Art + Design

The highlights of Art Basel Miami Beach 2016



By Su Fen Tan

The highlights of Art Basel Miami Beach 2016

The 15th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach saw the participation of 269 international galleries from 29 countries across America, Europe, Asia and Africa, where art ranging from films, paintings, photography and sculptures took centre stage. The art fair was divided into nine sectors: Galleries, Nova, Positions, Edition, Kabinett, Survey, Public, Film and Magazines. At the Nova sector, 35 galleries presented fresh, compelling work by up to three artists – the works on show were all created within the last three years. 

As part of Art Basel Miami Beach, over 20 sculptures and installation by leading and emerging international artists were installed in Collins Park. This ‘Public’ sector of the show was curated by Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund. Featured works include Ugo Rondionone’s Miami Mountain (2016) and 128 Squares and their Demonstration (2015) by Claudia Comte.

At Miami Beach Oceanfront, between 21st and 22nd Streets, a large-scale multimedia installation by Chinese artist Sun Xun proved to be an eye-catching display with its impressive, dramatic curved structure. Created for the second Audemars Piguet Commission, the work, titled Reconstruction of the Universe, housed low curving walls hung with woodcuts and glass balls, inside of which delicate ink-wash films are projected. At one end of the installation, the 3D animation Time Spy is projected on a large screen. 

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This year, political art was more prominent than usual. Some galleries devoted sections of their booths to works inspired by the US presidential election, and many of these works sold quickly. London gallery Sadie Coles HQ sold five of Jonathan Horowitz’s
Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely—prints by the artist featuring a big-bottomed Donald Trump that were priced around $12,000 each. 

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Outside of the Miami Beach Convention Center, too, there are exhibitions and activities held in conjunction with Art Basel 2016. Notable ones include the launch of ‘Henzel Studio Heritage: Andy Warhol’ – a collection of handmade art rugs and accompanying decorative pillows designed in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation – at the Webster Miami Beach, and an art exhibition in Loewe’s Miami Design District store, where the work of Irish artist William McKeown and British potter John Ward is showcased (the exhibition will run until 31
March 2017).

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