The 14th edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach closed on December 6 and the fair was as stupendous as ever. 267 galleries from 32 countries attracted 77,000 visitors to the convention center, and more than 20 satellite art fairs expanded Miami Art Week beyond South Beach into downtown, Wynwood, and the Design District.
For this post-Basel post, we’re keen to look beyond the fair. Miami’s art institutions are developing at incredible speed, and the city has quickly become a year-round cultural destination.
Last December, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) celebrated the first year of its landmark building by Herzog & de Meuron. This year, PAMM has a new director. Franklin Sirmans, the former Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at LACMA, has just taken the post and has a big job ahead of him. PAMM does not have a strong permanent collection, its endowment campaign is stalled at $20 million with a goal of $70 million, and there is still contention about the naming of the building for $40 million, notwithstanding that it was the largest cultural gift ever made in Miami.
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, which was also in a new location last year, has also just hired a director. Ellen Salpeter, the former Deputy Director of External Affairs at the Jewish Museum in New York, is ICA’s first permanent director since it split from the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. The ICA is in a temporary space in Miami’s Design District, but will be in a new building designed by the Spanish firm Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos by mid-2017.
A new arts and cultural center, Faena Forum, will open in Miami Beach in 2016. The geometric building was designed by Rem Koolhaas and will support programming in art, science, technology, politics, urbanism, and Latin American culture as a satellite location of Faena Art Buenos Aires.
Not yet under construction, the proposed Latin American Art Museum could become the world’s largest Latin American art museum in 2018. The $50 million museum is being developed by art dealer Gary Nader along with two residential and hotel towers that will help fund the museum. The $350 million project is designed by Fernando Romero, the architect of Mexico City’s Museo Soumaya.
A smaller but still significant project is the $7.5 million expansion of the Bass Museum of Art. The museum was founded in 1963 and its original building dates to 1933, so the Bass is historic in Miami Beach. The expansion will increase the museum’s square feet by 30 percent when it re-opens in 2016. The project is designed by Arata Isozaki, who designed the 2002 expansion.
There’s also the $300 million Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science set to open next to PAMM in 2016, transforming Miami’s Bicentennial Park into Museum Park. And since 2014, new directors have been appointed to the Wolfsonian-FIU, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, the Lowe Art Museum, and FIU’s Frost Art Museum.
That’s a lot to consider, but we cannot forget about the fair.