Here Is the Ultimate Recap of This Year’s Miami Art Week

December 12th, 2023

Art Basel Miami Beach is about the get-togethers as much as the fairs. Read Galerie’s detailed update on what happened where with who

By Osman Can Yerebakan

Few affairs in the global art calendar compete with Art Basel Miami Beach, when the entire city suddenly brims with art fairs, performances, activations, dinners, talks, and parties. Such was the case for yet another Miami art week, with the new 277-exhibitor edition of ABMB landing the Convention Center.

The fair’s VIP preview on Wednesday officiated the wave of social events concentrated in South Beach, Design District, and Wynwood. Across the booths, international galleries, featuring 24 newcomers, showed off work by global art stars as well as discoveries, ranging from intimate scale delicate pieces to 19 monumental scale statements at the fair’s Meridians section.

Satellite fairs such as Untitled Art, NADA, Scope and Design Miami/, opened shops a day earlier to attract the collectors and art enthusiasts in town prior; while institutions including the ICA Miami, Rubell Museum, and Perez Art Museum unveiled new shows as early as Monday.

With a dose of sweet competition and the week evolving into a social extravaganza beyond the art world, organizers had to push their creativity to new heights to stand out. Sky was indeed the territory for Delta Air Lines to explore. The airline flew one of its planes to Miami to bring an invite-only group of guests. En route to its destination, the jet was decorated with projections across its headboards with art by Jillian Mayer, Olivia Pedigo, Derek Abella, Emmett Moore, and Elliot & Erick Jiménez.

On the ground, the airline extended the aerial exhibition to a gallery show with works the same artists, created using aircraft iconography and rituals of traveling. Creative Director of UTA Fine Arts Arthur Lewis, who curated the selection, was among the passengers on board and told Galerie: “The sky, metaphorically speaking, symbolizes the limitless possibilities and influence that Art Basel has brought to the Miami art scene, making it a dynamic hub for artistic expression and cultural innovation.”

Lewis thinks the projects with unexpected collaborators and modes of public access broadens the art viewer profile and “not only democratizes the artistic experience but also serves as a catalyst, sparking interest and potentially drawing individuals into the broader cultural events, such as art fairs and year-round museum exhibitions.” For Miami native Abella, who uses cues from graphic design and abstraction to convey his Cuban-American queer experience, exhibiting in his hometown and in the sky brings his work’s visibility to uncharted level, and fittingly, the painting he has created plays with his memories of growing up in suburban Miami.

A plane might sound as an unexpected territory to exhibit art, but lounges have long been an essential part of the art fair experience. This year’s UBS Lounge inside the fair hosted a group exhibition, titled “Just When You Least Expect It,” with works selected from the global bank’s collection. The star of the presentation is the titular work by Jeffrey Gibson, a three-panel joyous brightly-colored abstraction that the bank originally commissioned for the UBS Arena stadium. At the lounge, Gibson’s triptych sits among works by Nick Cave, Deana Lawson, and Awol Erizku.

Continue reading on Galerie Magazine.