Art Basel’s Show in Miami Beach – One of the Strongest Editions Ever

Art Basel’s 13th edition in Miami Beach closed yesterday, Sunday, December 7, 2014, amidst strong praise from gallerists, private collectors, museum groups and the media. Highlights of the show included the introduction of the new Survey sector, which brought 13 art-historical projects to the fair, including many rare works never before exhibited in an art fair context; and Art Basel’s staging with Performa of Ryan McNamara’s ‘MEƎM 4 Miami: A Story Ballet About the Internet’ at the Miami Grand Theater. Solid sales were reported across all levels of the market and throughout the run of the show. Featuring 267 leading international galleries from 31 countries, the show – whose Lead Partner is UBS – attracted an attendance of 73,000 over five days. Attendees included representatives of over 160 museum and institution groups from across the world – and a surging number of new private collectors from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Following a 100 percent reapplication rate for the Galleries sector and with new galleries coming from across the world, the list of exhibitors was the strongest to date in Miami Beach, firmly solidifying the show’s position as the leading international art fair of the Americas.

Participating gallerists spoke highly of their experience:

‘This year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach has enabled us to further strengthen our relationships with international collectors, placing key works in important US collections.’
Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers, Co-owners, Sprüth Magers Berlin London, Berlin, London

‘Art Basel’s show in Miami Beach is the gold standard by which all other art fairs are judged. Its content, audience and presentation are consistently of the highest quality.’
Adam Sheffer, Partner/Sales Director, Cheim & Read, New York

‘The American collectors showed strengths almost unseen before – they were very focused and very determined, exhibiting fast decision-making and a curious and positive mindset.’
Thaddaeus Ropac, Founder and Owner, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Salzburg

‘We have been overwhelmed by the response to Jack Early’s work by museums, the media and critics. And for a tough body of work, we have been pleasantly surprised by the large number of sales too.’
Fergus McCaffrey, Director, Fergus McCaffrey, New York, St Barths

‘There is always great energy on the opening day of Art Basel’s Miami Beach show. We sold more than half of our stand in the first few hours of the fair.’
Jack Shainman, Co-Founder, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

‘We have done exceedingly well at Kabinett – it is a great program that allows us to bring special attention to a carefully curated presentation of works. We found that year on year Kabinett generates increased attention and also sales. We enjoy giving visitors the opportunity to get to know the breadth and depth of an artists’ work.’
Valerie Carberry, Owner and Founder, Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago

‘We were excited about the great presentation that we were able to bring for our first show in Miami Beach, in this brand new Survey sector. Tetsuya Ishida passed away in 2005 and we are extremely honored to show his work in the United States. The sales were strong and we are glad to have met many new collectors from the United States and from Asia.’
Yumie Wada, President, Y++ Wada Fine Arts, Beijing, Tokyo

‘We curated an exceptional 20th century masterpiece selection of works. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from both collectors as well as from our colleagues, proving the importance for a serious classic Modern presence at Art Basel.’
Mathias Rastorfer, Co-CEO, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Zug, St Moritz

‘This fair always has a good balance of new and returning audiences and this has only increased as the show has matured over the past 13 years. We have met with a lot of collectors from across Latin America, as well as finding new faces from places as far flung as Istanbul, Moscow, San Juan, Zurich, Paris, Florence, Munich, Seoul and Hong Kong.’
Paul L. Gray, Director, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, New York

‘Art Basel in Miami Beach was a smashing success – one of our strongest ever. Collectors were serious and engaged from the moment the doors opened. Even after nearly selling out our booth on opening day the energy remained high. It’s an energizing way to end the season; we can’t wait to be back next year.’
David Maupin, Co-Founder, Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong

‘We had another successful year at Art Basel in Miami Beach. Museum sales were particularly strong this year with some great curatorial projects now in the pipeline. As always, the Latin American collectors were a strong presence, buying work by our European as well as Brazilian artists.’
Alison Jacques, Owner, Alison Jacques Gallery, London

‘We have had a wonderful experience in Positions because it gave us the opportunity to focus on Meleko Mokgosi. We wanted to bring a different voice and to present work that isn’t typically seen in an art fair context. The response from collectors, curators and journalists has been affirming.’
Honor Fraser, Owner and Founder, Honor Fraser, Los Angeles

‘We are very glad to be here in Miami Beach for the first time. The galleries and projects in Nova were well selected, and we are pleased to have garnered interests from new clients not only from North and South America, but also from Europe.’
Atsuko Ninagawa, Owner, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo

‘The new Survey sector has works of really high quality for collectors who are interested in historical and conceptual art. These works have never been previously shown in the context of an art fair. We met a variety of new collectors from around the world and have sold works to important US institutions such as MoMA in New York and CIFO here in Miami.’
Mira Bernabeu, Director, espaivisor, Valencia

‘Over the course of this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach we have been so impressed with the level of institutional support and the various curators that have stopped by to see our booth.’
James Fuentes, Owner and Founder, James Fuentes, New York

