Art Basel Miami Beach: Leading Galleries, Big Parties

Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) is back and bigger than ever this year. 267 galleries are scheduled to exhibit, alongside countless more screenings, parties, and unofficial events. Gallery-hoppers will find an unforgettable mix of high art, cultural experiences, and no-holds-barred Miami-style partying. (And of course, champagne on the sand.)

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Willem de Kooning, Untitled IV Image courtesy Acquavella Galleries. © 2015 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The ABMB’s crown jewel this year will be a $10 million Willem de Kooning, Untitled IV. The gallery holds an impressive collection of de Kooning’s drawings and paintings, all well worth the price of admission on their own account.

Miami is widely regarded as the center for Latin American art in the US, so it’s no surprise that a strong contingent of galleries will be making the journey north from South America. Galería Elba Benítez and Galeria Nara Roesler, among others, will be bringing hundreds of Latin American artists between them, including some compelling installation work. Keep an eye out for the politically-infused sculptures of Antonio Dias, whose sculpture series based on ballot boxes should be particularly resonant in this tumultuous election season.

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Antonio Dias , Do It Yourself: Freedom Territory, 1968, Adhesive vinyl on floor

On the other side of the Atlantic, the South African Stevenson Gallery will be shipping over some striking pieces by the sculptor Wim Botha, whose grotesque work has been widely lauded for its unusual use of medium; most notably old books, hacked and dismembered into unsettling Frankenstein-like busts and ethereal, winged geometries. The effect, overall, is simultaneously surgical and organic, with a pleasing play on layers lent to the forms by the limitation of the literary object. In Botha’s hands, the book becomes more clay than script.

Wim Botha

This year at ABMB sees former Armory Show director Noah Horowitz directing the show, and his penchant for trimming the fluff and looking internationally promises to deliver a refined and eclectic curation.

Art Basel Miami runs from December 3-6, 2015. Tickets are on sale currently; day passes cost $47, full passes $100.

More information on exhibiting galleries and ticketing is available at Art Basel.

— Words by Vagazine editors