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Miami Art Week and Art Basel…

[05/12/2017]

In Miami traces of damage caused by Hurricane Irma have been erased. The city looks like it’s had a face-lift and the galleries and museums have reopened in preparation for a massive inflow of art lovers from all over the planet.

Thousands of artists, tens of thousands of works … This week marks the opening of the Miami Art Week and the 16th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, from 6 to 10 December. The central event of the week, the Art Basel Art Fair – which will alone plays host to nearly 300 galleries and artworks by 4,000 artists – is the event to which art aficionados and collectors will be most attracted, primarily for the quality of its offer. While the most powerful galleries show at Art Basel, lots of other events are going on simultaneously. A selection of high-quality galleries also shows at Art Miami and every year there are roughly twenty other fairs, between Wynwood and South Beach.

Taking full advantage of the momentum created by Art Basel, art fairs and exhibitions pop up all over the region, including the Aqua show which occupies a hotel where each room hosts an emerging or mid-career artist, and the Scope Fair which each year attracts more than 50,000 visitors over four days on the beach next to Ocean Drive. There will also be a lot to see in Wynwood, the city’s ultra-creative neighbourhood, that will be particularly lively during the week. Wander randomly in the streets of Wynwood and you will discover young galleries, street artists in action and a whole range of artistic and musical performances.

Art Basel and its peripheral events has also had a very positive impact on the development of Miami’s cultural institutions. Downtown, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) offers strong support for Latin American art. The Pérez Art Museum collections (hosting, among others, works by Frank Stella, George Segal, Marcel Duchamp, Wifredo Lam, Vik Muniz, Fernand Leger and Niki de Saint Phalle) have recently been promised a donation of $10 million from collector Jorge M. Pérez as well as many artworks by Cuban artists including Hernan Bas, Carlos Garaicoa and the Los Carpinteros collective. The museum is currently showing off 170 new works recently acquired during Art Basel in an exhibition entitled On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Perez Collection.

Another “must” in the area is the Bass Museum of Contemporary Art which reopened on 29 October 2017 after renovation work that began in 2015. The museum has been considerably expanded with two new exhibition spaces and it reopened with an exhibition dedicated to Ugo RONDINONE (1964), followed by another dedicated to Pascale Marthine TAYOU (1967) during Art Basel and a third devoted to recent works by the Argentine artist Mika ROTTENBERG (1976).

Lastly, a trip to Miami is an opportunity to discover the new jewels in the permanent collection of the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art (Miami ICA) in the heart of Miami’s Design District, as well as the 15,000 square meters of its sculptures garden. The six monumental works and the installations commissioned for the opening of the new ICA were revealed to the public on 1 December 2017.

So this year, Miami’s cultural offer has been significantly transformed and enriched and the dynamic will no doubt continue next year. In 2018, the Rubell Family Collection will open a new exhibition area in the Allapattah district. New acquisitions and transformations maintain Miami as an exciting platform on the highly competitive Contemporary art scene. The city has taken a firm position on the global stage and plays a privileged role in the circulation of Latin American art throughout the USA. During this incredibly ‘arty’ week, the rest of the USA comes to Miami…

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