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Art Basel Miami Beach is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the celebrations surrounding the flagship fair of Miami Art Week are looking to be bigger than ever. While ABMB doesn’t officially open to the public at the Miami Beach Beach Convention Center until Thursday, the annual post-Thanksgiving seaside art (and fashion and design) bacchanal kicks off today with a plethora of pop-up galleries, museum shows, satellite fairs, store openings, and shopping events around Miami Beach and in the Miami Design District on the mainland. From public art you can sit on to sofas you can wear, there’s so much to see and discover. Why don’t you choose your own adventure?
1. Pre-game with a Museum Show
Ease into the week with a museum show. Monday, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami is debuting “Nina Chanel Abney: Big Butch Energy”, a suite of new large-scale pastel works by the painter in which she references Greek life and baroque portraiture, rewriting scenes from college humor films like Animal House and Porky’s to center queer Black characters using her signature stylized, cubistic gestures. On Tuesday, the Perez Art Museum, Miami is unveiling “Leandro Erlich: Liminal” an interactive survey featuring the Argentine artist’s famed Swimming Pool installation, which gives a cool impression of being completely submerged. Dive in.
2. Shop for “Clothes” for Your Home
The Miami Design District is the Magic City’s high fashion mecca, and thanks to a trio of openings from Italian houses this week, it’s also a great place to shop for alta moda furniture. Opening Monday, the Dolce&Gabbana Casa pop-up will showcase examples of fashion brand’s fine Italian craftsmanship such as Murano glassware, hand-painted ceramics, jacquard sofas, and armchairs upholstered in petit point embroidery.
On Wednesday, Fendi will open its first Fendi Casa US flagship, a sunlit space where the sleek Arabescato Vagli marble and concrete surfaces complement pieces from established and emerging designers, like Marcel Wanders’s aluminum O’Lock mirror and Dimorestudio’s steel and crystal Matrice bookcase. Also on Wednesday, Bottega Veneta will unveil Come Stai?, a new site-specific installation of the 400 resin-dipped cotton canvas chairs artist Gaetano Pesce originally created for the brand’s Milan Fashion Week show in September. This time around, the covetable seats are available for purchase.
3. See an Art Show in a Former Car Showroom
The Miami Design District is also becoming something of a destination for pop-up gallery shows and curator-led presentations open to the public. “100 Years”, the seventh annual group exhibition co-hosted by blue chip galleries Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch, will open from Tuesday to Sunday in the historic Buick Building. The former automotive showroom will feature pieces by artists including Theaster Gates, Taryn Simon, and Urs Fischer whose work explores the interplay of past, present, and future through a range of mediums.
Around the corner, “Boil, Toil + Trouble”, the inaugural group exhibition organized by curator Zoe Lukov and cultural producer Abby Pucker through their non-profit Art in Common, will open from Tuesday through December 11. Alluding to rising seas levels and other threats from climate change, it features 46 artists whose practice engages with magic, ritual, and water, including renowned works by Marina Abramović and Ana Mendieta alongside new commissions from Naomi Fisher, Loni Johnson, Jillian Mayer, Nereida Patricia, and Jamilah Sabur.
4. Get Styled for the Perfect Art Selfie
Before posing in front of the Fly’s Eye geodesic dome—or one of the new super colorful and super ’grammable Carnival-inspired feathered seating capsules created by Germane Barnes, 2022 winner of the Miami Design District’s annual neighborhood commission—why not get a festive new fit from one of the area boutiques?
To celebrate the launch of the genderless Giorgio Armani LOVE capsule collection—which features monochromatic jewel tone knitwear, sweatshirts, and Bermuda shorts—four whimsical blue animal sculptures by Italian artist Marcantonio are being hidden around the Miami District District. Scan a QR code to join these creatures on an augmented reality adventure, which—spoiler alert—ends at the Giorgio Armani store. If sparkling surfaces are more your thing, the Valentino shop is ready to party arty with the Party Collection 2022, featuring iridescent brocade caftans, sequin embroidery-and-feather minidresses, crystal appliqué platform sandals, and more.
5. Talk About Sex By Madonna
Three decades after its publication, Madonna’s Sex—famous for its LGBTQ+-inclusive erotic content and liberated views of sexual self-expression—is still making waves. To ring in the big 3-0, Madonna and Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello are teaming up to display large-format prints from the Steven Meisel-lensed coffee table book in an ephemeral beachfront gallery from Tuesday to Sunday. T-shirts and tote bags emblazoned with the tome’s iconic BDSM-tinged images and a special re-edition of 800 copies will also be available to purchase, with proceeds benefitting Raising Malawi, Madonna’s pediatric AIDS charity.
