When Art Basel in Miami Beach (artbasel.com/miami-beach) opens its 18th edition next month, an estimated 70,000 people will view, experience and interact with works from more than 250 leading international galleries. Since its inception, Art Basel in Miami Beach has become the largest art fair in the Americas and an annual pilgrimage for those who attend all the cultural and social goings-on across Miami. 2019 promises to keep the momentum going with an exciting new addition. “There is a lot to see and explore this year,” says Noah Horowitz, director Americas for Art Basel. “We are especially excited to introduce Meridians, a new sector located in the Grand Ballroom of the Miami Beach Convention Center that allows galleries to present large-scale artworks and installations that push the boundaries of the traditional art fair layout and provides visitors with an entirely new experience.” Here are some of the highlights.
THURSDAY, DEC. 5 If you’re fortunate enough to have an invitation to Art Basel in Miami Beach’s Vernissage (11am to 3pm), which allows select attendees early access to the fair, you have no choice but to go. If you’re not among the lucky few, spend the morning exploring Miami’s myriad museums and galleries before the art fair opens to the public at 3pm. “Staples of each December’s show week include the de la Cruz Collection (delacruzcollection.org) and the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse (margulieswarehouse.com),” Horowitz shares, “and there are some exceptional shows at local museums this year as well, including Haegue Yang and Mickalene Thomas at The Bass (thebass.org), Sterling Ruby and Wong Ping at ICA Miami (icamiami.org), and thought-provoking group exhibition Where the Oceans Meet at MDC Museum of Art and Design (mdcmoad.org).”
FRIDAY, DEC. 6 On the first full day, take your time exploring the fair—get familiar with its size, scale and scope. Check out works by Art Basel in Miami Beach stalwarts, as well as galleries exhibiting for the first time. “This year brings together 269 galleries from across the world presenting works that range from historical masterpieces to new and cutting-edge installations by emerging artists,” Horowitz says. “Among the 20 new exhibitors participating, we’re particularly excited to welcome Miami Beach’s own Central Fine, whose presentation of new paintings by Miami-based Haitian artist Tomm El-Saieh is bound to be a highlight.” If you venture beyond the fair, pay a visit to Miami’s hottest new arts destinations. “This year, there are two noteworthy additions [in the city], both of which are found in the Allapattah neighborhood: the sprawling Annabelle Selldorfdesigned Rubell Museum (rfc.museum), which will open with an exhibition of exceptional works from the Rubell Family Collection, and Espacio 23, a contemporary art space founded by collector and philanthropist Jorge M. Pérez,” Horowitz recommends.
SATURDAY, DEC. 7 Here’s your chance to do a deep dive into the unique magic that each of Art Basel in Miami Beach’s sectors bring to the fair. These include Meridians, the newly inaugurated sector; Galleries, presenting works by over 4,000 artists exhibited by the world’s leading galleries; Nova, where galleries present one, two or three artists showing works created within the last three years; Edition, which spotlights collaborations between leading publishers and renowned artists; Kabinett, where galleries present a curated exhibition by an artist of their choice within their booths; Survey, which showcases precise art historical projects; and Positions, which provides a platform for a single artist to present one major project. “I encourage visitors to spend time in the Positions sector,” says Horowitz. “Some of the exciting presentations include Manal AlDowayan’s project addressing sociopolitical issues concerning women; young Canadian artist Tau Lewis’ sculptures; and quilts and photographs by Paul Mpagi Sepuya, a breakout star of the latest Whitney Biennial.” And stop by Magazines, a unique sector featuring art publications from around the world; and Conversations, where Art Basel hosts a series of curated conversations on topics concerning global contemporary art.
SUNDAY, DEC. 8 On the final day, view any exhibits you may have missed; place bids on the pieces you covet; and savor the outstanding flavor of Art Basel in Miami Beach before the curtain closes at 6pm.
Tickets from $65 Premium + Card $500 Meridians opening, Dec. 3, 4-7pm, by invitation only Private Day, Dec. 4, 11am-8pm, by invitation only Vernissage, Dec. 5, 11am-3pm, by invitation only Open to the public, Dec 5, 3-8 ; Dec. 6 & 7, Noon-8pm; Dec. 8, Noon-6pm