December is upon us and for folks in Miami— or in the art world— that means: Art Basel Miami Beach. From December 6 to 10 (by-invitation private viewings are on December 6 and 7), the Miami Beach Convention Center will be home to 277 galleries; 25 of which will be participating for the first time, with two-thirds hailing from North and Latin America. In mediums ranging from paintings and sculptures to photography and digital art, some of the resounding themes this year include works that speak to nature, as well as cultural and spiritual geographies.
We break down the fair’s main sectors with what to expect this year:
Galleries is the main section of the fair where the world’s leading galleries present the highest quality of paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photography, videos and digital works.
This year’s show will include never-before-seen works by Argentinian Italian surrealist Leonor Fini from the artist’s personal collection, jointly presented by Galerie Minsky (Paris) and Weinstein Gallery (San Francisco), as well as an homage to Brockman Gallery, the first major contemporary gallery run by and for Black artists, coorganized by Parrasch Heijnen Gallery (Los Angeles) and Franklin Parrasch Gallery (New York) in collaboration with Alonzo Davis, one of Brockman Gallery’s founders.
Meridians showcases large-scale sculptures, paintings and installations which go beyond the traditional art fair booth layout. It will feature 19 projects this year, including site-specific works for Art Basel Miami Beach, curated for the fourth consecutive year by Mexico City-based curator and Director of Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Magalí Arriola,
Kabinett, which provides provides galleries the opportunity to present curated exhibitions within their main booths, will have 28 installations.
Nova is a space for galleries to present new works by up to three artists. The Ranch (New York) will showcase never-before-exhibited sculptures by Puerto Rican artist Daniel Lind-Ramos inspired by his hometown of Loíza, the largest Afro-Caribbean enclave in Puerto Rico. Gypsum Gallery (Cairo) will present new paintings by Egyptian artist Basim Magdy, the first staging of the artist’s paintings in the US.
In Positions, the sector for young galleries showcasing ambitious solo presentations by emerging voices, Galatea (Rio de Janeiro) will exhibit a new photo series by Brazilian artist Allan Weber, known for his work on everyday life in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. Dürst Britt & Mayhew (The Hague), the first Dutch gallery to participate in Art Basel Miami Beach, will present new work, hand-carved on native wood, by Mexican artist Alejandra Venegas.
Survey, dedicated to galleries showcasing artistic practices of historical relevance, include solo presentations of American artist and activist Karen Finley centered on her seminal 1977 interactive installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, during a protracted legal battle with the National Endowment for the Arts, presented by Freight+Volume (New York); as well as American artist Vivian Browne, whose ‘Africa Series’ paintings from the 1970s will be presented by Ryan Lee (New York).
Conversations, a series of live debates among artists, gallerists, collectors, curators, museum directors and critics will run from December 7 to 9. Curated by Emily Butler, the renowned series this year features 35 thought leaders across nine panels celebrating Latin America and providing insights into the evolving global art scene. The program draws inspiration from the city of Miami’s position as a gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean to honor Afro-Latino, Latino, and feminist histories, the artistic ecologies of Florida, and other topical issues in 2023. These conversations will be live-streamed on Facebook and recorded.
Also at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the UBS Art Lounge, open for UBS-invited guests, will showcase the UBS Art Collection which includes a site-specific triptych painting by Jeffrey Gibson entitled, “Just When You Least Expect It,” commissioned for the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. The Lounge will also feature the Collection’s recent acquisitions by Nick Cave, Awol Erizku, Deana Lawson, and Hank Willis Thomas. At the UBS Art Studio, located near the Meridians sector at the convention center, UBS has partnered with Art Noir, a global creative collective and non-profit organization that catalyzes cultural equity across the arts and culture industries, which is free to all Art Basel Miami Beach ticket holders. (They will also be presenting at the Soundscape Park.)
For more tickets and more information, please visit the Art Basel Miami Beach website.