Every year, Art Basel Miami Beach takes over the 305 with art and design exhibits, panels, and parties. Miami Beach has become the Swiss-born expo's most raucous edition thanks to the celebrities in attendance, the money thrown at artworks, and the over-the-top parties at practically every hotel and yacht in the metropolitan area.
If you’ve watched Art Basel Miami Beach unfold on social media in years past, you might have gotten the sense it’s one big party — and the only party in town. But the week-long Miami Art Week program, of which Art Basel is just one part, is both compelling and diverse. Galleries and artists bring work from all over the world, and brands commission incredible one-off installations and performances.
In addition to the commercial attractions of Art Basel Miami Beach, there are numerous individual art fairs to check out. These include DesignMiami/, SCOPE, PULSE, Prizm, Art Miami, CONTEXT, FAIR, NADA, FREE!, Aqua Art, Pinta Miami, Spectrum Miami, Art Africa Miami, and UNTITLED, Art, among others. So before you head to Florida, here are 10 things not to miss at Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami Beach 2018.
Vhils’ “Ethereal” Wynwood Walls exhibition
December 5-9, 2018 at the Wynwood Walls at Goldman Global Arts Gallery
Portuguese artist Vhils has a solo exhibition inside the Wynwood Walls at the Goldman Global Arts Gallery. “Ethereal” is being presented at the pinnacle of a 10-year cycle of work focused on cultural homogenization. Other artists exhibiting on the Wynwood Walls this year include Ron English, Queen Andrea, Kobra, and more.
Dozie Kanu’s “Birdfeeders and Play Structures” installations
From December 1 to the end of the 2018 holiday season in Miami Design District
Dozie Kanu has created multiple public pieces for the Miami Design District’s 2018 holiday commission. The commission, now in its fourth year, gives designers the opportunity to transform Miami’s streets through immersive concepts. Spread throughout the district, Kanu’s “Birdfeeders and Play Structures” are inspired by and designed to nurture childhood curiosity.
The Haas Brothers’ “Ferngully” exhibition
December 5, 2018-April 21, 2019 at the Bass Museum
For their first solo museum exhibition, the Los Angeles-based Haas Brothers are showing works intersecting art and design that explore themes of nature, sexuality, nostalgia, and social equity. The Bass has concurrent exhibitions by Paola Pivi and Aaron Curry in addition to an excellent permanent collection.
Fab 5 Freddy exhibition at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel
December 5-6 at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel
Half Gallery and Harper’s Books are presenting a series of fighter portraits by Fab 5 Freddy in the Nautilus hotel library as part of an annual series curated by SIXTY Hotels co-founder and creative director Jason Pomeranc. Additional projects at the hotel include exhibitions and works by Suzy Kellems Dominik, Vik Muniz, David Salle, Louise Bonnet, Kenny Schachter, and more.
“Young Thug as Paintings” by Hajar Benjida
December 4-9 at SCOPE Art Fair
Netherlands-based artist Hajar Benjida is showing Young Thug-inspired art at this year’s SCOPE Art Fair. The diptychs, which she first promoted via the Instagram account @youngthugaspaintings for a school project, depict images of Young Thug alongside similarly posed Renaissance paintings and are now being sponsored by Thugger’s Young Stoner Life Records.
Ebony G. Patterson’s “. . . while the dew is still on the roses . . .” exhibition
November 9, 2018-May 5, 2019 at the Pérez Art Museum
Kingston-born artist Ebony G. Patterson is in the midst of the most significant presentation of her work to date at the Pérez Art Museum. “. . . while the dew is still on the roses . . .” includes works from the last five years relating to youth culture within disenfranchised communities. Concurrent exhibitions at the museum include “American Echo Chamber” by José Carlos Martinat, “Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death” by Arthur Jafa, and a new Christo and Jeanne-Claude exhibition.
Judy Chicago’s “A Reckoning” exhibition
December 4, 2018-April 21, 2019 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
“A Reckoning,” a survey of Judy Chicago’s work at the new Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, presents major pieces by the pioneering feminist artist, including her transition from abstraction to figuration. The show is being presented alongside exhibitions and works by Louis Bourgeois, Chris Ofili, Larry Bell, and more.
Jamal Cyrus’ BMW Art Journey at Art Basel Miami Beach
December 6-9 at Art Basel Miami Beach VIP Lounge
Jamal Cyrus will share the results of his BMW Art Journey experience: new artworks created from Accra in Ghana to New Orleans, Louisiana. The pieces examine the “Afro-Atlantic” circulation of ideas between Africa, Europe, and the Americas through contemporary interviews and explorations of long-standing traditions.
AfriCOBRA’s “Messages to the People” exhibition
November 27, 2018-April 7, 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami is presenting an exhibition celebrating the founding of AfriCOBRA, the black artistic collective that helped define the visual aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement of the ’60s and ’70s. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the collective, which originated in Chicago.
Zoe Buckman’s “He Calls This Talk Banter” exhibition
December 3-8 at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach
Zoe Buckman will be presenting a three-part exhibition about inaction and women’s rights, with pieces sold benefiting Miami’s Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center. The Standard will also have works by street artist Tom Bob, who will be transforming common objects and spaces around the property.
In other design news, Virgil Abloh is here to break barriers and question everything.