‘As with previous years we have met new collectors and seen most of our Latin American collectors here.’
Ignacio Liprandi, Owner and Founder, Ignacio Liprandi Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires

‘Once again the show in Miami Beach was of high quality. We appreciate the new opening structure with two preview days and a Vernissage on the second day. It gave us more time to talk to collectors. Wang Jianwei’s works attracted lots of attention and sold very well.’
David Tung, Director, Long March Space, Beijing

‘Our experience has been wonderful. This year we have had the great opportunity to present women artists from across generations, including two artists who are showing at Art Basel in Miami Beach for the first time – Lydia Okumura from Brazil and Gina Pane from Italy. It’s been a pleasure to introduce these artists from the 60’s and 70’s who have long been overlooked.’
Anke Kempkes, Founder, Broadway 1602, New York

‘Though Art Basel in Miami Beach is primarily known as a contemporary art fair, we always have a phenomenal response to the classic Modernist work that we exhibit.’
Howard Shaw, President and Director, Hammer Galleries, New York

The art-historical sector Survey launched with 13 exhibitions, including solo presentations of the artists Ralston Crawford (Menconi + Schoelkopf), Paul Feeley (Garth Greenan Gallery), Poul Gernes (Galleri Bo Bjerggaard), Tetsuya Ishida (Y++ Wada Fine Arts), Alison Knowles (James Fuentes), Lotty Rosenfeld (espaivisor), Niki de Saint Phalle (Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois), Michelle Stuart (Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects) and Alfredo Volpi (Galeria Bergamin) – alongside group shows by The Taller Torres-García (Cecilia de Torres); Henry Darger and Marcel Storr (Andrew Edlin Gallery); Valie Export, Andrei Monastyrski and Alfons Schilling (Charim Galerie); and Rosemarie Castoro, Lenora de Barros, Lydia Okumura and Gina Pane (Broadway 1602).

Limited to work made in the last three years, Nova featured 34 galleries, including exhibitions with the artists Michele Abeles and Ajay Kurian (47 Canal); Erica Baum and Jaya Howey (Bureau); David Diao (Galería Marta Cervera); Xiaoyuan Hu and Guangle Wang (Beijing Commune); Laure Prouvost (MOT International); Shinro Ohtake, Tsuruko Yamazaki and Ryoko Aoki (Take Ninagawa); Pablo Vargas Lugo and Pedro Reyes (Labor); and Cibelle Cavalli Bastos and Patricia Leite (Mendes Wood). For the full list of galleries and artists, please visit

Positions’ 16 solo shows presented an opportunity to discover emerging artists from around the world, including Nino Cais (Central Galeria de Arte), Borden Capalino (Ramiken Crucible), Julien Carreyn (Crèvecoeur), Constant Dullaart (Carroll / Fletcher), Sam Ekwurtzel (Simone Subal Gallery), Faivovich & Goldberg (SlyZmud), Thomas Julier (RaebervonStenglin), Zak Kitnick (Clifton Benevento), Esther Kläs (SpazioA), Maria Laet (Galeria Marilia Razuk), Meleko Mokgosi (Honor Fraser), Florian & Michael Quistrebert (Galerie Juliètte Jongma), Ishmael Randall Weeks (Revolver Galería), Tracey Rose (Dan Gunn), Hrair Sarkissian (Kalfayan Galleries) and Lucie Stahl (Freedman Fitzpatrick).

The Edition sector returned for its second year, featuring prints, works in multiple and editioned objects by Alan Cristea Gallery, Crown Point Press, GDM, Gemini G.E.L. LLC, Sabine Knust, Carolina Nitsch, Pace Prints, Paragon, Polígrafa Obra Gráfica, S.L., Paul Stolper Gallery, STPI and Two Palms. For the full list of galleries, please visit:

The 27 curated exhibitions featured in Kabinett drew acclaim from museum directors and critics. The sector featured work by artists including Etel Adnan, Paulo Bruscky, Joseph Cornell, Guillermo Kuitca, Leon Kelly, Ciprian Mureşan, Fairfield Porter, Liliana Porter, Michael Rakowitz, Antoni Tàpies, Mickalene Thomas and James Turell. For the full list of galleries and artists, please visit:

Curated by Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of New York City’s Public Art Fund under the theme ‘Fieldwork’, Public featured over 26 large-scale sculptures and installations by 24 leading and emerging international artists, including Georg Baselitz, Lynda Benglis, Sam Ekwurtzel, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ryan Gander, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Alfredo Jaar, Justin Matherly, Ernesto Neto, Ugo Rondinone, Nancy Rubins, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Tatiana Trouvé. Over a dozen artworks will continue to be presented in Collins Park through March 2015 as part of the Bass Museum of Art’s ‘tc: temporary contemporary’. Produced in partnership with the Bass Museum of Art, Public officially opened last Wednesday with performances by Ryan Gander, Christian Falsnaes, Alix Pearlstein, Liz Glynn and Dawn Kasper. For more information, please visit:

