Art Basel Miami Beach VIP Opening
Ahead of today’s VIP opening of Art Basel Miami Beach , the fair unveiled its highly anticipated Meridians sector, featuring 34 large-scale artworks within the convention center’s second floor ballroom. Curated by Magalí Arriola, the director of Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo, Meridians gives galleries the prospect to showcase works which may overwhelm a typical fair booth, including variety of historical pieces, a number of which haven’t been shown in years.
With that in mind, dealers almost certainly have their sights assail institutional buyers, who are the foremost likely to possess the space to accommodate such ambitious works. Steve Wilson, collector and founding father of the 21c Museum Hotels chain, as an example , snapped up Portia Munson’s The Garden (1996), a room-sized installation chock filled with artificial flowers and other colorful manufactured objects, for $225,000 from New York’s PPOW Gallery.
“It’s very exciting,” said the artist of the sale to Artnet News. “It’s getting to survive during a specialized way.” Munson noted that she was thrilled that the complex work would not languish in storage.
When deciding what to display at the new sector, Munson’s piece was the apparent choice for gallery co-founder Wendy Olsoff. “For Meridians, you’ve got to possess a bit that’s an entire installation,” she explained. “This work is about the intersection of sexism and consumerism, and that we just thought that with the climate crisis here, its environmental message would resonate.”
Similar in concept to the crowd-pleasing Unlimited sector in Art Basel in Switzerland, albeit smaller in scale, Meridians is being introduced one year after the fair phased out Art Basel Public. The free outdoor exhibition of large-scale sculpture had been held in Collins Park outside the Bass Museum since 2011. (This year, the park is home to the group show “Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires .”)
At Meridians, the 60,000-square-foot exhibition space is sprawling, but manageable, compared to the labyrinthine layout of the most show. Completed last year after three years of convention center renovations, the ballroom staged a performance art piece by Abraham Cruzvillegas during the 2018 fair.
Overall, the presentation is heavy on wall-based works. The historical offerings included Allan McCollum’s Constructed Paintings (1971–73) from Petzel, New York, and Alexis Smith’s Fool’s Gold (1982)—not seen since 1990 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of yank Art in New York—from New York’s Garth Greenan. New work also made the cut, including John M. Armleder’s pour painting Stetson (2019), from Almine Rech, also in ny .
Sculptural works abound also , like Oscar Tuazon’s Quonset Tent (2016) from Chantal Crousel, Paris. The architectural work was inspired by the efficient prefabricated Quonset huts made up of corrugated galvanized steel and used for various purposes including temporary housing and military encampments. And Los Angeles’s Anat Ebgi is restaging Tina Girouard’s Pinwheel (1977), a performance only seen at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Each of the work’s four performers uses the objects in their quadrant of their installation to enact a ritual.