Around The Town

Art Basel 2011

         Janet Lehr: ArtMkt Recap
          Ruth Kalb: Photographs

Internationally, the number of millionaires grew by 8.3% to 10.9 million in 2010.  Estimated total of their collective net worth is $42.7 Trillion.  No wonder that art prices at the group of art fairs in Miami, December 2011, were strong, buyers hungry, the dealers happy.

         Janet Lehr: ArtMkt Recap
          Ruth Kalb: Photographs

Internationally, the number of millionaires grew by 8.3% to 10.9 million in 2010.  Estimated total of their collective net worth is $42.7 Trillion.  No wonder that art prices at the group of art fairs in Miami, December 2011, were strong, buyers hungry, the dealers happy.

 Is the recent surge in art’s popularity related to the rise of the rich and their desire to diversify their financial holdings?  "Yes, we have collectors who have said as much, particularly since 2008, particularly people in the financial industry," says Lucy Mitchell-Innes of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, president of the Art Dealers Association of America.  Today’s capricious stock markets and fluctuating currencies are benefiting the art market.  "People want to take their money out of Wall street and put it into hard assets such as art," says, Vered of Vered Gallery, a secondary market dealer.  Unlike boats or cars, which depreciate the minute they leave the showroom, art is a potentially resilient investment.  "It is easier to have ten Andy Warhol’s than to have ten yachts."  Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, the director of the Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros believes, "The area of the market that is growing like crazy is in contemporary art.  One of the factors is the global art tourism phenomenon- it’s difficult to get into MoMA these days."  Have you tried recently?  The Willem de Kooning exhibition, occupying the entire 6th floor, is drawing masses of people; the museum lobby is a milling mass of hot-to-oogle-de-Kooning- de-Kooning- de-Kooning.  As an ‘art groupie’, I say, "it’s fabulous, if anything, it should have been allowed another floor for the inclusion of a more intensive review of Willem’s drawings."

Willem de Kooning  Woman  1964  Charcoal and pencil on paper  24 x 18 inches  Signed  [de Kooning’s Women of this period are often called ‘Marilyn’s’
Vic Muniz  Marilyn and Reversal Black Marilyn from Pictures of Diamond Dust 2003.  Photographs.
To show the International scope of ABMB: The video below is the work of an Israeli artist, shown at a South African gallery!

Sigalit Landau  Black Sun  (Video).
Imagine, ten years ago, pre-Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB), Miami was known mostly for its beaches and nightlife.  Today, it has become a cultural destination with burgeoning ambitions.  The city’s museums beginning with Jorge M. Perez Art Museum (as recently as November 2011 called the Miami Art Museum), the Bass Museum and North Miami MOCA, are expanding, and its private spaces for art are increasingly active.  Major buildings by Frank Gehry, Herzog ad de Meuron and Zaha Hadid have either been completed or are planned.  The Design District is hopping.  Miami International Airport, dramatically enlarged during these years, is a dream to navigate and the car rental at the airport amazingly efficient – and everyone is polite.
Public Art 2011 at ABMB took a leap forward with the extensive outdoor installation of sculptures at the Bass Museum, stretching from the beach along Collins Park, exhibiting a record number of 24 projects selected by guest curator Christine Kim, associate curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Silvia Karman Cuino, executive director of the Bass Museum oversaw balancing the exhibition between traditionally not-for-sale museum works with the commercial nature of Art Basel-Miami Beach.
Overheard: "Art fairs in the 21st century have – at least by uncharitable commentators – have been compared to zoos, with big cat dealers staking out prime territory (booths) while nimble, meerkat-like buyers encircle the goods (art work)."
Creatures are Fun at ABMB 2011

Takashi Murakami  Panda Geant  2009 Ed  3 of 3  6.6 ft x 70.75 x 55.25 inches
Nick Cave  Sound Suits 2011 (full figure, various sizes)
Ten year recap of the fabulously successful ART BASEL-MIAMI BEACH:

Really, it should have been its 11th year, the inaugural fair was cancelled after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  "It was a tough decision, and we lost $6m, but it was the right thing to do," says the fair’s former director Sam Keller who instigated the adventure of transplanting a European art fair to Florida.  Though Miami offered none of the sophistication of many of the United States’ major cities, the intrepid ABMB founder, found enthusiastic support from the governments of Miami Beach and Miami, and a pool of determined, adventurous collectors: the Rubell’s,  Margulies, Cisneros (Cifo) and Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, who combined to make the improbable happen; ABMB today, is the world’s greatest week of art, worldwide.
Fast forward to 2011; there were approximately 260 exhibitors in the main fair at the Miami Beach convention center (compared with 200 the first year); and there were 17 satellite events (fairs and mini-groups) which showcased hundreds of galleries and thousands of artists.  DAZZLING BEST, describes ABMB 2011.

