Six highlights of this year’s Art Week include an upgraded Convention Center, brand-new hotels and a slew of first-time gallery showings.
1. THE CONVENTION CENTER
Since its arrival in 2002, Art Basel Miami Beach has delivered some of the world’s most imaginative creations. The building that housed them, however, stood in stark contrast, a rectangle of utilitarian simplicity. This year, however, the festival returns to a reborn Miami Beach Convention Center. On the outside, Fentress Architects collaborated with Arquitectonica to create a series of more than 500 aluminum fins that mimic ocean waves in their gradual curve along the structure. Inside, the vestibule is far airier, with two stories of glass filling the white and silver space with light.
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With the building’s re-opening, Art Basel organizers have decided to forgo the fair’s long-running Public sector. In past years, the sector has taken over Miami Beach green spaces with large exhibits and artworks. Instead, organizers say they’re concentrating on what’s inside the Convention Center. artbasel.com.
BY THE NUMBERS
Art Basel dates: December 6-9.
Expected attendance: 80,000 people.
Length of Convention Center’s upgrade: 26 months.
Cost: $620 million.
Overall space: 1.4 million square feet.
Exhibition space: 500,000 square feet.
Increase to footprint: 245 percent.
Trees added to exterior: 1,287.
Total acreage: 25.
Mangroves to be planted on Collins Canal: 570.
2. BASEL LIKE A PRO
New this year, Art Basel is offering a Premium+ Card. For $450 online or $500 at the show, the four-day pass includes priority tour bookings, access to several South Florida museums, VIP status at the show’s in-house restaurant and a copy of the official Art Basel book. artbasel.com/miami-beach/buy-tickets.
3. GLOBAL GALLERIES
Art Basel features 268 galleries from 34 countries. New invitees for 2018 include a few far-flung participants:
* Cardi Gallery, Milan and London.
* Carlos/Ishikawa, London.
* Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome.
* Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong.
* Josh Lilley, London.
* Selma Feriani Gallery, Sidi Bou Said.
* Linn Lühn, Düsseldorf.
* blank projects, Cape Town.
* Tiwani Contemporary, London.
* Madragoa, Lisbon.
* This Is No Fantasy + dianne tanzer gallery, Melbourne.
* Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris.
* Parque Galeria, Mexico City.
* Sabrina Amrani, Madrid.
* Paci contemporary, Brescia.
* Walden, Buenos Aires.
Ever wonder who chooses what galleries get invited to Art Basel Miami Beach? It all comes down to the Selection Committee:
* Timothy Blum: Co-founder of Blum & Poe gallery, known for experimental exhibitions and with locations in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo.
* Chantal Crousel: Founded the Paris gallery that bears her name and specializes in works that draw from artists’ cultural heritages.
* David Fleiss: Represents the famed Galerie 1900-2000, a participant in the first Art Basel in Switzerland.
* José Kuri: Helped found the roving gallery kurimanzutto, which now has permanent homes in Mexico City and New York.
* Friedrich Petzel: With two locations in New York and one in Berlin, his Petzel gallery specializes in contemporary works and mainstays from the past generation.
* Mary Sabbatino: Her Galerie Lelong & Co. takes a global view of art, repping artists from multiple continents in many styles and mediums.
4. NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN ART
Art Basel’s Nova sector is all about new art — specifically, works created in the past three years. It’s traditionally a spot where the show takes risks and often succeeds, like last year, when The New York Times called the sector “particularly rich,” thanks in part to massive abstract works from Lucy Dodd and glowing structures by Dawn Kasper. Twenty-nine participants earned an invite to the sector this year. Be on the lookout for sculptures by Mexican artist Pia Camil and an installation inspired by Paleolithic Venus figurines from French artist Marguerite Humeau.
5. WHERE TO STAY
Those who do Miami Art Week right know to stay on the beach, where short walks and rideshare trips mean more time with the art. Among the new hotels to open this year is the renovated Cadillac Hotel. Built in 1940, the Cadillac is imbued with Art Deco charm and was recently renovated into a 357-room bespoke property managed by Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Also new is Generator Hostel & Hotel, the first U.S. location of a popular European chain. Yes, Generator is a hostel, but not like the flea-bitten bunkhouses you remember from that one college trip. Share a room for about $50 or book a private stay for about $350 and up. cadillachotelmiamibeach.com, generatorhostels.com.
6. DESIGN MIAMI/
The “fundamental concerns of our time” will be tackled by a new retrospective of works by husband-and-wife artistic team Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández at Design Miami/. They are the recipients of the 2018 Design Miami/ Visionary Award, which is given to innovative artists who have made a lasting impression in their fields. Among the works on display will be Disarm (Guitar), in which Reyes used weapons collected and destroyed by the Mexican army. Join Reyes and Fernández for a talk at 3 p.m. December 5 at the Design Miami/ exhibit space adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center. miami2018.designmiami.com.