The visual feast that is Art Week is full of must-see exhibits and Instagrammable moments. We’ve chosen a handful of our ephemeral favorites. See them while you can — most will be gone after Sunday.
ON THE MAINLAND
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A Dangerous Game: The 1960s Cold War threat that sent a generation ducking beneath their school desks (who really thought that was going to save you from a nuclear attack?) has re-emerged as the Twitter contest between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has heated up. That threat is the subject of a 27-foot sculpture “A Dangerous Game” at Northwest 22nd Street and Northwest Fifth Avenue, across the street from Mana Wynwood, in which a fiberglass hand clutches a 19-foot resin-and-steel missile. The artist is Italian Lorenzo Quinn, whose previous work on the threat of climate change was shown at the Venice Biennale. He’s the son of the late actor Anthony Quinn. FREE.
Apex Predator: Outrage over the 2008 financial debacle and the uberwealthy, uberpowerful bankers who caused it but escaped unscathed led London-based artists Dominick Young and Mariana Fantich to create the sleek shoes, perfumes and other stylish consumables of the Darwinian Vodoo brand. Look closer, and grotesqueries become clear: That pair of red child’s Mary Jane shoes are lined with teeth; the exquisite clothing worn by the predator couple and their offspring are made of human hair. The initial jab at the financial lords has been expanded to include the military establishment; some items also include military ribbons associated with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The point of this sly, sophisticated and cynical display is the cost of exteme competitiveness, when the ultimate — or apex — predators go for the jugular in a winner-takes-all contest where the trophies are human lives. The exhibit presented by Barrett Barrera Projects at 219 NW 23rd St. in Wynwood is free; all items are for sale, from $1,200 to $45,000. BEWARE: Northwest Second Avenue in Wynwood is closed to cars this weekend. Open noon-7 p.m. through Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. FREE.
NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance Fair): Though some of the art at this popular fair of fresh artworks has become pricey, one of the best aspects is free: swinging in the hammocks in the yard at the Ice Palace, corner of North Miami Avenue and North 14th Street. Fair tickets cost $20, $10 for seniors and students. newartdealers.org.
Flagler Street, downtown Miami: Two Flagler Street spaces near Northeast Second Street — owned by Mana — have been transformed into art week exhibits. The 777 International Mall building, on the north side of Flagler opposite the Olympia Theater, features exhibits by Puerto Rican artists displaced by Hurricane Maria who are being hosted in residencies by Mana; both their stories and their artworks are compelling. (Don’t miss the “shop” that looks like it sells baby carriages; it’s really an interactive installation by Andria Morales.) Upstairs, the much-expanded Prizm Fair features videos, paintings and sculptures, some with the artists on hand. Across the street, on the southeast corner of Flagler and Northeast Second Avenue, Nike and Juxtapoz Magazine have created their own mini-fair featuring ultracontemporary works including a newsstand (complete with free papers) by Shepard Fairey, murals, T-shirts and giant sculptures (some best seen from upstairs). Prizm has a small entry fee; most other exhibits FREE.
Go virtual: It sounds hokey: Vegas leaves Vegas for Miami. Turns out the virtual reality exhibit is a knockout. Inside the Zadok Gallery, 2534 N. Miami Ave., visitors move through five different rooms, each equipped with VR headsets that showcase the artistic vision of a Vegas visit from five different international artists. One is the ultimate drive on the Strip, another is like being flung into Oz, and yet another is like falling into a kaleidoscope. The whole thing is a ploy to get us to go to the real Vegas, hosted by the city’s marketing arm. It runs 1 p.m.-9 p.m., only through Saturday. FREE.
Art Miami / CONTEXT: Art Miami is more accessible than ever, thanks to its new waterfront location at the former Miami Herald site, Northeast 14th Street and Biscayne Bay. There’s plenty inside the fair worth your time (car lovers will be in for a treat; art lovers will find works by Marc Chagall, Edward Hopper and Keith Haring, among others.) But the most picturesque moment may be outside the fair on the waterfront terrace, where you can see all the way to, well, Miami Beach. Word to the wise: Take public transportation. If you insist on driving, avoid the fair entrance and go straight to the nearby Omni parking lot at Biscayne Boulevard and 15th Street.
