What to Expect at Art Basel Miami Beach This Year

By Matt Stewart | November 27, 2018 | Culture National

Art Basel closes out a year of electrifying, creative discovery in grand Miami style.

art-basel.jpg“Chopped Cheese” (2017, acrylic, watercolor, flash, crayon, colored pencil, oil pastel, pencil, handcolored photocopy, handcolored canvas on canvas), 96 inches by 84 inches, by Tschabalala Self, who showed at Art Basel in Miami Beach last year.

In the September 15 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Kelly Crow declared Aspen’s burgeoning art market a “microclimate,” meaning that not only is there a thriving scene locally, but that Aspen’s importance internationally is noteworthy. This definition of Aspen’s creative community, avid collectors and important institutions is a significant concept to keep in mind for those who feel that the global art market is saturated, and that there are no new frontiers due to the nonstop coverage of globetrotters attending fairs, auctions and high-profile events across the continents and the ever-more staggering prices being achieved for works at auction—think Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled” ($110.5 million) and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” ($450.3 million) last year.

art-basel-2.jpg“Gender Troll” (2018, acrylic on canvas), 70.87 inches by 70.87 inches, by Mathieu Malouf, who showed at Art Basel in Switzerland this year.

Art Basel, the international tour de force behind the fairs in Basel, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Miami, took this to heart when it launched its first Art Basel Cities in Buenos Aires in November 2017. Through this new program, Art Basel was able to bring to Buenos Aires a new level of hyperlocality and deep-dive exploration to complement what it does so well on a global scale. Over the course of the last three and a half years, Art Basel worked closely with the Argentine government, the city of Buenos Aires and the local art community to realize the first iteration of this program in an authentic, substantive way. The new program proved a smashing hit, as more than 33,500 local and international visitors attended the Art Basel Cities Week, which included exhibitions, talks and workshops in the Argentine capital.

When Art Basel in Miami Beach opens on December 6, the 17th edition will not only showcase outstanding works from more than 4,000 artists and over 200 galleries, but will be imbued with the energy from Buenos Aires, which will continue at Art Basel in Hong Kong in March and in Basel in June. “We just returned from Argentina and are extremely excited by the experience,” says Noah Horowitz, director Americas for Art Basel. “It has us all thinking outside the box about how our support changes people’s perception of what we do and how we can continue to encourage the art ecology by connecting artists and galleries to collectors and media.”

art-basel-3.jpg“Singers” (2017, oil on canvas), 32 inches by 45 inches, by Francesco Clemente, who showed at Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2016.

A large contingent of Aspenites will be among the more than 80,000 expected attendees in Miami savoring this spirit as well as the astonishing array of paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, video and digital art across Art Basel’s distinctive Sectors. There will also be a number of surprise-and-delight moments happening at events and parties all around town and one much anticipated addition that will set a glamorous stage for it all. “The biggest news this year is the completion of Miami’s convention center,” Horowitz adds. “The state-of-the-art facility was only partially open last year due to Hurricane Irma. It was completed this fall and will serve as an unparalleled gathering place for our audience, exhibitors, collectors and partners.”