Art Basel Miami Beach
December 08, 2016, 10:26am
For art lovers, art fairs are a blessing and a curse. There is a lot to look at, but, unfortunately, it is almost impossible to really look at anything. Distractions are everywhere. Art Basel Miami is perhaps the most difficult environment to focus on art that I have ever encountered. Navigating the crowds that aimlessly meander from one side of a congested aisle to another is challenging enough. Pair that with the siren call of hundreds of large scale works in every media simultaneously screaming for your attention and you will find art fair malaise setting in rapidly.
The 2016 iteration of Miami Basel was as overwhelming as ever, even if, as the press has widely noted, there were fewer people in attendance. It was hard to ignore some of the “major” works there – Lee Krasner’s 6 million dollar painting at Paul Kasmin, Sam Durant’s call to arms at Blum & Poe, and Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room at Victoria Miro, to name a few – but I tried my best not to get distracted. I found that the greatest visual pleasures came in small packages this year. The fair’s Survey Sector, which is dedicated to one-person exhibitions, was the highlight of the fair for me with Howardena Pindell, Margaret Kilgallen, Betye Saar, Giogio Morandi and Romare Bearden all looking stellar. Many other great works could be found in the Miami Convention Center if you gave it time.
Here are some favorites from Miami Basel 2016. - Steven Zevitas, Editor/Publisher
December 04, 2016, 4:35pm
It's that time of year, again...Back to Miami to get our annual fix of great art and beautiful weather (we live in Boston, after all). Let's start things off right with scenes from Art Basel. It was noticeably quiet during the Vernissage, but there were reports of big crowds during public hours. Expect more highlights throughout the week from Scope, NADA, Pulse, and Untitled. Enjoy! - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
All photographs by Andrew Katz
December 03, 2014, 9:52am
The art market is really a miracle of evolution…it is a machine…and all this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks. Like a shark, if it stops moving forward it will quickly die. To prevent this from happening, the art market has become exceedingly good at generating and packaging the next best thing. In the old days critics and curators thought long and hard about visual culture and classified periods of time and groups of artists accordingly. These days things are moving much too quickly. We used to think in terms of –isms, but now we become briefly aware of trends.
At any given time there are numerous trends flowing through the art world. Of all the stakeholders, it is perhaps not surprising that dealers value their emergence the most. After all, there is great marketing leverage when an artist can be attached to something greater than his or her own individual practice. Collectors love trends to. It makes things super easy. Just look for something that people are excited about and buy anything that kind of looks like it. I see plenty of this in my art dealer life...these "collectors" typically have much better ears than eyes.
NICOLAS DESHAYES |Vein Section (or a cave painting), 2014, vitreous enamel on steel, powder-coated aluminum frame, 33 1/10 × 23 3/5 × 1 3/5 in, Courtesy of Jonathan Viner.
Of all the trends that will be on display in Miami this week, one strikes me as particularly pervasive: process-based painting. And one fair has more of it then any other: the ultra hip Nada Miami Art Fair. Even a cursory look at what treasures the fair will hold quickly reveals that an overwhelming amount work that belongs to the same family. Moreover, this work is spread across the stables of a wide swath of galleries. When looking at it, descriptives that come to mind include: abstract, anti-compositional, vintage, distant, cool, decorative, seductive, all-over, photographic, entropic, pattern, digital, repetitive, patina and processed. Artists that come to mind: Polke, Oehlen, Wool and Guyton.
There is no doubt that abstract painting has been the most exhibited art form over the past decade, and it has come in a variety of brands. Lately, there seem to be more and more artists who are defining their practice not so much with a specific subject or style, but by the way in which their work is made. Bleach, printing technologies, fire extinguishers, photographic chemicals, the sun and more have been deployed in the service of aesthetic advancement. The results are varied. Artists such as Hugh Scott Douglas and Sam Moyer, both of whom are on view at Miami Basel, are making substantial work and truly pushing the discourse forward. Many others are finding their way.
For those of you in Miami this week i will be curious to hear what you think. Are we witnessing the birth of Process-ism, or simply being offered this season’s hottest trend? - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
November 30, 2014, 12:02pm
It is Miami time again. I spent the last few weeks prepping for my own gallery’s presentation (UNTITLED, Booth #A04), and finally had a chance to peruse what is happening at the various fairs that will be scattered throughout the city. At the top of the heap is, of course, the fair that started them all: Art Basel Miami Beach. Over the next few days, two hundred and fifty + galleries representing thousands of artists will be busy installing their booths in preparation for next Wednesday’s Private Viewing. With the contemporary art market continuing to race along a break-neck speeds, all indications are that it will be another successful year for all involved.
I spent a few hours visiting various sites on-line to get the lay of the land. With very few exceptions I focused on emerging/mid-career artists…I mean, we all know what an Anish Kapoor looks like at this point. The list below is made up of artists and work that I am particularly excited to see next week. Enjoy the list. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
November 30, 2014, 6:20pm
As I have said many times, one of the great joys of publishing New American Paintings is following the careers of our alumni. We do so assiduously and bring updates to our readership through the publication and on-line via the New American Paintings/BLOG. Part of the publication’s raison d’etre is to give our readership the type of inside information that allows them to discover artistic talent before it emerges. Whether it is an artist such as Matthew Day Jackson, who was featured in 2001 while still earning his MFA, or Evan Nesbit, who was featured in 2012 only months before Roberts & Tilton picked him up, we have time and time again offered savvy collectors the chance to be there first.
It is no secret that art fairs are driving much of the art market these days, and, like everything in life, the art fair system has a pecking order. At the top of the mountain is Art Basel, and its sister fair, Basel Miami Beach. For all intents and purposes, galleries that are included in this fair have “made it,” and the artists they present there are having their work exposed to thousands of collectors, art world professionals, and art enthusiasts. For these lucky artists, it is a very big deal that can launch careers and push already thriving ones to the next level.
Every year we scour the rosters of the various fairs set to open in Miami in search of NAP alumni who will be on view. As in the past, the various satellite fairs will include dozens of them. This year, however, we are excited to see that no less then 30 NAP alumni will be featured at the Big Show: 2014 Basel Miami Beach. A sample of them are listed below, many of whom are now internationally known. Our congratulations go out to all of them. See you in Miami. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
December 02, 2013, 10:46am
Here we go again: it is Miami time for the art world. Over the next week hundreds of galleries representing thousands of artists will descend on southern Florida for an annual event that is part cultural bazaar, and part art world summer camp. Once again, there are a multitude of art fairs: NADA, Untitled, Miami Project and Pulse just to name a few. At the top of the art world pyramid though, stands the fair that got the whole week humming: Art Basel Miami.
For someone who is in Miami working, on-line art fair catalogs are a god send. I spent a few hours scouring the Basel online catalog in search of work/exhibitions that I “must see” in the relatively brief time I will have to spend at the cavernous Miami Beach Convention Center. I am also always curious as to which artists from past issues of New American Paintings have made it to what is arguably the biggest stage in the commercial world today (for example, Andrew Brischler who appeared in NAP just a couple of years ago and now finds himself at the big show with GAVLAK).
Andrew Brischler (NAP #98)
In the next few days I'll be posting lists comprised of artists, artworks, and exhibitions appearing at this year’s installment of Art Basel Miami that I am eager to see. I focused mostly on emerging artists. There is obviously a plethora of historic and blue chip work that will be on view as well, but I tend to focus on the new and interesting at these things.
Today's list is comprised of former New American Paintings artists that you'll find at this year's Art Basel. Tomorrow we'll start posting other artists at the fair. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher