Each year Miami Art Week gets bigger and bigger. Here’s what one Miami art collector has on her “must see” list.
By Cricket Taplin
In December 2001, the Sagamore Hotel was getting ready to open our doors to welcome the first ever Art Basel Miami Beach. The inaugural edition ended up being canceled, due to security concerns, in the wake of the events of 9/11. At the time, Art Basel was just a few hundred international collectors, gallerists, buyers, and artists who had travelled to Miami. My husband, Marty, and I felt “the show must go on.” On an impulse and as a makeshift alternative, I decided to show our home art collection inside the Sagamore Hotel. We invited our friends in the art world to celebrate with a champagne brunch, and so started a tradition that continues to this day.
In its 14th year, Art Basel Miami Beach is now the largest gathering of contemporary art dealers and collectors in the United States. This now-permanent fixture of the city’s cultural calendar is accompanied by dozens of ancillary shows, installations, tents, container cities, pop-up retail and restaurant venues, performances, and parties. For a week in early December, Miami becomes the epicenter of contemporary art culture, luxury consumerism, and pop counter-culture — an even hotter-than-usual spot for collectors and dealers, celebrity sightings and events, physical installations, video inventions, and fantastical performance art.
As I think about the frenzied pace of the upcoming weeks, there’s excitement and a bit of anxiety. I’m excited about the unbelievable lineup of art about to arrive, yet anxious that there is no way to possibly see everything.
The only thing to do is to put together a short list of exhibits. Here’s my “to do” list.
Each year, Design Miami commissions an early-career architect to design the entry pavilion for its site. This year, the entrance will be created by a group of students from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Together, they have designed UNBUILT, a kind of fragmented canopy made with 200 unique, pink-foam architectural models perched on metal-grid structures. Inside the show, it’s a design-lover’s dreamscape. Meridian Avenue & 19th Street, adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU. This exhibition is the first ever to showcase a vital aspect of the mid-century “Modern Master’s” art — his large-scale public mural projects. Nine towering oil studies are the show’s centerpieces, created by Hofmann for the famed 1950 project to re-design the Peruvian city of Chimbote.
Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian — historically, two great art-market competitors — will join forces for the first time to present UNREALISM at the Moore Building in the Design District. Among the artists selected for the exhibition by Deitch are John Currin, Urs Fisher, Elizabeth Peyton, and David Salle. 10975 S.W. 17th St., Miami.
And of course, there’s the Sagamore’s Annual Art Basel Brunch. This year, we are thrilled to announce a new site-specific installation from world-renowned sculptor Alan Sonfist that was inspired by the natural beauty of the property and the Miami Beach landscape.
We are also bringing a Portal to Art Basel Miami Beach 2015. Portals is a global public art initiative linking locations around the world through gold shipping containers equipped with immersive audio-visual technology. The Portal will connect Miami participants to strangers in Portal locations around the world.
When you enter one Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in another distant Portal, life-size, as if in the same room. The two can converse in real time and with translation when needed. Portals currently exist in Afghanistan, Cuba, Honduras, Iran, a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, and in Mexico and Zimbabwe. To date, more than 7,000 people have engaged through Portals. Artists have collaborated through them, and families have reunited. To participate, visit the Portal from 8 a.m. to midnight, daily, at the entrance to the Sagamore Hotel, 1671 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.
Rest up my friends; nonstop art is upon us. My best advice? See all that you can see.
Martin and Cricket Taplin are the owners of the Sagamore Hotel. Cricket is also the curator of the Sagamore’s Art Gallery.