AT THE FAIR Serious ‘stuff’ abounds at ABMB 2011

 Willem De Kooning Untitled XII  80 x 70 inches
Exclamation from a ‘newbie’ perched on a ledge, massaging her feet, after an afternoon looking at art having dodged the throngs of people at ABMB.
She hadn’t seen it all.  Don’t know whether she got to the dozen small fairs in Miami Beach: Aqua, NADA, Ink, Fountain, Pool, Verge, 7 Burst, ArtNow…
Design District Fairs and Exhibits in the Wynwood section of Miami  – Fairs: Art Miami, Scope, Pulse, Red Dot, Art Asia, Fountain, Wynwood Walls,  Sculpt Miami, 18 Zones….
+ the number of galleries, 101/Exhibit, Virginia Miller, Bernice Steinbaum, Carol Jazzar, Charest-Weinberg, Diana Lownstein, Dorsch, Dina Mitrani, Perrotin, Gary Nader, Helen Lamarque, Fredric Snitzer, Trance, Kurimanzutto, Eva Presenhuber, Regen Projects, Chahan, Robert Fontaine, 22 Seven  & …
At the entrance to ART MIAMI and to PULSE, spirited works got you IN THE MOOD, for the mix of contemporary and traditional art within.

At ART MIAMI ENTRY  Kaarina Kaikkonen  As a tree, I can feel the wind (Palm Tree Installation-partial view)
At the PULSE ENTRY: Dan Gioia   Sphere – Topiary Globe  Sod and steel 60x84x84 inches
Much $$$ exchanges hands at the numerous fairs on the mainland of Miami itself.  The fairs and other artist venues used to be linked by an ‘army’ of  Pedi-cabs, missing this year.  The two mile distance from CIFO on 10th to the farthest reach of the Design district at 41st street, is walkable. But thinking ahead to the miles of walking-the-aisles each fair consumes, the ever-present cab is a good choice.  Top dog in Wynwood is Art Miami, a strong fair by any standard.  Once, but no longer a fair of  ‘Refusés’, it is clearly a fair of choice for the 100+ contemporary, international dealers.  Art Asia Miami, Aqua, Pulse, Red Dot and Scope, each have their regular return galleries, and more galleries are added every year.  Then, there are the ‘pop-up’ exhibitions, some are exhibitions by Art Schools, some by small groups of artists.
This writer’s vote for most ambitious 2011 ‘pop-up’ goes to the collaboration between Sir Norman Foster (leading London-based architect) and Buckminster Fuller (American systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist.)
A whole series of BF drawings from the Craig Robins Collection were exhibited along with the new million dollar Dymaxion #4 car produced and owned by Norman Foster, shown against the famous Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome (Buckminster Fuller named the dome "geodesic" from field experiments with artist Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain College in 1948)
From Foster’s collection of Buckminster Fuller drawings: Dymaxion (left) – Collapsible wing airplane with Dymaxion body (right).
Dymaxion #4 Against the Background of Fuller’s Geodesic Dome: Fabricated, 2011 from the original designs, by Sir Norman Foster
"I saw there was nothing to stop me from trying to think about our total planet earth and thinking realistically about how to operate it on an enduringly sustainable basis as the magnificent human-passenger spaceship that it is"
___Buckminster Fuller
Miami demonstrates it ‘mural superiority’, with projects dotting the Wynwood district, Miami’s Art and Design District.  Real estate developer Tony Goldman commissioned murals for the area turning the Wynwood district into an art hotspot.  "Ultimately, we are looking for these street artists to transcend with their symbolism what they see when they visit Miami," says Goldman, whose innovative thinking has won him credit for his work on New York’s Soho transformation in the 1970s and 1980s, Philadelphia’s downtown, and parts of Miami’s South Beach.

RON ENGLISH Wynwood Mural
Like Jeffrey Deitch, the art-dealer-turned director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, who helped found the project but is now less involved, Goldman is betting that the Walls will help remake the image of Miami ad improve community cohesion in Wynwood.  "Historically, walls have been used to keep people apart," says Goldman.  "The ‘Walls of Wynwood; were built to bring people together."  The project started life during the 2009 ABMB with 12 pieces by artists including Kenny Scharf, Jim Drain, Brazilian twins Os Gemeos, Futura, Shepard Fairey and Aiko, one of the few women street artists.  This year, Wynwood’s ‘urban art park’ has grown to 28 pieces, added to by artists from Mexico Greece and Ukraine.  Goldman also made public 16 additions to the 2010 Wynwood Doors, a satellite project comprising 176 feet of rolling storefront steel doors adjacent to the Walls.
The ‘Exquisite’ remains after the fair is over.  ‘Warehouses’, Miami Collector Style  (An alphabetical review)  Exhibitions open when ABMB opens and continue long beyond.

