Art Basel Miami Beach 2023: Overview

Kerlin Gallery booth (installation view). Source: Kerlin Gallery

The 21st edition of Art Basel Miami Beach features 277 international galleries from 34 countries, with a significant representation from the Americas. Vincenzo de Bellis, the director, promises a fresh injection of experience with new participants hailing from Mexico to Poland and Egypt. The fair showcases works across various mediums, spanning from early-twentieth-century modern to contemporary.

The fair extends its impact beyond the convention center by collaborating with leading institutions, private collections, and cultural partners across Miami Beach for an expanded program of exhibitions, events, and parties. Collaborations include notable artists such as Hernan Bas, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Etel Adnan, Charles Gaines, Tau Lewis, and Gary Simmons.

Several new sectors and exhibitors are featured, including Nova, Positions, and Survey, each highlighting different aspects of the art world. Meridians, curated by Magalí Arriola, showcases 19 large-scale projects that transcend traditional booth dimensions. Kabinett returns, presenting 30 galleries with carefully curated installations within their main booths.

Art Basel Miami Beach’s VIP opening day showcased the city’s vibrant art scene, with local artists and galleries taking center stage. The fair kicked off with a preview of the Meridians sector, featuring oversize works, before opening the vast exhibition space to a diverse audience of collectors, fashion enthusiasts, and museum professionals.

Roberts Projects booth (installation view). Source: Roberts Projects

The exhibition showcases several notable works, including Miami artist Reginald O’Neal’s debut sculpture, “The Cellist.” This monumental figure of a Black cellist serves as a poignant commentary on Miami’s history of racial segregation and the ongoing disparities faced by Black Americans.

Anthony Akinbola’s interactive installation, “Fantasy World,” features a claw machine priced at $0.50, exploring the tension between intrinsic and prescribed value. Oliver Beer’s video installation with percussionists playfully slapping each other’s faces is probably the most whimsical work.

Ai Weiwei’s politically charged artwork, titled “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” features his lego interpretation of Venus as a critique of anti-abortion policies. Continuing the examination of politically charged artworks, the fair showcases Latin American galleries, with a specific emphasis on contributions from Brazil. They delve into crucial topics like deforestation and indigenous rights, underscoring the significance of regional perspectives within the broader political discourse.

Other highlights include South Korean artist Seung-taek Lee’s “Earth Play,” German artist Cosima von Bonin’s “What If They Bark 07,” Daniel Lind-Ramos’s “Centinelas de la Luna Negra,” and Vian Sora’s “Abzu.”


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