David Gryn of London’s Artprojx returned to curate the Film sector for the fourth year running – creating a program of over 80 film and video works by and about artists drawn from the show’s participating galleries. The program featured work by Charles Atlas, Martin Creed, Susan Hiller, Parker Ito, Mark Leckey, Babette Mangolte, Takeshi Murata, Laure Prouvost, Alex Prager, Mark Wallinger and a tribute to Harun Farocki, who passed away this July. An estimated 1,000 visitors attended four nights of free screenings in SoundScape Park on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the Frank Gehry designed New World Center. Selected by Zurich film connoisseur This Brunner, a special screening of ‘Big Eyes’ by director Tim Burton took place at the Colony Theatre, introduced by featured actress Krysten Ritter and followed by a Q&A with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski. For more information, please visit:

The show’s daily talks program brought together leading artists, museum directors, collectors and curators from around the world. The morning Conversations program opened with the Premiere Artist Talk with Lynda Benglis, whose innovative and vivid sculptures have been challenging the art establishment for half a century. Further sessions included a panel on funding models for the visual arts with Dennis Scholl, Collector and Vice President, Knight Foundation, Kickstarter’s Stephanie Pereira and Jérôme Poggi, founder of the Paris not-for-profit ‘Objet de Production’; a panel looking at art initiatives in an ever-expanding artworld, with Ella Fontanals-Cisneros of CIFO, Miami, Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America, and Victoria Noorthoorn, Director of the Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; and the latest edition of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s ongoing series looking at artistic practice, entitled ‘The Artist as Curator’, with Joseph Kosuth, Liu Ding, Martha Rosler, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Martha Wilson. Conversations was presented in partnership with Absolut.

The afternoon Salon program featured curators Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist in a lively conversation about Instagram as an artistic medium with Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, as well as a panel on Art Basel’s Crowdfunding Initiative featuring several of the international non-profit organizations that had successfully funded projects. Featured artists and artworld figures in the panels included Marina Abramović, Josh Baer, Claire Bishop, Dora Budor, Ian Cheng, Bonnie Clearwater, Ryan Gander, Massimiliano Gioni, Liz Glynn, Nicolás Goldberg, Chrissie Iles, Theo Jansen, Sam Keller, Chiang Mai, Ryan McNamara, Pedro Reyes, Tabor Robak, Rachel Rose, Martha Rosler, Julian Schnabel, Sarah Thornton, Mario García Torres, Amalia Ulman and Shen Wei. High-quality videos of all Conversations and Salon talks are available at

Art Basel also partnered with Performa to present ‘MEƎM 4 Miami: A Story Ballet About the Internet’, an immersive dance performance by celebrated contemporary artist Ryan McNamara. The work, which received critical acclaim from diverse audiences and the media, explored the online world, making physical the virtual experience of link-clicking, simultaneously incorporating many styles of dance.

Beyond Art Basel’s programming, South Florida’s cultural institutions again enriched the week. This year was marked by the announcement that the new Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami will move into a permanent home designed by Spanish architects Aranguren & Gallegos located in Miami’s Design District.

Once again Miami Beach’s leading museums and private collections timed their strongest shows of the year to coincide with Art Basel in Miami Beach. The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) presented ‘Impulse, Reason, Sense, Conflict/Abstract Art in the Ella Fontanals-Cisernos Collection’ while the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space showed ‘Beneath The Surface’. It was a year of anniversaries as The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse marked its 15th anniversary, and the The Rubell Family Collection presenting ’50 Years of Marriage’, celebrating Mera and Don Rubell’s half a century of marriage and collecting. Design Miami, the leading global forum for collectible design, also celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami presented Mario Garcia Torres, Beatriz Milhazes and Geoffrey Farmer. The Norton Museum of Art presented ‘RAW: Klara Kristalova’, while the Bass Museum of Art showed ‘One Way: Peter Marino’. The NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale showed ‘Café Dolly: Picabia, Schnabel, Willumsen’.

On Wednesday, December 3, Art Basel and BMW announced a new partnership supporting emerging artists. Starting in 2015, the BMW Art Journey will enable emerging artists to go on a journey of creative discovery to a destination of their choice. Functioning as a mobile studio, the BMW Art Journey is open to artists from Positions and Discoveries, Art Basel’s sectors for emerging artists in Miami Beach and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit

The show also marked the successful launch of Art Basel’s Next tours program for emerging collectors. A total of 80 collectors drawn from 12 young patrons groups of international museums attended bespoke tours of the fair and had intimate sessions with exhibiting galleries.

Art Basel’s next show in Miami Beach will take place from December 3 to December 6, 2015. Starting after the 2015 edition, the Miami Beach Convention Center will undergo major renovation, phased around the 2016 show, with the aim to finish the renovation before Art Basel returns to Miami Beach in December 2017.

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