An AFC Guide to the 2011 Miami Fairs

by Paddy Johnson and Whitney Kimball on November 29, 2011 Preview

Art Basel

The perennial advice from seasoned art fair-goers is: plan ahead.  There's far too much to see in five days, and chances are, even if you have a good idea of what to see, you'll miss something you wish you hadn't. This is why you’ll want to download the Boyd Level guide and map; if you’ve never been, Hyperallergic will tell you how the fair works, and oddly enough, the New York Times has the party covered.  As always, we’ve got commentary.  Here’s a little of that.

Art Basel Miami

Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive. December 1st — December 4th.
Daily from noon to 8pm, Sunday until 6pm.

So dubbed “the Borg ship” by artist and blogger Tom Moody, this is the epicenter for blue chip and secondary market galleries. Pick up the map or download the app, because the grid layout isn't enough to keep one from getting lost. Mostly it just exaggerates the homogeneity characteristic of basically any fair.

David Herbert's "Monarch" from last year's Seven fair, photo via dailyserving


2637 North Miami Ave at NE 27th Street.  Opens 1 PM, November 29th — December 4th

BBQ Tuesday, Nov 29th, 5-7:30 PM

I was probably a little harsh on Seven last year when I described this fair as lacking in cohesiveness; it's the only commercial enterprise that even remotely resembles an exhibition. It's also the most friendly of all the fairs, because the dealers are milling about the show and are always accessible. One gets the feeling they actually care about the art and artists they represent. Participating galleries include. Pierogi, Hales Gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, BravinLee programs, Postmasters Gallery, P.P.O.W., and Winkleman.

NADA Art Fair

The Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Avenue. December 1 — 4.

Thursday, Dec 1; 2pm to 8pm
Friday, Dec 2; 11am to 8pm
Saturday, Dec 3; 11am to 8pm
Sunday, Dec 4; 11am to 5pm

I like this fair, and luckily we won't also be staying in their Deauville hotel, so we'll actually have a functioning Internet connection. The exhibition venue has a little too many chandeliers for my taste, but it's the best progressive alternative to fair-ready art.  It's a ways from the Basel Convention Center, so expect to wait a while for a shuttle or shell out for a cab.

Ryan Trecartin


The Workshop, 171 NW 23rd st.  Opening December 2, 2011 @6pm.

Ryan Trecartin will be at LikeArtBasel, fyi.  Among others, this show includes the creme de la net-and-technology art creme;  Sterling Crispin, Petra Cortright, and Ryder Ripps. Sage words from Mr. Ripps: “Internet and technology aware art is like totally coming to Miami Art Basel 2011.” We’re never getting rid of the term “Internet aware art” are we?

Photo from last year's ink fair. Via ink website


Suites of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Avenue. November 30th- December 4th.Wednesday: 12 pm – 5 pm
Thursday – Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 3 pm

So far, Ink has been the best medium-specific show we've seen at Basel, though it can suffer from staleness. This year the gallery list is looking a little thin – Marlborough Graphics is not our favorite – but who knows, maybe Glenn Dranoff will show something good enough to offset this.

Last year's Pulse, photo via


The Ice Palace, 1400 North Miami Avenue. December 1st — 4th.
Thursday: 1pm-7pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am-7pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

A lesser version of NADA, still recovering from the  loss of a few strong players to “Seven.” Still, though, it boasts Danzinger Gallery, Freight + Volume, Mixed Greens, Morgan Lehman, Mark Moore, Jen Bekman, and Lyons Weiner, to name a few. Last year had some gold nuggets- traditional photography was very strong here- but we're hoping they've stepped up the overall quality in the “new talent” section.

Photo from Aqua 2009


Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Ave.  December 1st — 4th.
Thursday: 11am – 8pm
Friday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 11am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Aqua tends to host galleries that focus on illustration, which is definitely not our bag. But Accola Griefen Gallery had some great work by Rhonda Wall in their back gallery recently, and they announced they'd be at that fair. Look for them.

Karyn Olivier, "Double Slide," Scope 2010


SCOPE Pavilion
NE 1st Ave (Midtown Blvd)
November 29-December 4, 2011
Wednesday — Saturday: 11am — 7pm
Sunday: 11am — 6pm

General | Wed-Sun | $20
Student | Wed-Sun | $15

The big fair for international emerging artists, with 80 international galleries. As Paddy said last year, it “has a hard time keeping their stronger exhibitors,” but it at least has Roberta’s. We can’t find any mention of them on the site, but we pray God that they return. Where ever they all, we’ll be there just to eat.


To be expected, the work here is usually overall better quality than that of fair shows.  Lots of muscle-flexing allows us to see lots of major works.

John Miller, "The Newcomers," 2008, photo via Rubell website

The Rubell Collection

95 NW 29th Street, Opening November 30th.

The Rubell Collection was a bit of a let down last year, what with the ad that looked just like a Jason Rhoades sculpture, and a restaged MFA thesis show organized by the theme of art Jason Rubell collected. This year, they are mounting a massive exhibition with 64 big name contemporary American artists titled “American Exuberance”. A cursory glance includes John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Matthew Barney, Haim Steinbach, Jeff Koons, and Ryan Trecartin. Meh.

David Lamelas, 'A study for the relationship between inner and outer space', 1969


1018 North Miami Avenue. Opening November 30th.
Thursday: Noon- 9pm
Friday — Sunday: Noon- 5pm.
Admission price not listed.

CIFO is showing work that traces the lineage of conceptual art in three phases: birth, 1970s dissemination, and 1980s conceptualism.  The show includes artists such as Vito Acconci, Joseph Kosuth, Marina Abromavic, Francesca Woodman (I wasn't aware she was a conceptual artist, but let's keep this thing moving), Sophie Calle, and Louise Lawler, to name a few.

Jillian Mayer at World Class Boxing

World Class Boxing

170 NW 23rd Street. By appointment only.

World Class Boxing will be simultaneously showing Jack Strange and Jillian Mayer.

Image via: Bruce High Quality Foundation


I'm not crazy about this year's options, but Gabriel Orozco will be speaking with Artforum editor Michelle Kuo on Thursday, December 1st.  There's no mention of what they'll talk about.

We also liked The Global Art World | Regionalism, talk taking place Thursday December 1st at 1 pm. This is a pretty old topic, but participants include Bruce High Quality Foundation — whom we know say and make smart art — Jens Hoffmann and Cheslea Haines.

Panels take place each day from 10-11AM in the Miami Beach Convention Centre, auditorium adjacent to Info Zone D


Participants in Rubell's 2010 porridge-eating

Jennifer Rubell

95 NW 29th Street, Opening November 30th.

This Sotheby's rep lauds Jennifer Rubell's Goldilocks-themed porridge installation as “amazing,” basically because she embodies a “traditional narrative” whilst serving herself a bowl of porridge. There's been some discussion on this blog about Rubell's much-hyped breakfasts, but what the hell. Free breakfast.

Corrina Belz's film Gerard Richter Painting ignited Jerry Saltz's burning desire a $1,000 Richter reproduction, so it's probably a step up from Ed Harris's “Pollock.”  Basel will screen its free U.S. premiere Friday, December 2, 8.30pm.  Admission is free, and it will be shown at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.


Further reading: Paddy’s review for Art-Agenda last year gives a pretty comprehensive idea of what to expect.

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