Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Miami Beach

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By: Shayne Benowitz | Sep 19, 2019

Everything you need to know about Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

Art Basel Miami Beach is North America's most comprehensive international contemporary art fair with over 268 galleries from 35 countries showcasing works by more than 4,000 artists. Held at the newly reimagined Miami Beach Convention Center, Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 expects to draw more than 83,000 art dealers, artists, collectors and aficionados to Miami during the fair held this year from December 5-8, 2019. It's also spawned more than 20 satellite fairs, as well as parties and events galore.

Art Basel refers to the singular fair held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, but the spirit of Art Basel lives in venues big and small throughout the city hosting satellite fairs, glittering parties and events in a week that's become known as Miami Art Week. The Convention Center space is only the beginning of the whirlwind week of art and parties that's perfectly suited for Miami.

The History of Art Basel

A sister fair of the original Art Basel, founded in Basel, Switzerland in 1970, the Miami Beach edition has been an annual fixture in early December since 2002. The brainchild of a trio of Swiss gallerists, Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt, their vision brought together the artists they represented, as well as collectors, curators and critics from all over the globe for the first Art Basel in Switzerland. Their vision was a success and over 16,000 people attended the first fair.

Miami was selected as an ideal sister destination with its unique position at the nexus of North America and South America. Over the years, with the boon from Art Basel, Miami has become a thriving year-round arts destination in its own right with a vibrant gallery scene, cutting-edge museums and world-class street art.

A third edition of Art Basel launched in Hong Kong in 2012. The city sits symbolically at the crossroads of Eastern and Western culture. Art Basel Cities is a new initiative that launched in September 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Art Basel Cities brings the art fair to a different international city annually.

About Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

At Art Basel Miami Beach 2019, the exhibition space at the Miami Beach Convention Center is divided into sectors: Galleries, Nova, Positions, Edition, Kabinett, Survey, Meridians and Magazines. Galleries serve as the centerpiece of the show where international galleries showcase the work of the artists they represent.

The sectors divide the fair into separate curatorial spaces. Nova exhibits new, cutting-edge works from emerging artists and galleries. Meridians is the newest sector, curated by Mexico City-based Magali Arriola inside the convention center's new Grand Ballroom, presenting monumental works, including large-scale sculptures, installations and performance art.

Kabinett focuses on a body of work by a single artist or a themed group exhibition. Survey is dedicated to art history projects ranging from solo shows to thematic exhibitions with select galleries. There's also a series of Conversations throughout the week ranging from panel discussions to lectures.

A Public sector is sited at Collins Park in collaboration with The Bass and features thought-provoking sculptures and site-specific installations. The Public sector is free and open to the public, while tickets to Art Basel at the convention center start at $65 per person.

Miami's Art Scene

Miami's premier art museums showcase their most impressive exhibits of the year during Miami Art Week. A visit to Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) overlooking Biscayne Bay inside its landmark building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog and de Meuron is a must. Their exhibitions on display during Miami Art Week 2019 include Teresita Fernandez's "Elemental," George Segal's "Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael" and works gifted to the museum by Los Angeles-based collector Gordon W. Bailey. 

Additionally, don't miss the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Wolfsonian-FIU, The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum-FIU and the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, for special exhibits during the month of December.

Miami is also home to some of the world's most impressive private art collections. Stop by The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, and the De la Cruz Collection as well as the Rubell Museum, which will reopen in a brand new location in Wynwood in time for Art Basel 2019.

The entire city transforms into a canvas for ephemeral installations and art happenings. Take a leisurely stroll through South Beach, Midtown, Wynwood or Downtown to take in the sights. Miami Art Week 2019 also promises to be a major bacchanal with VIP parties, dinners and events thrown every night.

Miami Art Week 2019 Satellite Fairs

In addition to Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, there are a number of must-see satellite fairs. As the official sister fair to Art Basel Miami Beach, the Design Miami/ tent is adjacent to the Convention Center. Design Miami/ celebrates the world's leading galleries specializing in collectible 20th and 21st century design.

Scope and Art Miami actually predate Art Basel Miami Beach and feature an impressive array of galleries with modern works. For more cutting edge contemporary work, check out Pulse Miami Beach, NADA Miami and Untitled, Miami Beach.

For a full list of satellite fairs, check out our guide to Miami Art Week Satellite Fairs 2019

Free Art Week Shuttle Service

In an effort to make the numerous art fairs in Miami Beach and Miami more easily accessible, the two cities have joined efforts to operate a free shuttle service that connects to the existing free transportation services and art shows in each city. There are many transportation options during your visit.


Read More about Art Basel:

Miami's Best Late Night Eats For Art Basel
Where To Stay During Art Basel Miami Beach
Restaurants Near Art Basel Miami Beach
How To Get Around During Miami Art Week and Art Basel


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