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Noteworthy Exhibits and Events Surround 10th Edition of Art Basel Miami Beach

By Jenifer Mangione Vogt

The art world descends on Miami Beach at the beginning of December for the 10th Art Basel Miami Beach, the most important art fair in the U.S. However, it’s by no means the only venue for great art in South Florida during this time. Here are some noteworthy exhibits, performances and events at-and within traveling distance from-Basel.

While Art Basel Miami Beach hosts 260 of the world’s leading galleries, the show also includes events and art discussions ancillary to the exhibit hall. Basel creates sectors, making it somewhat easier to navigate this behemoth. For one, there’s a collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art called Art Public in Collins Park with art by renowned and emerging artists. Art Nova presents  artists’ newest work, and with Art Kabinett, galleries house curated exhibits within their booth.

Art Miami venue at Midtown Miami (December 2010)

Art Miami venue at Midtown Miami (December 2010)

Through Art Basel Conversations art world heavyweights, including leading artists, scholars, curators and collectors, provide moderated panel discussions. On December 3rd at 10 a.m. there will be a local focus when MoCA Director, Bonnie Clearwater, MoCA Director Bonnie Clearwater moderates a collector’s panel, “Art Basel Miami Beach and South Florida: A Decade of Transformation” that includes Martin Z. Margulies and Carlos de la Cruz.

Take a short trip north and the vibe changes slightly with a shift to a younger crowd at New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), which assembles the world’s newest and strongest art galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art.

Across the Bay and throughout Downtown, Midtown and the Design District, Claire Breukel has curated “Get the Green Light,” a scavenger-hunt exhibit that includes 10 Miami-based artists charged with the directive: Make anything and make it everywhere you want (See more at www.gspotartproject.com.)

In Downtown Miami, the Miami Art Museum hosts its annual “Party on the Plaza” at 7 p.m. on December 1st featuring a performance by Rashaad Newsome, “Hair Affair & Five.” Its annual ball begins at 7 p.m. on December 3rd at the Fountainbleau with a special “Crash the Ball” after-party beginning at 11 p.m. On view at the museum is a show of rarely seen work, “The Return of FAITH! American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s,” which represents an artistic exploration of race, gender and class.

Other major fairs take place in the Wynwood Art District, including Art Miami, a showcase of modern and contemporary art from 100 international art spaces. Across the way, SCOPE presents 80 galleries in its unique tradition of solo and thematic group shows presented alongside museum-quality programming. SCOPE shares space with Art Asia, which brings galleries that present contemporary and emerging Asian artists. The hip vibe continues at PULSE Miami, where second-year Director Cornell DeWitt has expressed his commitment to local artists and interests, blended within its progressive mix of renowned and pioneering global contemporary artists.

Jenny Saville, Reverse, 2002-2003, oil on canvas, 84” x 96.” Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. On view at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Composition with Sgraffito II), ca. 1944. Washburn, New York. (On view at Art Basel Miami Beach 2011)

SCULPT Miami is the platform for large-scale indoor and outdoor sculptures with a focus on new tendencies in contemporary sculpture and the use of original materials. Works appears within the heart of Wynwood and also in front of the Red Dot Art Fair.

The Margulies Collection Warehouse proffers a new exhibit with works by Bruce Nauman, Yuichi Higashionna, Mary Ellen Mark, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha and Gregor Hildebrandt, amongst others, alongside permanent collection artists, such as Donald Judd, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Richard Serra and Michelangelo Pistoletto. “American Exuberance” appears at the Rubell Family Collection and showcases work by 64 artists, including Frank Benson, Hannah Greely, John Miller, Richard Prince and Ryan Trecartin.

Collector Lin Lougheed and New World School of the Arts host “Rapture: The Day After” with a Cuban breakfast at CasaLin (www.casalin.org) on December 1st at 9 a.m. (word has it the rum is usually gone by 10 a.m.).

