By Betsy F. Perry | November 14, 2016 | Culture
As Art Basel Miami Beach turns the corner on 15 years, the ab-fab global art fest is bigger, better, and bolder than ever.
Art Basel Miami Beach remains a magnet for the world’s top art aficionados, continuing to grow in significance and popularity as the fair moves into its middle teens. “Every show is marked by the high quality of galleries participating,” says Art Basel Director Americas, Noah Horowitz. “However, this year also affords an opportunity to look back at the show’s past 15 years, including Art Basel’s tremendous impact on Miami and growth of international engagement with the art scenes across the Americas.”
Beginning with by-invitation-only VIP events on Wednesday, November 30—which bring out major-league collectors—and opening to the public on Thursday, December 1, ABMB will bring together 270 galleries from 30 countries. The fair also anticipates even more visitors than the 77,000 who attended the five-day fest in 2015, including the usual boldfaced names—with bank accounts to match—such as seasoned art shoppers Leonardo DiCaprio, Tommy Hilfiger, and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
As the fair has grown, so have the distinct sectors, which currently include Galleries, Nova, Positions, Survey, Edition, Film, Kabinett, and Public, featuring outdoor installations and larger-scale works. In addition to world-famous galleries like Gagosian, Marian Goodman, and Michael Werner, ABMB will welcome 22 first-time exhibitors, including 12 from the Americas, six from Europe, and four from Asia.
“We have some very exciting galleries participating in the Miami Beach show for the first time,” says Horowitz, “from Gaga Fine Arts in Mexico and Leo Xu Projects in China to Galerie Greta Meert in Belgium and Galleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M in Italy, [as well as] Di Donna and Callicoon Fine Arts in New York and Marc Selwyn Fine Art and Various Small Fires in Los Angeles.” Adds Horowitz, “I personally always enjoy getting to know new artists presented in Nova and Positions. Rita Ponce de León and Ishmael Randall Weeks at Ignacio Liprandi [gallery] and Max Hooper Schneider with High Art [gallery] come to mind.”
ABMB also offers public film screenings, talks, and tours, but much of the energy comes from the hustle and bustle of visitors wandering in and out of galleries or refueling at one of the strategically placed cafés, where eavesdropping on whopper deals—semi-sotto voce—adds to the excitement. It’s all part of the hype that attracts the world’s gaze toward ABMB, a fair at the forefront of premier high-octane events in the art world, and one held in a city that thrives on celebrity. November 30 through December 4, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach