It was time again for the art world and throngs of celebrities to descend upon Miami for the 13th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach as well as various satellite fairs, parties, events and concerts. This year yet another of Miami Art Week’s art fairs, Pulse, followed UNTITLED. and SCOPE to the sands of South Beach, Midtown remained the home of Art Miami, CONTEXT, Miami Project and Red Dot art fairs, while Midtown’s neighboring Design District hosted individual shows like Michael Vasquez’s One Deep and Spinello Projects’ Gucci sponsored Kris Knight solo show, as well as a number of high-end private events. Wynwood was the hotspot for both local and international street artists again, downtown Miami saw thousands of additional visitors who came to attend events or see exhibitions at Pérez Art Museum Miami and Little Haiti emerged as one of the most talked about Miami neighborhoods with a lively, creative, young art scene.
Art Basel Miami Beach
The 13th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach at the Convention Center featured a strong selection of 267 leading international galleries from 31 countries. For 2014, the fair debuted a new sector: Survey. The new sector, dedicated to precise art-historical projects, featured 13 galleries presenting solo exhibitions by Ralston Crawford, Paul Feeley, Poul Gernes, Tetsuya Ishida, Alison Knowles, Lotty Rosenfeld, Niki de Saint Phalle, Michelle Stuart and Alfredo Volpi. The ever exciting Nova section again presented some stand out talent and some of the most thought-provoking and inspiring works to be seen in the Convention Center, such as the performance installation by Brazilian artists Cibelle Cavalli Bastos and Patricia Leite. Another stand out aspect of Art Basel Miami Beach is the opportunity to attend talks and panel discussions with world renowned artists, curators and art critics. For 2014 visitors were treated to intimate, engaging and insightful dialogues between the likes of Marina Abramovic, Julian Schnabel, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Mario Garcia Torres and Ryan Gander.
THE SATELLITE FAIRS
The original Miami art fair celebrated its 25th year in 2014 by adding even more exhibition space. On 250,000 square feet, Art Miami and its adjacent sister fair CONTEXT presented an array of dynamic projects, exhibitions and art works by more than 200 galleries, showcasing 1,875 artists from 60 countries. Special projects included Art from Berlin, a collection of unique Banksy works presented by Keszler Gallery, the Miami Light Project and the 1AN Symposium. A stand out was an Art Miami foundation gallery, Galerie Bender from Munich, Germany, a participant since the inception of Art Miami and instrumental in decisions such as the fair’s move to Midtown years ago. Owner Renate Bender reported a successful year showcasing and selling works by Inge Dick, Peter Weber and Robert Sagerman. Another noteworthy exhibitor was the Japanese gallery Yufuku, showcasing some outstanding works by artists like Masaaki Yonemoto, Harumi Nakashima and Shigeki Hayashi.
Celebrating its 14th year of introducing galleries to the contemporary market, SCOPE returned to its location on the sands of Miami Beach with 126 international exhibitors from 27 countries. SCOPE offered works with a strong focus on young contemporary work and gallery works by street artists like Swoon and The London Police. Works that stood out above the rest were “ARCADIA: Into the Blue” by British New York-based artist Lina Viktor presented by Wallplay. The series of hand gilded works featuring seven layers of 24-karat gold on each canvas. Young Los Angeles artist Alberto Cuadros presented by Natology also left a lasting impression. The Heineken House stood over 35 feet tall and featured live painting by 12 artists like Miami-based Tatiana Suarez and Sharktoof. Patrons could immerse themselves in the street art experience and witness the transformation of the installation while enjoying cold Heineken on the beach. In collaboration with the Galleries Association of Korea and sponsored by the Korea Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, SCOPE Miami Beach 2014 presented FEATURE Korea, a curated section featuring fifteen galleries that offered a glimpse at the current art trends in Korea and shone new light on the country's contemporary cultural practice. Another special section at SCOPE 2014 was The Dean Collection curated by Grammy Award-winning music artist and producer, Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, an avid contemporary collector with a special interest in discovering and supporting young artists around the globe.
