Last week we got back from a great whirlwind trip to Art Basel Miami! It was quite a productive and enlightening weekend. We began the trip with a tour of Art Basel, which was facilitated by Art Nexus Magazine. The tour was lovely and our guide from Venezuela showed us some highlights of the fair.
Our first stop on the tour was in the booth hosted by Galerie Gmurzynska, which was curated by the art historian Sir Norman Rosenthal in collaboration with Pablo Picasso’s son and heir, Claude Picasso. The show featured Russian avant-garde art of the early twentieth century, around the years 1912-1920. While the booth contained many significant works, it also brought back challenging memories for Ani from her time growing up under Communist rule in Bulgaria.
Next, we saw sculptures by Wifredo Lam and Constantin Brancusi, and a large-scale painting by Lee Krasner. Following that, we viewed multiple pieces by contemporary artists, many of which were kinetic or incorporated motion, including the interactive work, Continuous Light Cylinder of the Enlightenment Series by Julio Le Parc, 1962 / 2012. Of course, mid-way through the tour, we had to stop in Fondation Beyeler’s commissioned installation by Italian artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari’s Toilet Paper. The booth was swarmed with people throughout the fair, and certainly was a fun spectacle. Allison took a photo on the spaghetti gator, reminding us of our own swamp in Gainesville.
While walking through the fair, Ani ran into Ivo Dimchev, a conceptual and performance artist from Bulgaria who she had danced with years ago in Sofia. It was wonderful for her to see him and to have a chance to catch up! To top the visit off, we ended things at Sprüth Magers’s booth which featured a large-scale work by Barbara Kruger: Untitled (Cast of Characters), 2016. The piece was impactful, and is sure to have shown up a few times in your Instagram feed.
The next day, Allison ran off to catch the Saturday morning Conversation at Art Basel titled, Debating Disruption: Has Technology Really Changed the Artworld?, with Sebastian Cwilich, President and COO of Artsy, Laurent Gaveau, Head of the Lab at Google Cultural Institute, Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Simon Denny, the artist. The presentation was excellent and represented multiple viewpoints on the convergence of art and technology and the role of technology in the production of art – along with technology’s role in the art industry itself.
Later in the day, Allison visited Aqua Art Miami on Collins Avenue and then left the beach to visit some satellite fairs, including Context and Art Miami. Ani spent more time at Art Basel Miami in the afternoon, and was able to capture some great photos of the artwork that was represented. The last stop of the weekend was on Sunday morning when Allison attended another Conversation at Art Basel titled, The Artist and the Gallerist, with Jill Magid, the artist, Pamela Echeverría, owner of Labor Gallery, and moderator Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.
We had a great time in Miami and look forward to returning next year. Here’s to Art Basel 2017!