CIFO ART SPACE  Frames and Documents: Conceptual Practices.  60 works by 41 artists, all media, explore three periods in the conceptual art movement between 1960 and 1980.  Presenting conceptual art is the strength of the Cisneros collection.  Until 4 March 2012.

Carlos Leppe  El Perchero  c.1970 (photographic triptych)  Leppe’s work seeks to alter established conventions.
Since 2003 CIFO has been building a curated database of the most innovative emerging and mid-career contemporary artist from Latin America under the leadership of Ella Fontanals Cisneros, president and founder of CIFO. This database has grown to include over 750 artists working in different media. It includes extensive profiles on each artist with contact information, artist statements, exhibition histories, samples of previous works, blogs and more. In an effort to broaden our mission to espand the understanding of contemporary art from Latin America, CIFO is now sharing this valuable database with you. CIFO launched the Museum and Curator Network, an online interactive community where curators, art professionals and museums cna join the artists in teh CIFO Art Community to initiate dialogue, expand research and enrich programs and initiatives worldwide. Joining the CIFO network is free – Join on their website.
ROSA and CARLOS DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION  Maintain Right: Installation by Funner Projects, a collaboration between Miami-based artists Justin H Long and Robert Lorie.  Also, works from the permanent collection.  Until February 2012.
Aaron Curry  Untitled (Hanging Sculpture) 2010  Painted wood, tape rope (Installation view – floor to ceiling)
Gabriel Orozco  Ping Pond Table 1998 Mixed media (Installation view)
The de la Cruz Collection represents the view of two visionaries, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, with different points of reference.  The couple is involved deeply in  the intellectual aspects of the scene. They are fully informed on their tastes and what they feel is worth supporting.  "We both sort of have our own way of approaching art," Rosa de la Cruz said.  But Carlos de la Cruz favors paintings while she prefers projects and performance art.   Their downstairs project room is reserved for Miami artists.  "The project room is really open to new ideas," Rosa de la Cruz said.
MARGULlES COLLECTION AT THE (newly converted) WAREHOUSE Selections from the multimedia collection, including sculpture, photography, video and painting.  Also, works from the permanent collection.  Until 28 April 2012.

Magdelena Abakanowicz  Hurma (Crowd) 1994-5 250 figures- (Installation) The artist portrays the various forms of collective hate she experienced as a child of the Holocaust. Burlap and resin
Peter Coffin  Untitled  30 Monitors  2008
The collection of Martin Z. Margulies encompasses contemporary and vintage photography, video, sculpture and installations or should I have written sculpture, contemporary and vintage photography, video and installations.   Quickly upon entering you are regaled with an incredible array of major sculptures from the 1960’s – thru the present; Willem de Kooning, Tony Smith, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Isamu Noguchi, Richard Serra   The passion of, and the  ‘eye’ of, Martin Margulies is apparent throughout.
RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION [Rubell Family Collection]  American Exuberance.  Also, works from the permanent collection.  Until 27 July 2012.
Analia Saban  Composition #1 with ready-made lines by Kandinsky, Klee, Matisse, Miro, Picasso and Twombly,  2005  Laser-cut museum board with graphite 64 x 114 inches
Richard Jackson  The Blue Room 2011 (Installation)
Lavin  (Installation) Lanvin is the corporate sponsor of AMERICAN EXUBERANCE, the present exhibition at RFC.
The Rubell Family Collection (RFC) was established in 1964 in New York City, shortly after its founders Donald and Mera Rubell were married. It is now one of the world’s largest, privately owned contemporary art collections.  It features such well-known artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol, AND the collection is constantly expanding. In addition to displaying art at their ‘warehouse’, these exhibitions often travel to museums around the world. Recent exhibitions have been presented at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Palm Springs Art Museum in California and the North Carolina Museum of Art.
The annual thematic exhibitions are drawn from the collection with accompanying catalogs. The Foundation has been recognized as a pioneer in what is often referred to as the "Miami model," whereby private collectors create a new, independent form of public institution
Is the collection a joy to visit?  YES-YES-YES.  It’s eye-candy for this viewer, and the multitudes who parade through.
"Good art makes you see the world differently."
says Marc Spiegler, the co-director of Art Basel
Barbara Kruger says:
 I say: A Great Fair and Wonderful Art is NEVER ENOUGH.