Art Basel: The don’t-miss collection

Thanks to South Florida’s permanent museums, Miami has access to extraordinary collections of art all year long. Here are some of the works available this weekend only. Some are more entertainment than art, but all should make you think. And that&

12/08/2012 10:15 AM

12/08/2012 10:50 AM

$2 billion in great art: Luscious paintings such as Wayne Thiebaud’s “Island River Farms” (Acquavella, booth C4), Ai Weiwei’s intricate wood-and-metal sculpture (Neugerriemschneider, C15), and a selection of exquisite Calder sculptures from the Beyeler Foundation (C1) and Hammer Galleries (D2) are among the many works (total value just under $2 billion) that make this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach a standout. At the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Automotive art: Torque that zips from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, seats spacious enough for a ball gown and handling so facile you can steer with one hand are enough to qualify a Bugatti as art. French artist Bernar Venet has taken it a step further with a one-of-a-kind design that incorporates formulas used in the car’s unique engineering on the hood and embroidered into leather in the interior door panels. Oh, and it’s for sale, too. If you have to ask how much See it at the Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St.

Lam: Wifredo Lam’s Afro-Cuban sensibilities have so enthralled collectors that finding more than a handful in a single fair is unusual. At the Leon Tovar booth (C7) in Art Miami, you can see almost a dozen in one place, with still more at the Cernuda booth (A30).

Architecture for dogs : Don’t call them dog houses. The structures divined by a dozen renowned architects engaged by Japanese designer Kenya Hara are anything but. Bring your own canine friend to play in them from 3 to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 180 NE 39th St.

Railroaded: Artist Chul Hyun Ahn’s “Railroad Nostalgia” reflects both viewers and times past. The only thing missing is the light at the end of the tunnel. Art Miami, C. Grimaldis Gallery (B9).

Crystal palace: From the outside, the 20-foot high house designed by British architect Asif Khan and studded with 1.4 million Swarovski crystals is mesmerizing. Stand inside, and you’ll be completely wowed. Design Miami/, across from the Miami Beach Convention Center.

What a girl wants : Designer Ted Noten really does know. His clever “7 Necessities’’ items, made of hard plastic, includes a Dior edition pistol with lip gloss in the silencer and diamonds in the bullet pendant. The medieval chastity belt has a wave video inside — and is opened with a key only the wearer can access. Clever. Ornamentum booth at Design Miami.

Destination District: Bypass the glossy shops and head straight for the art; special exhibits and the de la Cruz Collection are open Saturday night as well as Saturday during the day and Sunday. Worthy stops include Mestizo City, an installation exploring style and sensibility along the Tex-Mex border (40th Street near Miami Avenue); Luis Pons’ Deflation of the Inflatable Villa, referencing Miami’s real estate bust-and-boom; and STOREFRONT, an exhibition of Miami artists arranged by the de la Cruz Collection and District developer Craig Robins (180 NE 39th Street, Suite 120).

Gator in the Bay : If you haven’t yet seen the 100-foot, 40-ton gator floating in Biscayne Bay, you’ll get a chance this weekend, when it will be “swimming’’ between the Julia Tuttle and Venetian causeways or stationed at the Miami Yacht Club, 1000 MacArthur Cswy. It is designed to promote Everglades restoration.

Art miniature: Look into Kenji Sugiyama’s “Institute of Intimate Museums” on their eye-level pedestals, and the view is of long hallways going on and on, filled with gallery-goers and art works. But step to the side and you see these little dioramas are set up vertically in the stands, with a single mirror creating the amazing illusion. At Standing Pine-cube (D07) SCOPE art fair, 110 NE 36th St., Midtown Miami.

Art bar: Art Week sometimes seems to be about parties, but it isn’t. It really is about the art. And so is the Absolut art bar designed by Los Carpinteros, part of the Art Public sculptures installed between the Bass Museum and the sand at 21st Street and Collins Avenue. The structure is splendid. And if you do drink, well, avoid the spicy chili cocktail. Caliente.

Anne Tschida, Anna Edgerton, Galena Mosovich and Jane Wooldridge contributed to this report.

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Miami Art Watch Blog

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