UNTITLED. is an international art fair and nonprofit art space simultaneously with a different, inclusive approach to curation. The fair clearly emphasizes curatorial vision as the entire fair is curated as one space. For 2014 founder Jeff Lawson and Artistic Director Omar López-Chahoud enlisted Christophe Boutin and Melanie Scarciglia to join their curatorial team. In the new pink tent, designed by K/R under the direction of John Keenen, UNTITLED. housed the third edition of the fair on the beach presenting a variety of works by emerging and midcareer contemporary artists, a series of conversations, performances and special events. In stark contrast to neighboring SCOPE, the works on view at UNTITLED. were predominantly abstract, geometric pieces with an edgy yet sophisticated sensibility. The openness of the exhibition space, using natural light, made for a special and specific presentation of works by the likes of Jen Stark, Nicole Cherubini, Adrian Esparza and Anastasia Ax, to mention some highlights.
THE GALLERY EXHIBITS
Kris Knight, Smell the Magic
With the support of Gucci, Miami-based gallerist and curator Anthony Spinello presented a solo exhibition by Toronto-based painter Kris Knight in a pop-up exhibition space in the Miami Design District. The series of delicate, whimsical, secretive and sexually-charged paintings features portraits of seemingly fragile young men whom the viewer observes without making direct contact. We are invited to take a glimpse and have an emotional reaction and connection, yet they remain shrouded in mystery, always slightly out of reach. Knight draws both technical and contextual elements from the Late Baroque and Rococo movements embodied by artists such as Poussin, Fragonard, and especially portraitists like Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Vigée-Le Brun. He addresses the future by proposing new models of masculinity and gender identity: boys can be dreamers, they can be cast under gentle lights and colors, they can wear makeup and be considered both male and beautiful simultaneously.
Daniel Arsham, Welcome to the Future
Daniel Arsham’s solo project Welcome to the Future at Locust Projects in the Miami Design District is a site-specific installation featuring thousands of calcified artifacts. Arsham transformed the gallery space into an archeological excavation site, digging a trench in the gallery floor filled with 20th century media devices such as boom boxes, electric guitars, headphones, Blackberries, Nintendo controllers, VHS tapes, Walkmans, film projectors and portable televisions. Rendered in crystal and volcanic ash, the “ancient relics” present the recent past as archeology, a world of technological objects whose obsolescence was built into their design, preserved like petrified wood or the figures of Pompeii. Arsham presents these devices as a mass below our feet, in a grand gesture that rewrites narratives of production, history, and discovery. Arsham is known for his sculptural and architectural works, which warp or destabilize recognizable structures and forms with playfulness and wit. As a child, the artist survived Hurricane Andrew huddled in a closet of his family’s Miami home. The wreckage he encountered in the storm’s aftermath had a profound impact on his perception of architectural spaces and contemporary objects, which melt and crumble in his installations, leaving the viewer with the impression that a millennium has passed in an instant.
The International Friendship Exhibition
In its 3,000 square foot space downtown Miami, Primary Projects presented the group show “The International Friendship Exhibition,” a homage to the nature of contradiction, featuring works by 19 artists including Autumn Casey, Andrew Nigon, Magnus Sodamin, Karen Starosta-Gilinski, Afi Farooq, Kenton Parker, Cole Sternberg and Michael Vasquez. Among the group is Cole Sternberg, whose piece features twelve 18x18"paintings of overlapping texts, accompanied by an installation containing more than 100 charred American flags-a simultaneously political and apolitical sentiment. Best known for his cardboard-sculpted guns, Asif Farooq steps outside this genre with neon installation Desaparecidos. Translated as "missing," this work was created-along with a powder-coated, candied pink riot barricade-as an allusion to the persons who have disappeared in geopolitical conflicts throughout history and today. Perhaps due to their frequency, these happenings are almost accepted and normalized. A multifaceted concept, contradiction is explored both playfully and thoughtfully in this exhibit: Autumn Casey's centerpiece work, a metaphysical and metaphorical self-portrait, features a turn-of-the-century Ferris wheel seat and invites viewers to get inside and interact.
The most critically acclaimed exhibition of Miami Art Week 2014 was housed in a defunct 7,500 square-foot auto body and paint shop. The video and performance project presented by Anthony Spinello and curated by a committee of female curators featured works by 33 female artists including, among others, Jen DeNikw, Naomi Fisher, Dana Levy, Cristina Lucas, Kembra Pfahler, Christina Pettersson, Agustina Woodgate, Naama Tsabar and Nontsikelelo Mutiti. The dynamic installation of 25 videos and a daily performance program examined the political and economic inequalities of the art world through a variety of female experiences and artistic voices. Miami-based Agustina Woodgate set up shop with Radio Espacio Estacion, a bilingual, nomadic, online, event-based radio transmission. Via this cultural platform Woodgate invited female voices to represent the city of Miami with sound, music, conversation and language experiments addressing topics of movement, migration and economy. Naama Tsabar commanded the stage in her performance piece “Untitled (Babies).” With an all female band, Tsabar began by performing a rock song but the performance eventually turns into a scene of assault as the artist, imitating an archetypically male rock’n’roll gesture, starts smashing her guitar against the stage in an act of physical endurance and demonstration of strength., ostensibly to destroy the instrument but as she continues it becomes clear that it is actually the stage itself that is being destroyed.
Chrome Hearts party with Zoe Kravitz and Lolawolf
Chrome Hearts opened its first Miami location with an event and exhibition coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach. Established in 1988, Chrome Hearts, a study in artistic freedom and persistence of vision,
has evolved into an obsession- inspiring label and a cultural phenomenon. For its Miami location, Chrome Hearts introduced a space where retail experience, art and design meet. Fueled by the passion of co- owner Laurie Lynn Stark, a fine art photographer for over a decade, along with her daughter, Jesse Jo – the space will be home to both emerging and established artists & designers handpicked to create pieces exclusively for the space. For the opening, works from featured young LA-based artist Matt DiGiacomo were found throughout the entry of the store and the café inside. In looking to make the space a true showplace for artists, Laurie Lynn invited gallerist David Fahey to inhabit the 2nd floor of the space where she worked side by side with him on the inaugural exhibition. Fahey / Klein Gallery Miami exhibited a broad overview of classic and iconic photographs in a variety of genres. The 20th century photographic works on show included Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, William Klein, Herb Ritts and Horst P. Horst as well as photographs by contemporary artists like Ellen von Unwerth, Patrick Demarchelier and Ruven Afanador. The highlight of the expertly executed event for the grand opening of the store and gallery space, attended by a predominantly LA and New York crowd, was a performance by Lolawolf. The band consisting of lead singer Zoe Kravitz, keyboardist James Levy and electronics percussionist Jimmy Giannopoulos performed an intimate set in the Chrome Hearts courtyard featuring songs from their debut album “Calm Down,” which was released in October.
PAMM Presents Future Brown Featuring Kelela
Over 6,000 guests attended a spectacular event at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in celebration of the museum’s first anniversary as PAMM in the new landmark building designed by Herzog and DeMeuron. Overlooking Biscayne Bay and underneath the famous Hanging Gardens designed by botanist Patrick Blanc, patrons enjoyed cocktails and a special performance by DJ collective Future Brown featuring vocalist Kelela as well as guest appearances by Maluca and Ian Isaiah. Future Brown and Maluca also premiered a special new video for “Vernaculo,“ commissioned by the museum. A major highlight was a choreographed fly boarding performance in the ocean. Inside the museum, exhibitions on view included “Beatriz Milhazes: Jardim Botânico,” “Adler Guerrier: Formulating a Plot” and “Geoffrey Farmer: Let’s Make the Water Turn Black” as well as project gallery installations by Gary Simmons and Leonor Antunes.
The Sagamore Brunch
Always a delight and a Miami Art Week highlight is the Annual Art Basel Miami Beach Brunch at The Sagamore hotel. Guests are treated to champagne, pastries, fruit and specialty crepe poolside. Gallerists, curators, artists and collectors mingle in the gorgeous Miami winter weather and wander around the hotel and outdoor grounds to experience a part of Cricket Taplin’s collection on view throughout the property. In collaboration with Electronic Arts Intermix, The Sagamore presented “Screen Play: Moving Image Art” guest curated by Lori Zippay for 2014. The works reveal the innovative strategies and creative visions of artists who employ the moving image in vibrant interactions with contemporary art, media and culture.