With the conclusion of a challenging year of recovery for the International art world, this year’s edition of the Art Basel fair franchise comes as a welcome return, following a subdued 2020. Bringing together the global art community for a week of fairs, exhibitions and parties on the streets of Miami and Miami Beach, the fair and its satellites has once again opened in full swing, spanning the streets and halls of the city. At the center of the week’s proceedings is, of course, the Art Basel event, the mega-fair spanning the Miami Beach Convention Center’s recently renovated halls. With precautions in place for Covid-19 concerns under the spectre of the Omicron variant, the fair still managed to bring forth an impressive and well-presented event.
The fair continued its string of striking and ambitious fairs, matching the energy and selection of prior years. At Sadie Coles, one could view a towering depiction of Julian Schnabel, one of the artist’s iconic wax works, meant to be burned down to nothing as an immense candle. At David Kordansky, the gallery was presenting a string of works by gallery artists, including luminescent glass work by Fred Eversley paintings by Rashid Johnson, while at Regen Projects, one could view work by Daniel Richter, while at Galerie Perrotin, one could view a Daniel Arsham sculpture of a classic Porsche, and at Jeffrey Deitch, one could view a selection of iconic works by Keith Haring. Also of note was a striking Ugo Rondinone sculpture at Esther Schipper, towering over visitors in its dense set of blues.
Sales were strong over the course of the week, with buyers clearly catching the energy of the bustling aisles and enthusiasm of the attendees. Casey Kaplan had a strong week, selling work by Jordan Casteel, Sarah Crowner and Kevin Beasley, while at Matthew Marks, the gallery had a strong week with works by their newest artist, Simone Leigh, selling an impressive sculpture for $400,000 in the early hours of the fair.
Marking a strong week for the fair, the most recent iteration of Art Basel Miami Beach offers a note of optimism in the face of the current challenges on the global stage, and a moment for viewers to delve back into the experience of viewing and discovering new work. The fair closes December 4th.
– D. Creahan
Art Basel Miami Beach [Exhibition Site]