December 6th, 2012

MIAMI — Held annually since 2002 as the sister event to Switzerland’s art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach has arguably become the most popular American art fair. Each year in December, galleries, dealers, artists, buyers, and good old-fashioned art lovers make their way to the sunshine state where they can work on those tans while simultaneously feasting their eyes on the works by new and established artists. While the fair has become a bit of a magnet for more fashion and party-driven events, it is still an important week for art dealers and artists alike. This year 680 galleries competed for the coveted 257 slots and the opportunity to dazzle the masses.

While some galleries are choosing to keep things simple as they tweak their exhibits for the upcoming Art Basel Hong Kong, others are opting for the “bigger is better” route by stocking their booths with large scale works, or presenting large scale exhibitions. Galerie Lelong is featuring Cildo Meireles’s Canto #1B 1967-2011, a freestanding corner with a puddle of pink paint gushing onto the floor that is in the 7 figure price range. Miami gallery Locust Projects is presenting an installation by Chicago artist Theaster Gates entitled “Soul Manufacturing Corporation,” taking place all day from December 6th to December 9th, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For the work, Gates plans to “create a factory consisting of four pavilions occupied by skilled makers who will produce ‘things’ throughout the week.” A yoga instructor, DJ, and reader will also be present to entertain both “makers” and viewers alike.

Still others are working on big ideas as opposed to big exhibitions. California artist Dickson Schneider is on with hopes of raising money for his “Free Art Cart.” With a goal of raising $800, Schneider hopes to be pushing his art cart through the streets of Miami, handing out 300 works of art. Schneider claims: “Participating in this project illuminates the distortions of the art world. It connects all of us who engage the project to the biggest art fair in the world.” To contribute to Schneider’s Free Art Cart, go to:

OH WOW gallery, which recently moved from Miami to Los Angeles, will present the final edition of their satellite fair called “It Ain’t Fair.” The fair is curated as a group show, and it will feature works by KAWS, Leo Fitzpatrick, Harmonie Korine, Terry Richardson.

Whatever your tastes may be, Art Basel Miami will certainly have something for everyone, which is part of why this art fair will continue to be one of the world’s most popular.

Image courtesy of Art Basel Miami

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