Art Basel, another successful year for the art world by Betty Alvarez

The 2012 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach officially on December 9. Praised by critics, exhibitors and visitors as Art Basel’s most serious presentation in Miami Beach to date, its galleries across the board reported consistent sales throughout the week.

The show, whose main sponsor is UBS, again attracted 50,000 visitors, generating an attendance of 70,000 over the five show days. Art Basel in Miami Beach was visited by over 130 museum and institution groups from across the world. Renowned private collectors from the Americas, Europe and emerging markets returned, and were joined by new collectors from around the globe.

As Art Basel marked its second decade in Miami Beach, more than 250 leading galleries from 31 countries from North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia presented the highest quality of work at the show, underlining its seriousness. Given a particularly strong representation of Modern material at the show, as well as the entry of a dynamic selection of younger galleries – including nine that were newly accepted to the fair from NADA– visitors explored 11 decades and over 110 years of art history within the Miami Beach Convention Center. Additionally, collaborations with local and international partners ensured a diverse and deep program of art events, from Art Basel Conversations and Art Salon to Art Public, Art Video and Art Film, making this edition a celebration of the artists and their galleries.

For the second year running, Art Public, produced in collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art, turned Collins Park into an outdoor exhibition space with large-scale sculpture, video, installation and live performances. For this year’s edition, the sector’s curator Christine Y. Kim, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art (LACMA) and Co-founder, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) brought even more complex works to Miami Beach and extended the exhibition space into the sky, across which Dave McKenzie’s airplane carrying a banner offering different marriage proposals every day. A highlight of the week, Art Public Opening Night on December 6 was free and open to the public, offering a program of performances by Jason and Alicia Hall Moran with Brandon Ross, My Barbarian and Alex Israel. For more information please visit artbasel.com/public.

Art Kabinett became one of the talking points of the show for connoisseurs. 20 select galleries from the Art Galleries sector of the show curated exhibitions in separately delineated spaces within their booths. This year’s sector presented work by artists including Fiona Banner (Galerie Barbara Thumm), Chuck Close (Two Palms), Jannis Kounellis (Galerie Lelong), Jorinde Voigt (David Nolan Gallery) and Yan Xing (Galerie Urs Meile), and curated shows on General Idea (Esther Schipper); Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Suzanne Duchamp (Francis M. Naumann Fine Art); and Helio Oiticica and Jarbas Lopes (A Gentil Carioca). For more information please visit artbasel.com/kabinett.

For others, Art Positions proved a highlight. Featuring a tight selection of 16 galleries, the sector continued as an exciting platform for collectors, museum directors, critics and art enthusiasts to gain further insight into the work of individual emerging artists. Presentations included: Matt Keegan (Altman Siegel Gallery SF), Pablo Rasgado (Arratia Beer), Nathan Peter (PSM), Leyla Cárdenas (Galería Casas Riegner), Colby Bird (Fitzroy Gallery), Christian Flamm (Galeria Fonti), Felipe Arturo (La Central), Irene Kopelman (Labor), Paulo Vivacqua (Galeria Laura Marsiaj), Julieta Aranda (Galerie mor.charpentier), Atsushi Kaga (Mother’s Tankstation), Asli Cavusoglu (NON Gallery), Ivan Seal (RaebervonStenglin), Andra Ursuta (Ramiken Crucible), Latoya Ruby Frazier (Galerie Michel Rein), and Agustina Woodgate (Spinello Projects). For more information on Art Positions, please visit artbasel.com/positions.

With 40 galleries on display, this year’s edition of Art Nova featured work by more than 100
artists from across the world including juxtapositions such as: Yael Bartana, Tal R. and Tom Burr (Sommer Contemporary Art); Tania Pérez Cordova and Nina Beier (Proyectos Monclova); Becky Beasley and Simon Dybbroe Möller (Francesca Minini); Theaster Gates and Angel Otero (Kavi Gupta Gallery); John Gerrard, Michelle Lopez and Hans Schabus (Simon Preston); Brigida Baltar, Lucia Koch and Melanie Smith (Galeria Nara Roesler); Julião Sarmento and Leigh Ledare (Pilar Corrias); Dove Allouche, Jonathan Binet and Jessica Warboys (Gaudel de Stampa); and Hao Liang, Yangjiang Group and Zheng Guogu (Vitamin Creative Space). The sector again became a space of discovery for works fresh from the studio. For a full list of galleries and the artists, please visit artbasel.com/nova.

Also in its second year, Art Video was produced in collaboration with the New World Center and David Gryn of London’s Artprojx. Following its success last year, the free screenings in SoundScape Park on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the Frank Gehry designed building were extended by one additional night of programming and attracted an estimated 1,200 visitors. Showing just over 60 videos, the program was marked by the dusktill- dawn screening of ‘Bliss’ by Ragnar Kjartansson, which was presented in collaboration with MOCA North Miami and the New World Center. For more information please visit artbasel.com/video.

Art Film was again selected by Zurich film connoisseur This Brunner and presented the feature-length documentary film ‘Painters Painting’ (1973) by Emile de Antonio on the New York art scene from 1940 to 1970. For more information please visit artbasel.com/film.

About Art Basel
Art Basel stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show’s singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration and new contacts in the art world.

For the latest updates on Art Basel, visit artbasel.com or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/artbaselmiamibeach.

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