Abstract / Not Abstract: For the third year, mega art dealer Larry Gagosian and powerhouse Jeffrey Deitch have teamed up to offer a free show of first-rate works in the Design District. This year the focus is on new abstract paintings, including works by Tauba Auerbach, Urs Fischer, Elizabeth Neel, Sterling Ruby and Richard Prince. The exhibit is a great way to get a handle on the genre. It’s also located inside the Moore Building (191 NE 40th St., Miami Design District), whose airy space dominated by a Zaha Hadid sculpture is always a treat. Open 10-8 p.m., 10-6 p.m. Sunday. FREE.
ON THE BEACH
Art Basel in Miami Beach: There never seems to be enough time to take in all that’s offered at the Big Fair, as it is fondly called. Be sure your smartphone has plenty of storage space. This year’s eye candy includes Ai WeiWei’s Lego self-portrait (in the style of Andy Warhol) and the nearby Dustin Hoffman-esque figure slouched in a chair by Pawel Althamer, both at neuger-reimschneider; and Tania Candiani’s “Obreros 2003” poncho made from paper hats at Vermelho. And love him or hate him, you can’t miss Damien Hirst’s “Sacred Heart of Hope,” a dagger through the heart (actually a bull’s heart) flanked by white dove wings, at White Cube. Tip: This year, you can only enter the Miami Beach Convention Center via Washington Avenue, which is partly blocked between Dadeland Boulevard and 17th Street; valet is at the Fillmore on the corner at 17th Street. Do yourself a favor and grab a Lyft. Day tickets cost $50 online, $60 at the door, $36 for college students and seniors 62 and over.
Design Miami/: Because of its emphasis on furniture, Design Miami/, the sister fair to Art Basel, invariably spurs interaction between objects and fairgoers. This year, you can walk into a recreation of the Ghent home of artistic duo Muller Van Severen from AirBnb, immerse yourself in a 1971 isolation sphere by Maurice Claude Vidili at Maison Gerard, or get psychedelic in the color-changing space “Becoming,” by Luftwerk, presented by Perrier-Jouët. Day tickets cost $25 online, $30 at the door. Students and seniors with ID pay $20 online, $25 at the door. Combo tickets with Art Basel cost $65 online, $75 at the door.
Cos x Studio Swine: When your eyes and feet are ready for a break, head to 1415 Euclid Avenue, the little-known space called Temple House. There, in a free exhibit associated with Design Miami/, you’ll find the most delightful exhibit of the week. The name — from the Cos clothing company and exhibit designers Studio Swine — may be complicated, but the show is simple: Mist-filled bubbles exude slowly from a metal tree structure, floating down until they rest on gloved hands or hit the floor and burst in a puff of tropical scents — citrus and orange blossoms, night-blooming jasmine, coconut. Upstairs, you can sit on the shaded deck and use the free Wi-Fi. FREE.
On the sand: The colorful, seemingly kinetic works by Venezuelan Carlos Cruz-Diaz are all around town, from crosswalks and flags near City Hall in Coral Gables to Art Miami and Art Basel. One of the best places to get a sense of his work is at the free shipping-container installation set up by SCAD, the Savannah College of Art & Design, in the sand at 1200 Ocean Drive, outside UNTITLED.
Sculpture by night: Art Basel’s Art Public sculpture display on the lawn outside The Bass Museum (2100 Collins Avenue) is always a hit, especially at night. This year’s display, curated by Philipp Kaiser, includes the poignant “Domestic Violence: Morir Matando” by Manuela Viera Gallo and the whimsical “Some Guy with a Piercing” by Daniel Knorr. Walk a block east and you’ll be at the two-story Audemars Piguet pavilion, created this year by Lars Jan to underscore climate change. (Yes, there’s a bar inside.) FREE.
Chill out: After wildly successful visits to San Francisco, L.A. and New York, the Museum of Ice Cream brings its latest pop-up exhibition to Miami Beach near the Faena Hotel, at 3400 Collins Avenue. As a local, you’ll want to wait until after this week to go, when ticket prices drop. But don’t wait to buy them; the installation runs only through January, with a following that includes Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow, you know it’s going to be in high demand.
Miami Snowman: Those of us who have lived here awhile know that it can actually snow in Miami — and we’re not talking about the old Cocaine Cowboy days. Artist Daniel Knorr has surmounted the temperature challenge with one of his trademark Snowman sculptures — this one just unveiled at the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Jade Signature condominium at 17070 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach — called “Bonhomme Universe.” The 10-foot snowman-on-the-beach is covered in 28 types of gemstones. FREE.