While Art Basel Miami Beach no doubt remains the titular grande dame of Basel week, the cavalcade of satellite fairs and shows that have cropped up in its wake long ago established themselves as major draws of their own.
The return of major fairs with a wide representation of international galleries, as well as newer entries that focus on artists from specific countries, is a testament to the growing worldwide appeal of Miami’s art scene — and the aggressive courtship of globe-trotting art collectors.
With the repeat engagement of roughly a dozen art-week mainstays, and the addition of four new festivals, art lovers scrambling to make the rounds from South Beach to the mainland will be grateful for an ever-increasing number of shuttle buses available for transport to even the most far-flung festivals — such as a New York import setting up temporary shop in Little Havana, a neighborhood not typically known to attract Basel jet-setters.
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• Art Miami, the sprawling and ambitious Wynwood fair, is among the major fairs returning this year. The festival brings 120 international galleries representing 17 countries to its Midtown pavilion for its 24th edition.
“This is the one week in America that is the most important for the international art market,” said Nick Korniloff, director and co-founder of Art Miami. He says this year’s iteration of Art Miami is the largest to date.
In addition to gallery offerings such as the painted-aluminum Keith Haring piece S-Man, the fair will also feature large-scale installations curated by LaRete Art Projects in and around Art Miami’s three main pavilions.
• CONTEXT, the cutting-edge sister fair to Art Miami, is connected to its larger counterpart by an outdoor café, lounge and curated outdoor art exhibition. Sixty-five international galleries will exhibit in the fair’s second year, which takes place in a stand-alone 45,000-square-foot pavilion directly adjacent to the Art Miami pavilion. CONTEXT’s offerings this year includes the return of ART FROM BERLIN, representing a cross-section of established and emerging exhibitors from the German capital.
• AQUA Art Miami is new to the Art Miami fold — although the fair itself is in its ninth year. The Miami Beach fair takes place in the recently renovated Aqua Hotel.
“AQUA is an important acquisition,” said Korniloff, who noted that shuttles will be available to ferry people between Midtown and Miami Beach. “It shows our commitment to developing young talent and galleries in a way the gives us a footprint on the Beach.”
• Design Miami/ is also expanding in scope as well as size this year, said director Marianne Goebl.
Other art week mainstays returning this year include:
• PULSE comes back to the Ice Palace in downtown Miami, offering a curated selection of contemporary art as well as PULSE Play, a video and technology lounge presenting work by both emerging and established artists .
• SCOPE returns this year — but at a much different venue, eschewing last year’s Midtown location in favor of a 70,000-square-foot pavilion on the sands of Miami Beach. The fair continues its partnership with VH1, including an indoor lounge sponsored by the music network and a curated effort called ART + MUSIC + BEACH.
• Red Dot Miami will occupy the same spot near Art Miami, with roughly 60 exhibitors representing artists from as close to home as Aventura and as far away as Beijing.
Other fairs returning this year include The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) at the Deauville Beach Resort in North Beach and UNTITLED, which debuted in 2012 and once again will occupy a temporary pavilion on the sands of South Beach.
• Brazil ArtFair is among the new offerings this year in the Wynwood Art District, presenting work from Brazilian art galleries and a selection of innovative contemporary furniture by 18 Brazil’s leading design studios.
The brainchild of Sao Paolo-based couple Michel Serebrinsky and Ester Krivkin, the fair was a natural extension of their love of art — and their desire to promote the works of their fellow Brazilians.
“We want to change a little the way people perceive Brazil,” said Serebrinsky, a businessman whose career includes stints in IT, advertising and events promotion. “If you ask the average American what they know about Brazil, they’ll say, ‘I know samba, I know caipirinha, I know Carnival, I know soccer.’ But we want them to know Brazilian art.”
• Arts KUALA LUMPUR-Miami also brings a specific geographic focus, showing only Malaysian artists at its Wynwood space. Supported by the Malaysian government, the show will highlight 30 artists during its inaugural year.
Other new shows this year:
• New Material, founded and directed by the Canadian conceptual artist Christine Kirouac, will occupy The Chesterfield Hotel & Suites and pledges to bring a more intimate roster of new artists to South Beach as a counterpoint to the more established fairs.
• SPECTRUM Miami, a juried fair in Midtown, will bring in roughly 50 galleries to show works that range from contemporary works to the original bronze models for famous Michelangelo works including The Louvre’s Slave, The Medici Tomb’s River God, and the immortal David.
• Fridge Art Fair NYC, an import from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, strikes out into relatively uncharted territory — at least during Basel week — with an edgy show at Little Havana’s Performing Arts Exchange (PAX).
“There’s something magical about Little Havana. I can’t explain it,” said fair director Eric Ginsburg, a New York-based artist. He conceded the location “is a bit of a gamble. We’re not Miami Beach. We’re not Wynwood.”
In addition to partnerships with Street Art NYC, Fridge will infuse some of Little Havana’s distinctive flavor into the mix, with participation from local street artists and live performances from the Havana-born Tomasito Cruz, considered a virtuoso timba drummer, and beloved Miami band the Spam Allstars.
“We want the fair completely accessible, fun and full of life,” said Ginsburg, adding that shuttle buses will be available. “That’s what we want to come across. That art is life.”