Bernice Steinbaum Gallery will be at Art Miami with work by María Magdalena Campos-Pons, and in their gallery will feature Peter Sarkisian, Holly Lynton and Aurora Molina. Black Square Gallery presents “Dream Catcher,” an annual festival introducing artists under 40 from around the world. David Castillo Gallery houses “Don’t Get High On Your Own Supply,” including works by Samantha Bittman, Daniel Gordon, Elena Herzog and Vik Muñiz.

Pan American Art Projects presents “Fragmentos” (Fragments), a solo show by Cuban artist José Manuel Fors, who was a member of the legendary group Volumen I. Hardcore Art Contemporary Space presents two exhibits: Gastón Ugalde and Milton Becerra. Now Contemporary Art mounts the work of Brazilian artist Nelson Leirner.

The Lélia Mordoch Gallery presents the thought-provoking “Is Art An Antidepressant?” celebrating the 21st anniversary of her gallery. A “Self Curated Rirkrit Tiravanija Show” runs at the Craig Robins Collection. The inimitable Cuban-American duo, Guerra de la Paz, has Miami-inspired work on display at Praxis International Art.

Harold Golen Gallery will have a selection of Pop Surrealist artists. LMNT presents “The Human Cloth,” which includes works by Luis Valenzuela, Barry Gross, Tatiana Blanco, Reinier Gamboa, Angel Vapor and others. Zadok Art Gallery has solo shows by Chen Man, Hunter Jonakin, Lewis Tardy and the ever-fun and colorful work of Brooklyn-based painter Lori Kirkbride.

Jenny Saville, Reverse, 2002-2003, oil on canvas, 84” x 96.” Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. On view at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

Jenny Saville, Reverse, 2002-2003, oil on canvas, 84” x 96.” Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. On view at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

Nektar De Stagni Shop and Gallery Diet collaborate onHard Poems in Space” for which artists and designers were invited to make functional objects that will be collectively displayed as an interactive social environment.

In the Design District, Etra Fine Art presents new work by Francisco Zúñiga and Fernando de Szyszlo. “Undertow,” a show of work by Jason Shawn Alexander, an L.A.-based expressionist painter, is at 101/exhibit. And, in a departure from the generally expected, thought will be given to the “Bigger Picture” at the de la Cruz Contemporary Art Space. Bas Fisher Invitational presents “Richard Haley: Mary, Richard, Clouds and Dirt” curated by artist Christy Gast. Haley’s environmental practice incorporates sculpture, video and actions.

Locust Projects presents “CORES and CUTOUTS,” Ruben Ochoa’s first Miami solo show in which he creates a site-specific installation using the building’s substructure as source material, along with Agustina Woodgate debuting site-specific artwork for billboards and bus shelters around the city.

In North Miami, MoCA presents 25 works in “Mark Handforth: Rolling Stop.” Inspired by everyday urban existence, Handforth’s sculptures are poetic, lyrical and wryly comical. Also, in the fifth edition  “Pivot Points,” the museum will mount Teresita Fernández’s large-scale installation, Untitled (Swimming Pool). Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation will have a pop-up store featuring artwork, jewelry and home accessories by Haitian artisans.

It’s well worth making the trip outside the immediate vicinity of Miami to a few special exhibitions and events. Westward, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU hosts the ninth-annual Basel satellite event, Breakfast in the Park, on December 4th at 9:30 a.m. with artist Joel Perlman, who has been creating complex sculptures out of steel, bronze, copper and aluminum since the early ’70s.

About 20 minutes north, the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood presents “Artist Unknown/The Free World,” a first-of-its-kind exhibition featuring hundreds of images of vernacular photography found online by Monteith and Wasow. On December 10th, they present New York Magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz.

And, finally-well worth the 45 minute trip to West Palm Beach-the Norton Museum of Art presents a significant exhibit of 28 canvases and drawings, dating from 1992 to 2011 by British artist Jenny Saville. These works have been infrequently exhibited and demonstrate Saville’s mastery of oil on canvas and her provocative depictions of the human figure. Look for information on the Saville exhibit in the ABMB catalog, too.

Jenifer Mangione Vogt is an arts writer based in Boca Raton, FL. Visit her blog at www.fineartnotebook.com.