Just six weeks until the opening of Art Basel Miami Beach! The 13th edition of the annual art fair -- and all it's satellite fairs, exhibits, museum and gallery openings (and parties) -- begins on Wednesday, December 3rd and runs through the 7th at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The city's ambitious plan to build a new convention center has now been replaced with a simpler and cheaper "re-model," but that won't affect this year's fair or the expected 75,000+ international visitors.
For 2014, ABMB launches a new sector called Survey, featuring "art-historical projects" from thirteen galleries including two rare "Tir-Assemblages" by Niki de Saint Phalle, outsider art by Henry Darger, mid-twentieth century works by the Brazilian artist Alfredo Volpe and more. The original "sectors" will also return, including Nova, Positions and Kabinett; plus all the big outdoor, public art projects in Collins Park and the films in SoundScape Park and at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road.
Due to an on-going fight between two factions of Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th Street, North Miami) several members of the museum's board resigned and started a new museum called the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Moore Building (4040 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami) in the Design District. MOCA is still alive, and they're having an opening reception for an exhibition called "Shifting the Paradigm: The Art of George Edozie" featuring works by the Nigerian artist on December 2nd at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Design District is rapidly morphing into "the luxury fashion district" with an incredible transformation of the entire area still underway. Lots of stores are already open including Prada, Marni, Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Louboutin, Cartier, Celine, Pucci, Dior etc. and many more are on the way. And there's a new "Palm Court" featuring a Buckminster Fuller dome, an enormous underground parking garage and plans for a condominium building to be designed by Chicago starchitect Jeanne Gang. You can follow the progress HERE.
To take advantage of all the "luxury" in town for ABMB, The New York Times is hosting an "International Luxury Conference" at the Mandarian Oriental Hotel from December 1st to 3rd with guest speakers including Francois-Henri Pinault, Diane Von Furstenberg, Frida Giannini, Tom Sachs, Diego Della Valle and many more. Tickets are $4250.
The third edition of the SELECT art fair is making a bold move up to North Miami Beach where they plan to set up a 40,000 square-foot tent to hold over 50 galleries on the beach at 72nd Street. They'll also use the art deco amphitheater already on the site for installations, performances and exhibitions. Just a few blocks south at 67th Street and Collins Avenue, the NADA fair is back in the Deauville Beach Resort. The whole strip of Miami Beach from the W Hotel on 23rd Street up to the SoHo Beach House on 43rd Street is the hottest new, high-end real estate in town. This year should see the opening of Ian Schrager's Miami Beach Edition hotel (rooms are over $1,000 a night during ABMB) on 29th Street; and construction is also well under way at Alan Faena's massive $1 billion hotel, condo and art museum complex at 32nd Street with buildings designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA and Norman Foster. If your budget won't cover any of these mid-beach, mega resorts, we suggest the super-cool and trendy Freehand Miami on 27th Street were a co-ed dorm room goes for around $115 per person a night.
The Bass Museum of Art (2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with a big gala on November 1st and, during ABMB, they're planning an exhibition called "One Way: Peter Marino" curated by Jerome Sans. Marino is a renowned American architect and designer and this show will include art from his private collection plus site-specific installations, an opera collaboration and a series of his bronze boxes. The opening VIP reception is the evening of December 3rd and it will be open to the public from the 4th until March 29, 2015.
On Thursday, December 4th, the up-and coming UK singer FKA Twigs will be performing at YoungArts and on Friday, December 5th, they've booked the Grammy-nominated and Mercury Prize winning recording artist James Blake. Tickets are available HERE. Last year, the National YoungArts Foundation debuted their new home in the old Bacardi building on Biscayne Boulevard and now they're moving ahead with plans to open a restaurant and performing arts space on the top floor called Ted's. Philadelphia's Stephen Starr Events will handle the food.