One of the world’s premier destinations for vibrant street art and renowned museums, Miami becomes the focal point of the global art scene each December during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Drawing acclaimed gallery owners, artists, collectors, and celebrities from around the world, the showcase highlights everything from exceptional paintings and sculptures to installations and performances while nurturing the careers of talented creatives.
Along with the centerpiece event happening December 6 through 9, the surrounding Miami Art Week gives rise to stylish gala openings, exclusive after-parties, pop-up nightclubs, and curated art fairs happening just minutes from Acqualina Resort & Spa. Here, our guide to planning your trip to Miami’s most sought-after art event of the year.
The World’s Leading Galleries
Photo: Courtesy Art Basel
For the 2018 edition, Art Basel invites you to experience more than 200 of the world’s leading international art galleries displaying artworks by more than 4,000 contemporary artists. The galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia – with a total of 34 countries represented – will include both new talent and renowned exhibitors from years past.
Among the returning gallerists, Barbara Thumm is back after a three-year hiatus to show the work of Peruvian conceptual artist Teresa Burga, abstractions by Cuban painter Django Hernández, and Anna Oppermann’s cumulative compositions.
Representing discourses on gender and identity, David Castillo invites guests to experience the groundbreaking work of artists of color, queer artists, and female artists – such as Xaviera Simmons, Pepe Mar, and Belkis Ayón. Showcasing artists that test the conceptual limits of their mediums, New York City’s Essex Street will also display rising talents like Park McArthur, Cameron Rowland, and Ghislaine Leung.
Photo: Courtesy Art Basel
In addition to the main Galleries section of Art Basel, four sectors will immerse you in specific artistic styles, themes, or periods.
The Nova sector features galleries that showcase the work of one to three artists created in the last three years, with strong juxtapositions and never-before-seen pieces. Positions provides a platform for ambitious single artists to show one major project, while Edition features leading publishers and their collaborations with acclaimed artists.
In the Survey sector, discover historical projects such as solo presentations and thematic exhibits from artists representing a range of cultures.
New Exhibitioners to Watch
Photo: Billie Zangewa, afternoon delight I, 2018; Courtesy Billie Zangewa and blank projects
In the Galleries showcase, you will find newcomers like contemporary exhibitioner Kayne Griffin Corcoran of Los Angeles, the Milan-based Cardi Gallery specializing in post-war and contemporary artists, and New York’s Canada.
First-time Nova participants include exhibitioners like blank projects, Selma Feriani Gallery, and Linn Lühn. In Positions, eight of 14 participating galleries are new to Art Basel, including Parque Galería, Upstream Gallery, and Bodega.
Miami Art Week Satellite Shows
Photo: Art Miami Fair courtesy Ken Hayden Photography
A nexus of North American and South American culture, Miami abounds with artists from diverse cultural backgrounds. Along with the main showcases at Art Basel, make time to explore some of the many satellite fairs happening around the city.
Held on the beautiful waterfront of Biscayne Bay, Art Miami celebrates its 29th edition as a primary destination for some of the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries. From December 4 to 9, explore iconic pieces from the likes of Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, and David Hockney along with dynamic projects and special installations.
Photo: Casey Kelbaugh, courtesy Untitled, Art
For its 18th edition, the critically acclaimed SCOPE Miami Beach returns to its pavilion at Ocean Drive and 8th Street from December 4 to 9. More than 140 exhibitors will display emerging contemporary art from 25 countries. Nearby at Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Untitled, Art is back from December 5 to 9 with its range of galleries, artist-run exhibition spaces, and nonprofit organizations curated in dialogue with a stunning, architecturally designed venue.
At Indian Beach Park, make time to walk through the fascinating spaces of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, happening from December 6 through 9. Casting aside the traditional booth structure, PULSE features three distinct sections: PLAY for video and new media; PROJECTS for audience-engaging large-scale sculptures, installations, and performances; and PERSPECTIVES to explore various themes and issues of the contemporary art market.
Where to Stay and Dine
For further inspiration during Art Basel, reserve a stay at Acqualina and discover more than 20 works of original contemporary art at the oceanfront resort’s AQ Bar and AQ Chop House by Il Mulino. The elaborate collection includes masterpieces by famous American artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, and Jeff Koons, as well as British contemporary artist Damien Hirst – all just steps from your guestroom with sweeping coastal vistas.
Within Miami Beach Convention Center and across the street at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, you will find an array of markets and cafés during Art Basel, including catering by Michelle Bernstein in the pop-up Collectors Lounge and Garden Café. At Acqualina, indulge in time-honored Italian cuisine and rare wines at Il Mulino New York by Chef Michele Mazza.
Featured Photo: Courtesy Art Basel