrity sightings if you need a palate cleanser to refresh your didactic exhaustion. Go ahead, take that selfie if you must. Your social media page will thank you.

Fair-ness...

Art Basel Miami Beach is the undisputed raison d'être of the week, augmented by worthwhile subsets setting the bar ever higher.

Design Miami's 2019 theme is "Elements: Water," featuring a strong representation of Japanese and African designers, along with women of the twentieth century as they address the ecological issues surrounding our most elemental survival ingredient.

Paris Chaise Lounge I / Daniel Arsham, 2019 (Courtesy of Design Miami)

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Paris Chaise Lounge I / Daniel Arsham, 2019 (Courtesy of Design Miami)

This Art Basel sanctioned fair is physically adjacent to the main fair at Convention Center Drive between 18th and 19th Street in the newly completed six-acre Pride Park. A strong contender in the "favored" category with inveterate fair goers, Design Miami is billed as a "global forum for design." DM is awash in the most clever compositions of everyday living. Their annual Swarovski presentation will examine the theme of Water, an essential to crystal production. Caution: You may get a lethal case of the "I wants" as you pass by jewelry and home furnishing design, or this years eye popping vehicle, the Lexus Sunshower installation (to stick with the water theme), a LC 500 Convertible Concept by Tokyo-born designer Nao Tamura. As a tantalizer, their space will offer samples of "Ooho, the innovative new water capsules made of edible seaweed extract." And no, I will not attempt to explain. You're on your own. Find your shoes and haul yourself over there.

The 30th anniversary of the internationally top ranked Art Miami fair heralds in a staple of our community and a lone harbinger of what was to come. This ancient outpost of civility stood alone for many years before Art Basel opened up the floodgates 18 years ago to an internationally acclaimed cultural season.

In partnership with the Perez Art Museum Miami, Art Miami has donated more than $200,000 toward PAMM's vision. This fair, located in the old Miami Herald site downtown at One Miami Plaza, continues to remain at the forefront of Miami Art Week. Ignore it at your enlightening peril. Over 170 galleries from 22 countries exhibit.

CONTEXT art fair (Courtesy of Art Miami/CONTEXT)

Photographer:

CONTEXT art fair (Courtesy of Art Miami/CONTEXT)

Expect these artists

Marcel Duchamp, Wilfredo Lam, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock, Joseph Albers, Alexander Calder, Yayoi Kusama (Kusama is also showing at the ICA Museum in the Design District through 1/31/20), Anish Kapoor, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, John Chamberlain, Damien Hirst, Marc Chagall, Donald Judd, Ed Ruscha, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Donald Sultan, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Salvador Dali, et cetera, et cetera, and so forth and so on…

Art Miami's highly regarded adjunct fair, CONTEXT, is but a short connected walk to a second exhibition tent so you can peruse both fairs concurrently. (it's killing me, but I'm going to ignore the "two tents/too tense" joke here).

The CONTEXT fair is "dedicated to the development and reinforcement of emerging and mid-career artists" in 96 galleries from 28 countries. "Fresh and significant works" are on exhibition both indoors and out encompassing presentations in their Sculpture Park, Video program and Sound Positions.

Miami's ode to high end design is at full throttle in the Design District. Their Palm Court event space will be hosting a Versace collaboration with interior designer Sasha Bikoff presenting the new installation South Beach Stories, gleaned from a 1993 Versace family publication of the same name. (Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8). Versace's unique take on the South Beach mega hit era is sure to bring back a few memories; and I'm afraid you probably did do all those things you hope no one remembers.

Necklace 2 (1973) by David Watkins (Courtesy of Didier Ltd. at Design Miami)

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Necklace 2 (1973) by David Watkins (Courtesy of Didier Ltd. at Design Miami)

If Versace's quirky glitz and glam does not make you sit up and notice, perhaps lying down will make a stronger impression. Hammocks are involved in the Design Districts 2019 Neighborhood Commission. For the Design Miami satellite installation, Pink Beasts, London based Mexican designer Fernando Laposse affixed strands of pink sisal tassels through the trees leading to a collection of pink hairy sloths hanging from ropes, trees and arches. With textile designer Angela Damman, they also hung ten sculptural hammocks from metal structures. You may collapse on them for a brief moment to contemplate pink hallucinations from your prostrate self as visions of sugar plums dance in (or on) your head.

After you've had your spirits lifted at the Japanese House of Suntory's "elegant" bar in the Design Districts Jungle Plaza, (3801 NE 1st Ave, Wednesday, Dec 4 to Sunday, Dec. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m.), it will be time to stop by the Moore building, a trip in itself. Larry Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch present "The Extreme Present" (191 NE 40 Street, Wednesday, Dec 3 from 5 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec 4 through Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec 8 from noon to 6 p.m.), quite possibly another extravagant moment in a week of, um, extremities.

The above cauldron of information is but a brief synopsis of what is to come. Choosing which to write about is not half as difficult as choosing what to attend before your feet fall off and you lose your mind getting from event to event. It's worth it all to have such internationally exciting exhibitions within crawling distance. Pacing is key.

For times, tickets, talks and general information:

Design Miami (Dec 3-8)

Art Miami (Dec 3-8)

Design Miami

Miami Design District

Transportation:

  • A courtesy shuttle from the fairs to the JW Marriott Marquis and the Perez Art Museum Miami will operate during fair hours.
  • Brightline from Palm Beach and Ft Lauderdale - promo code ARTMIAMI for 25 percent off SMART rides.
  • Metromover downtown
  • Wynwood Trolley & the Biscayne Trolley, free and connect at the Adrienne Arsht Metromover Station.

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