Organizers, exhibitors call premiere of Art Basel Miami Beach `successful’ – news

Organizers, exhibitors call premiere of Art Basel Miami Beach `successful’ – news – Miami Beach, Florida

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — The exhibiting galleries, the world press and the international public rated the December premiere of Art Basel Miami Beach positively, according to show organizers. By the time the show closed, the 160 exhibitors from the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa said farewell to 30,000 visitors after five days packed with events, discoveries and sales. Samuel Keller, show director, said, “The first edition of Art Basel Miami Beach exceeded all the expectations of the show management with regard to the quality of the works displayed, the number of visitors, media attention and sales results. Art Basel Miami Beach was a complete success.”

Art Basel Miami Beach attracted several thousand leading collectors, artists, curators, art critics, art dealers and art lovers from around the globe, including many celebrities from the art, entertainment and fashion worlds. More than 400 representatives of the media visited this new international art event. The Vernissage opening night party welcomed 7,000 guests. Several thousand also attended the opening night of “Art Positions.” Plus, the catalog sold out by the last day of the show.

Approximately 50 museum groups from all over the world flocked to Art Basel Miami Beach. New York delegations came from the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the New Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Friends of The Tate American Fund. In addition, there were groups from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the SFMOMA in San Francisco, the Hirshhorn Museum and the Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas and many other cities. Representatives also came from the Museo de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo, Brazil, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery of Toronto and the Friends of the Contemporary Art Museum, Reina Sofia of Madrid, Spain. Curators and private collectors from all the world’s important art capitals also gathered information. Aside from representatives of the American and European art scene, there were many opinion leaders from Latin America, as well.

The exhibiting galleries spared no effort to show the most interesting works of art and present them in carefully designed exhibitions, said organizers. Various booths showed thematically grouped exhibits and one-person shows of artists. Many galleries presented newly created works of art, as well as video works and outsized installations. Paintings and paper works made a comeback, and photography was also much in evidence.

New platforms of the art show included the container village “Art Positions” on Miami’s beach, the “Art Video Lounge” with its futuristic architecture in the Miami Beach Public Library and the works created specially for Art Basel Miami Beach (“Art Projects”) shown in the Art Deco District of Miami Beach.

In “Art Positions” 20 young galleries exhibited their avant-garde program. Here, the international public gathered for a happy hour on the beach every evening to enjoy the sunset accompanied by hot rhythms and cold drinks. The extensive three-part program of the latest video works by artists from around the globe shown in the “Art Video Lounge” attracted an interested audience, which was particularly numerous for the special screenings in the evenings.

Another crowd-puller proved to be “Art Statements,” the one-person shows of young artists from 11 countries in the Miami Beach Convention Center. The participants said the platform rewarded them with good sales and brought them contacts to many exhibition makers from around the world as well as great media interest.

The public’s appetite for contemporary art appears to be unbroken. According to surveys by the show’s management, all the exhibiting galleries succeeded in finding interested purchasers for their works. The majority of participants spoke of good-to-excellent sales results. Objects were sold in all price categories, from works by young artists costing less than $2,000 to museum-quality masterpieces with price tags in the millions of dollars.

Nicholas Logsdail, chairman of Lisson Gallery in London declared Art Basel Miami Beach to be “a great and singular new impulse and the singular dominant fair in the United States. It stands in a unique position, outside the power centers, on `neutral’ ground, surrounded by the beauty and warmth of Miami Beach.”

Claudia Altman-Siegel, director of the Luhring Augustine Gallery from New York, also acclaimed the show. “It was great to come, and business was very good. We appreciated the support and generosity of the collectors, both local and coming from around the world to visit the show. The `vacation’ vibe of Miami Beach, greatly added to the event.”

Leslie Waddington, owner of the Waddington Gallery, stated, “there are two or three great art fairs in the world and Art Basel Miami Beach is one of them. For the first time around, it is a real miracle.”

Alessandra Vilaca, director of Galeria Fortes Vilaca of Brazil, was also enthusiastic. “Very good sales and very good people. This show generated incredible interest and support from all that were involved.”

Patricia Oritz Monasterio, codirector of Galeria OMR also stated that the show as off to a good start. “This show has great energy coming from all those involved–from the galleries participating, from the collectors, from the visitors and from the organizers. Their combined efforts contributed to the success of the show. Great works were offered and great business was done.”

Art Basel Miami Beach is the sister event of Art Basel in Switzerland. The next Art Basel Miami Beach takes place Dec. 4 to 7 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Art 34 Basel, Switzerland, will take place from June 18 to 23.

For more information about either show, visit

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