Art Fairs and The City: Art Basel Miami Beach 2015

Art fairs play an important and vibrant contemporary role - they have an impact not only on the rhythm of life of art society but also on city life in general. During major art fairs, such as Frieze, FIAC, Contemporary Istanbul, Arco Madrid or Basel, each city becomes an art hub for several days. The fair attendance is always impressive; for example, according to Skate Art Market Research, a massive 92,000 people visited ARCO Madrid. In 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach attracted 65,000 visitors, causing traffic jams, packed restaurants and hotels.

Art Basel, one of the world’s premier and oldest modern and contemporary art fairs, operates now in three cities – Basel, Miami and Hong Kong. But no matter where it is, it always brings a synergy of sales and art. During this week it is possible to visit numerous short-term events and shows, often too good to miss, such as this year’s, Unrealism exhibition and Stones Against Diamonds.

Chris Ofili ' Innervisions...Too High' 1998

Chris Ofili 'Innervisions...Too High' 1998

Interesting collaboration took place between the two biggest hitters of the art world - Larry Gagosian and former Los Angeles museum director Jeffrey Deitch. The five-day show, Unrealism, held in the 20,000-square-foot space in the Moore Building, featured work of some of the strongest and most original figurative artists from the 1980s to the present, such as Ella Kruglyanskaya, Jamian Juliano-Villani and Tala Madani, together with more established artists such as John Currin, Urs Fischer, Elizabeth Peyton and David Salle. In contrast, Stones Against Diamonds is a 15-screen video walk-through installation by Isaac Julien, shown at the National Young Arts Foundation’s Jewel Box Building as part of Rolls-Royce Art Programme. Full of dynamic and motion, these artworks had a very strong emotional impact and engagement.

Isaac Julien ' Stones against Diamonds' show

Isaac Julien 'Stones against Diamonds' show

Even though Art Basel Miami Beach was launched only in 2002, its influence on the cultural scene is undeniable. Over the last decade Miami has established its reputation as a ‘must’ city to visit for collectors and contemporary art lovers. Features include strong representation of family collections, private foundations, special curatorial projects and street art.

To accompany our posts on the highlights of Miami Basel 2015, we have decided to focus on other relevant art destinations in town which can easily be missed during the hectic week of openings and fairs. Here you can find our recommended list of different and inspiring art projects, foundations and collections which are still possible to visit:


Rubell Family Collection


Rubell Familly Collection was founded in 1964 in New York and now is one of the largest, privately owned contemporary art collections. The Foundation has been recognised as a pioneer in what has been referred to as the “Miami model,” whereby private collectors create a new, independent form of public institution. Each year the Foundation presents thematic exhibitions, as for example an exhibition of Chinese contemporary art by 28 artists (28 Chinese).

Group show ' No Man's Land',  Artwork by Mary Weatherford

Group show 'No Man's Land', Artwork by Mary Weatherford

Currently on view is NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, focusing on work made by more than a hundred female artists (Tauba Auerbach, Wangechi Mutu, Marlene Dumasm Cindy Sherman amongst others).  Different generations, cultures and disciplines are united by one theme of feminist art. The show consists of varied media: paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations.

NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, will be on view from December 2nd, 2015 through May 28th, 2016.


The M building



One block from the Rubell Family Collection is the M building, which comprises five gallery spaces and a tropical garden. It was restored by award-winning architect Chad Oppenheim, who has executed various projects across the world. M operates not only as an art gallery but also as event space, with some art pieces on permanent display, such as Takashi Murakami x Pharrell Williams x Jacob & Co Sculpture 'The Simple Things'.


Perez Art Museum Miami


The Pérez Art Museum has been collecting art since 1996, and currently, houses 1,800 objects. The focus of the museum is the 20th century and contemporary art – exhibitions can vary from showcasing Aboriginal Australian Abstract Art to conceptual works of Rotterdam-based artistic duo Bik Van der Pol.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso 'Cemetery/Vertical Garden'

Maria Fernanda Cardoso 'Cemetery/Vertical Garden'

Apart from the permanent collection, another exhibition on view is Bloodlines, which presents a series of new works by Firelei Báez, inspired by lineages of black resistance. The show will be on until March 6, 2016.


Locust Projects


Locust Projects was founded in 1998 by a trio of Miami-based artists: Elizabeth Withstandley, Westen Charles, and COOPER. It supports the local community through educational initiatives; artists often create site-specific installations as an extension of their representative works.

Martha Friedman ' Pore ' installation view

Martha Friedman 'Pore' installation view

Currently, there is show by Brooklyn-based artist Martha Friedman, who has created four vividly coloured sheets of rubber, rigged to cascade from the rafters. Pore exhibition presents a sculptural exploration of the vulnerability of the human body. It will be open until 9 January 2016.


Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation


Gustavo Pérez Monzón with his installation Vilos, 1981/2015  Photo: Pericles Lavat, courtesy of CIFO Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation

Gustavo Pérez Monzón with his installation Vilos, 1981/2015

Photo: Pericles Lavat, courtesy of CIFO Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation

If you are interested in the Latin American art, don’t miss Cisnelos Fontanals Art Foundation. This venue showcases curated shows and offers grants and commissions to mid-career artists from Latin America. Until Mai 2016 there is exhibition by Gustavo Pérez Monzón - the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States. This includes a series of drawings, installations, and site-specific works reflecting Pérez Monzón’s interest in exploring Geometric Abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, and Spatialism.


De la Cruz Contemporary Art Space


Founded by Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz over 25 years ago, this foundation operates as a platform to support the local art scene, providing various educational programmes, artists commissions and residencies.

de la cruz contemporary art space.jpg

Throughout 2016 there will be group exhibition You've Got to Know the Break Them on display. Amongst selected artists are Peter Doig, Isa Genzken, Félix González-Torres, Alex Israel, Jacob Kassay, Alex Katz, Martin Kippenberger, Glenn Ligon, Sigmar Polke, Seth Price, Rob Pruitt, Sterling Ruby and others.

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

Susan Philipsz ‘ Immersive Sound Installation’

Susan Philipsz ‘Immersive Sound Installation’

Opened in 1999, today The Margulies Collection is considered as one of the Top 200 Collections - according to the Artnews. New acquisitions this year include works by Anselm Kiefer, Susan Philipsz, Meuser, Lawrence Carroll, Mark Handforth and Liat Yossifor. Apart from the permanent installation, there are two ‘must-see’ current exhibitions: Anselm Kiefer
Paintings, Sculpture, Installation and Susan Philipsz Immersive Sound Installation.


If you are coming to Miami for the Christmas holidays and will follow our recommendations do please let us know your feedback on Hope you will enjoy it.