Art Basel in Miami Beach was launched in 2002 as a satellite to Art Basel, the 45-year old fair in Switzerland that has become the most significant annual event in the contemporary art world. The edition in Miami Beach is steadily ascendant and, even more than Basel, as much about the milieu as the art sales.
Attendance at Art Basel in Miami Beach is expected to reach 75,000. In contrast to previous years, the fair will open for a VIP Private View at 11am on Wednesday, the Vernissage will open at 11am on Thursday, and the fair will open to the public at 3pm on Thursday. The Vernissage was previously the first opening in Miami Beach, so the addition of an earlier first choice preview aligns Miami with the fairs in Basel and Hong Kong which stratify primary and secondary VIPs as major sales typically occur before the public opening.
The most notable sales will come from the Galleries sector, which will include works from more than 200 galleries representing 4,000 artists. Among the eight other sectors, Positions will include single artist exhibitions; Kabinett will present curated exhibitions chosen from the Galleries sector; and Public will include outdoor sculptures, installations, and performances at nearby Collins Park, programmed in collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art.
While 267 of the world’s most important galleries and dealers prepare for Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center, some twenty smaller fairs (the largest of them are NADA, Untitled, Art Miami, Design Miami, Context, PULSE, Red Dot, SCOPE, and SELECT) will open with Miami Art Week on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Pérez Art Museum Miami will celebrate the first year of its new building by Herzog & de Meuron, which opened during Art Basel last year; the newly formed Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (formerly the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami) will open an inaugural exhibition in its new location in the Miami Design District; and the Bass Museum of Art will host events celebrating its 50th anniversary and forthcoming expansion.
Galleries, dealers, museums, and luxury brands will host hundreds of private parties, with VIP lists including billionaire collectors, artists, and celebrities. Your media feeds will blow up and Miami won’t sleep all week.
Art Basel in Miami Beach runs from December 4 to December 7.
We recommend Artsy’s guides and coverage for Art Basel and Art Week: Artsy Covers Art Basel in Miami Beach Week 2014.
December 7, 2014 update: codylee.co/art-basel-miami-beach-recap/