Art Basel Miami Beach Opens Today

Classic art deco boulevards, long white beaches and a glitzy night life provide the backdrop to Art Basel Miami Beach. Art Basel – which began in 1970 and also shows in Hong Kong and Basel – is recognised as a premier international art fair and attracts more than 50,000 visitors and 250 of the world’s leading galleries each year. Presented across eight sectors, the ocean-front located event allows visitors to explore some of the world’s best sculpture, film, art publications, paintings and classical photography, as well as site-specific works which take advantage of the iconic Miami Beach setting. Aesthetica takes a look behind the scenes at a selection of galleries to look out for at this year’s event.

Sean Kelly Gallery
The Sean Kelly Gallery, founded by British-born Sean Kelly in 1991, showcases 16 artists in a collection that exemplifies the gallery’s commitment to exhibiting important and challenging contemporary art. The collection includes two of the gallery’s original artists, Marina Abramović and Joseph Kosuth. During the fair, as part of Art Salon, Joseph Kosuth will be in conversation with Josh Baer, advisor and publisher of The Baer Faxt, discussing the art market versus art history.

Galerie Perrotin
Galerie Perrotin launches Curiosity a new work by French artistic duo Kolkoz. The work –presented in partnership with Swiss luxury watch manufacturer and global associate partner of Art Basel, Audemars Piguet – takes the form of a chalet floating in front of the iconic modernist and disused Miami Marine Stadium. Benjamin Moreau and Samuel Boutruche, who make up the French artistic collective, have long explored the interchange between the real and virtual realms and Curiosity will continue this theme, floating as if aboard an iceberg in the tropical Miami Sea, playfully alluding to Audemars Piguet’s wintery home in the Swiss Vallée du Joux.

Lisson Gallery
Lisson Gallery’s show includes more than 50 works by artists including: Allora & Calzadilla, Cory Arcangel, Daniel Buren, Tony Cragg, Carmen Herrera and Julian Opie. On the stand, Ryan Gander’s animatronic pair of cartoon eyes, Magnus Opus (2013), is sure to draw attention as they comically scrutinise the fair-goers as they walk past. Ai Weiwei’s modular stainless-steel sculpture, Forever (2013), constructed from 12 specially fabricated bicycles, echoes a larger, public-scaled version that is parked within his major touring solo exhibition, Ai Weiwei: According to What (4 December-16 March 2014), at the newly opened Perez Art Museum – Miami’s first purpose-built, publicly-funded art museum.

Cheim and Read
Cheim and Read displays four abstract oil paintings and one bronze in a small all-female collection reflective of the gallery’s widely respected curatorial reputation. The bronze work, C.O.Y.O.T.E (1947-1949), is a standout piece from renowned French-American artist and sculptor Louise Joséphine Bourgeois. The oil paintings presented include Untitled (1988) by Joan Mitchell – an essential member of the American Abstract expressionist movement and Black (2007) by award winning artist Pat Steir whose work can be found in various public collections including those at MoMA, Tate and the Guggenheim Museum.

Galeria Leme
Reflecting the gallery’s innovative programme of Latin American art, Galeria Leme’s stall contains three artist’s work: Mauro Piva (Brazil), Mariana Mauricio (Brazil) and Sandra Gamarra (Peru). London-based Brazilian artist Mauricio’s work is grounded in investigating the surface and physicality of found images and objects. By interfering with these elements using diverse materials, her work seeks to eliminate, distort and change their intimate stories and memories. Brazilian-based Piva’s new series of works examine the creation of identity in the absence of essential formal characteristics. Finally, Peruvian Madrid-based Gamarra uses the art world’s mechanisms, commerce, display and production processes to trigger a reflection of reality and its systematisation.

Art Basel Miami Beach, December 5 – 8, 2013.

1. Louise Fishman, 9/11 REDUX, 2013, Oil on linen, 70 x 88 inches, 177.8 x 223.5 centimeters, Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York.