6. Fall in Love with the Animal Kingdom’s Biggest Heart
Faena Art’s Miami Art Week programming, on view from Tuesday to Sunday, features public art works installed throughout the Faena Arts District in Miami Beach. These include three projects on the sand: 2022 Faena Art Prize winner Paula de Solminihac’s pink-and-green wooden climbing structure Morning Glory, named for the flowering vine seen on Florida beaches; artist duo Wright Millares’ light sculpture Patria y Vida; and the Living Room, a new experiential installation using Web3 technology from Rain Room-creators Random International.
Andrés Reisinger’s iridescent floating Pink Meditation Buoys beckon just off shore, while Heart of Okeanos, Petroc Sesti’s 5-foot tall scale model of a blue whale’s heart charms visitors to the Faena hotel lobby. The later piece, made with a carbon sequestering sculpture material called CarbonXinc, will return to the sea next spring as part of the ReefLine, a planned 7-mile long underwater sculpture park.
7. Discover Art Everywhere
Miami Art Week might be just one week a year, but the Magic City is home to world class public art year round. Dejha Carrington, an independent curator and co-founder of Commissioner, an art membership program that helps people collect the work of contemporary artists in their cities, will lead a daily On Art Walk in Miami Beach from Tuesday to Saturday. The 1-hour guided tour, which is free with pre-registration, commences in Collins Canal Park, and highlights 12 public art gems including a monumental 13 x 19 foot decal of photographer and LGBTQ+ visual activist Zanele Muholi’s self-portrait mounted on Miami Beach City Hall and Erin Thurlow’s DONT GO, a crossing sign outside the Bass Museum of Art programmed with poignant phrases written by schoolchildren. Participants can take On’s Cloudaway sneakers out for a test run.
8. Visit a Satellite Art Fair
Art Basel Miami Beach may be the main show in town, but it’s far from the only one one, with more than 20 art fairs pitching their tents in greater Miami this week. A few of note include: Untitled Art, open Tuesday to Saturday, which added a Nest sector to offer subsidized booths to emerging galleries coming from outside mainstream art hubs; Prizm, open Tuesday to December 11, exhibiting Black artists from across Africa and the global African Diaspora; and the 20th edition of NADA Miami, open Wednesday to Saturday, which features a Curated Spotlight section organized by Jack Shainman Gallery director and We Buy Gold founder Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels showcasing diverse voices.
9. Consider the Similarities Between Jewelry and Sofas
Open Wednesday to Sunday, Design Miami/—the furniture, lighting, and objets d’art fair that runs alongside Art Basel Miami Beach—is looking more and more like a fashion week, thanks to the number of fashion brands and designers participating. Artist Lukas Gschwandtner has created a series a series of wearable canvas sculptures for Fendi that reference historical portraits of women reclining on chaises, daybeds, and other soft furniture.
Dolce & Gabbana is presenting its Alta Gioielleria high jewelry collection at the fair for the first time, and hosting a panel discussion on Friday with jewelry historian Carol Wooton, curator Emily Stoehrer, and gallerist Elisabetta Cipriani titled “High Jewelry Design: An Ancient Art in a Modern World.” And designer-turned-cermacist Leena Similu (an alumna of Stella McCartney and Jil Sander) will debut her new collection of glazed stoneware figures at the Future Perfect booth.
10. Save the Best for Last
Art Basel Miami Beach opens at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Thursday, a day later than usual (preview days are Tuesday and Wednesday). And it’s well worth the wait. Now in its 20th year, Miami Art Week’s flagship fair is bigger than ever: 283 premier galleries from 38 countries and territories are presenting, with 26 participating for the first time. Highlights include solo presentations of vibrant new works by painter Tonia Nneji at Lagos and Los Angeles-based Rele Gallery and never-before-seen photographs and sculptures by artist (and Harper’s BAZAAR contributor) John Edmonds at New York-based Company Gallery.
Louis Vuitton will showcase a curated selection of creative collaborations and original artworks from starry friends of the brand including Alex Katz and Richard Prince paintings, two wax self-portraits by Yayoi Kusama, a Stephen Sprouse skate deck and trunk, and a Takashi Murakami readymade panda sculpture. A preview selection of pieces from the maison’s new 10th anniversary Kusama collaboration will also join the party.
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