Over 250 galleries from 36 countries will be participating in the 2021 edition of the annual Art Basel Miami Beach art fair that returns to its full-scale physical format after last year’s edition was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the premier art fairs in the Americas, the show scheduled to be held from December 2-4 at the Miami Beach Convention Centre, promises to present a unique overview of artists, galleries and key trends from the region. It will have on offer works across all media, from rare and historical masterpieces to new pieces by today’s emerging artistic voices.
(Untitled (ivory black on cadmium yellow, nine square progressions around the edges), 2019 by Paul Mogensen | Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo )
“There's enormous excitement within the art world on both sides of the Atlantic about Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. Not only because it's our first fair in two years in the Americas, but also because the show has never before featured such a diverse range of voices,” said Marc Spiegler, Global Director of Art Basel.
What to look out for at the fair:
The Meridians, which is the fair’s unique platform for large-scale projects and allows galleries to showcase monumental works like large-scale sculptures and paintings, installations, video projections, and live performances, will this year be curated by Mexico City-based art critic Magalí Arriola, Director of Museo Tamayo.
Night (Sky, Summer Ground, 2021 by Sam Falls | Courtesy Sam Falls and 303 Gallery, New York)
Among the exhibits will be a new work by Brazilian artist Maxwell Alexandre as part of his ‘Pardo é Papel’ series, a site-specific installation and a performance-based activation of six body devices by Canadian artist Brendan Fernandes titled ‘Contract and Release’ (2019–2021), American artist Todd Gray’s ‘Sumptuous Memories of Plundering Kings’ (2021), a 14-part work exceeding 30 feet in length, exploring the history and enduring impact of European colonialism, slavery, and the African diaspora, and a monumental double-sided painting by Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong titled ‘De zachterkant van het bestaan' (The backside of existence) (1992) among others.
The fair’s Kabinett section that provides galleries with the opportunity to present curated exhibitions in separately delineated spaces within their booths, this year, will include 25 presentations by established and emerging artists.
(The Value of Sharpness: When it Falls, 2019 by Nicholas Galanin | Courtesy Peter Blum Gallery)
These include Argentinian gallery Jorge Mara - La Ruche’s presentation of Ellen Auerbach, Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola, three influential figures of Avant-Garde photography who established themselves as visionary modernists in Europe and South America during the 1930s; German gallery Sies + Höke’s presentation of rare early drawings by Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, which trace the differences as well as the common ground in their artistic approaches; Spanish gallery Mayoral’s presentation of works by Manolo Millares, one of the most important Spanish artists of the post-war European Informalist movement; and American gallery Roberts Projects’ presentation of community-based portraits by Ghanian artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, a series of new paintings exploring the relationships between identity, materiality, and race, that mark a critical evolution for the artist.
Another noteworthy segment of the fair is its “Conversation” series offers a platform for the exchange of ideas on topics concerning the global contemporary art scene.
(Desert, 2021 by Doug Aitken | Courtesy the artist; 303 Gallery (New York); Galerie Eva Presenhuber (Zurich); Victoria Miro (London); and Regen Projects, Los Angeles)
This year’s program features 10 panels bringing together leading artists, gallerists, collectors, art historians, curators, museum directors and critics from across the world discussing diverse issues from the rise of the NFT art market to questions of resilience post-pandemic and the need to re-invent the museum.