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Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019 Show Report
EventsArt Basel Miami

Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019 Show Report

Art Basel in Miami Beach brought together 269 premier galleries, presenting works ranging from early 20th century Modern art to the present. While galleries from the United States and Latin America continued to be strongly represented, the show also featured new and returning exhibitors from across the globe, including Asia, Europe, and Africa.

The show welcomed 20 first-time participants, of which 12 galleries came from the Americas: Barro Arte Contemporáneo from Buenos Aires; Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, Company Gallery, and Karma from New York; Central Fine from Miami Beach; Cooper Cole from Toronto; Document, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, and moniquemeloche from Chicago; M+B and Parker Gallery from Los Angeles; and Galería Agustina Ferreyra from Mexico City. Art Basel Miami Beach's global emphasis was demonstrated by a strong lineup of galleries and artists from Asia. New entries to the fair from the region included 10 Chancery Lane Gallery from Hong Kong, Magician Space from Beijing, and ROH Projects from Jakarta, while Hanart TZ Gallery from Hong Kong participated for the first time in the Galleries sector. In addition, Taka Ishii Gallery from Tokyo and Edouard Malingue Gallery with exhibition spaces in Hong Kong and Shanghai both returned to the fair after a hiatus. As debuted at its Basel fair this past June, Art Basel applied a sliding-scale pricing model in Miami Beach and welcomed a younger generation of galleries to the main sector for the first time, including Clearing, Gaga, High Art, hunt kastner, Karma, Maisterravalbuena, Revolver Galería, Tyler Rollins Fine Art, and Société.

Additionally, the fair launched a new sector titled Meridians, which provided a unique platform for galleries and their artists to show work that pushes the boundaries of the traditional art fair layout. Curated by Magalí Arriola, Director of Museo Tamayo, the sector was staged in the new Grand Ballroom of the MBCC, a column-less exhibition space of almost 6,000 square meters (60,000 square feet), and featured 34 new and historical large-scale sculptures, paintings, installations, film and video projections, as well as performances.

Leading private collectors from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East attended this year, as well as representatives from around 200 museums and institutions.

Noah Horowitz, Director Americas, Art Basel, commented: ‘We’re thrilled that our show in Miami Beach has become a not-to-miss cultural event for both established collectors and the next generation of patrons, as well as a major confluence of the American creative class. The inaugural edition of Meridians introduced unprecedented possibilities for our galleries and artists, and we were particularly pleased with the caliber of the works on display, which were very well received by our visitors from across the world who enjoyed the dynamic new sector. This year, the main sector featured the most diverse representation of galleries – in terms of region, generation, and beyond – we’ve ever presented, while reinforcing the strength of exhibitors with footprints across the Americas. The gallery presentations were of exceptional quality throughout the fair, reinforcing Art Basel as the leading forum for modern and contemporary art in the region.’

Galleries exhibiting in all sectors of Art Basel expressed their delight at this year’s show:

‘As a first-time exhibitor at Art Basel in Miami Beach it is gratifying to see how the fair really does attract great collectors from around the world. We were so happy to have met interesting collectors from both North and South America and beyond. The Survey sector was very special this year with interesting solo projects that are important rediscoveries. Huang Rui’s 1990s photographs were being shown for the first time in the United States with great response.’

Katie de Tilly, Founder, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery (Hong Kong)

‘The fair has been fantastic for the gallery both in terms of exposure and sales. We have sold to many new collectors and have had the chance to meet several important museum curators who have taken interest in the work of our artists.’

Maria Bernheim, Gallery Owner, Galerie Maria Bernheim (Zurich)

‘The fair’s organization was impeccable as always, and we are once again very happy with the results we achieved. This was our first time in the main sector, and we continued to meet new clients from all over the world, including Europe, Asia and Latin America.’

Fernando Mesta, Owner, Gaga (Mexico City, Los Angeles)

‘People sometimes forget that the works exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach can be created as early as 1900. While the artists we exhibit – such as Calder, Chagall, Modigliani, Picasso – might be considered the Old Masters of the fair, we always make sales, meet many new clients, and receive a wonderful response from visitors.’

Howard Shaw, President and Director, Hammer Galleries (New York)

'We were thrilled to have presented at Art Basel for the first time, marking a phenomenal moment for our artists and gallery program. The reception of Amoako Boafo’s work in Miami has exceeded our expectations. Art Basel Miami Beach has been an unparalleled opportunity to connect with new global collectors and institutions. Boafo joining his first residency program in the Rubell Museum and being acquired in their collection generated a greater awareness of the artist’s work in addition to the acquisition of a work by the Legacy Purchase Program.’

Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, Founder, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (Chicago)

‘This is our 17th year at Art Basel Miami Beach, and we have seen an increasing focus on those great women and African American artists, who are finally being recognized and given the status they deserve. We have had a fantastic reaction to Gordon Parks, and it’s been wonderful to continue to experience the huge interest and curatorial support for the work of Sheila Hicks. One of the most important aspects of this fair is the presence of Latin American collectors and the huge interest in artists from the region.’

Alison Jacques, Founder, Alison Jacques Gallery (London)

'This year’s Art Basel Miami Beach was about showing new work from our contemporary program, with stellar works from our estates providing a historical context for art that is being made today. And what an amazing success! Miami always delivers, but this year the energy was exceptional, and we placed over 20 works by the afternoon of the preview day. Sales continued throughout the fair, with a focus on heavyweight paintings from our artist estates.’

Marc Glimcher, President and CEO, Pace Gallery (New York, London, Hong Kong, Palo Alto, Geneva, Seoul)

‘This was a very successful year for us at Art Basel in Miami Beach, with very fast sales. The draw to the fair for dedicated collectors from right across America remains very strong, and particularly to collectors from the Midwest, and we were also very pleased to have had such strong attendance from American institutions.’

Thaddaeus Ropac, Founder, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (London, Paris, Salzburg)

‘We’ve had our most successful Art Basel Miami Beach ever, selling 48 works in the first three days, including three large-scale bronze sculptures by Woody De Othello.’

Jessica Silverman, Founder, Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco)

‘We are very happy to have participated in Art Basel in Miami Beach this year. This has been one of our most successful Miami Beach editions to date, which is testament to the fact that Art Basel still remains the most well-respected, relevant and serious of the international art fairs. We presented and sold significant works spanning from the early 1980s to newly created pieces for the fair.’

Monika Sprüth, Co-owner, Sprüth Magers (Berlin, London, Los Angeles)

‘We were delighted to meet so many local collectors from Miami at this year’s show. We noticed a particularly strong turnout, which demonstrates the impact of Art Basel on Miami Beach’s growing art scene. Many collectors expressed specific interest in new work we presented by Korean artist Haegue Yang, pegged to her exhibition at The Bass.’

Rita Targui, Director, STPI (Singapore)


The main sector of the show featured 203 of the world's leading galleries presenting the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawings, installation, photography, video, and digital works. 13 influential galleries from across diverse regions joined the main sector for the first time: Ben Brown Fine Arts, Ceysson & Bénétière, Clearing, Gaga, Hanart TZ Gallery, High Art, hunt kastner, Karma, Maisterravalbuena, Galeria Jaqueline Martins, Revolver Galería, Tyler Rollins Fine Art, Société. In addition, seven galleries – Peter Blum Gallery, Luciana Brito Galeria, Taka Ishii Gallery, Catriona Jeffries, Galeria Leme, Roberts Project, and Galleria Christian Stein – returned to Galleries after a hiatus.


Allowing curators, critics, collectors, and visitors to discover new talents from across the globe, galleries in Positions presented one major project by a single emerging artist. This year, the sector featured 14 solo booths, including six exhibitors who participated in the show for the first time. Sector highlights included: 'Watch Before You Fall' by Manal AlDowayan at Sabrina Amrani, Patricia Fernández at Commonwealth and Council, photographs by Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Document, and mixed media work by Aaron Fowler at M+B. 


Providing a platform for galleries to present new work by up to three artists, Nova this year featured 25 exhibitors and was supported by MGM Resorts Art & Culture. Highlights included Bendt Eyckermans and Stuart Middleton at Carlos/Ishikawa, a series of new paintings by Miami-based Haitian artist Tomm El-Saieh at Central Fine, work by Mira Dancy and Jesse Darling at Chapter NY, paintings by Gareth Cadwallader and a large-scale sculpture by Kathleen Ryan at Josh Lilley, and a film work by Zheng Bo at Edouard Malinge Gallery.


Featuring 16 focused presentations of work created before 2000, Survey introduced six new galleries to the Miami Beach edition, among them: 10 Chancery Lane Gallery from Hong Kong, acb from Budapest, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery from New York, and Galerie Mitterrand from Paris. Highlights included Parker Gallery’s group exhibition of surreal ceramic sculptures by Bay Area artists, Jess (Collins) at Tibor de Nagy, and Faith Ringgold at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.


The sector presented 11 global leaders in the field of prints and editioned works: Cristea Roberts Gallery, Crown Point Press, Gemini G.E.L., Carolina Nitsch, Pace Prints, Paragon, Polígrafa Obra Gràfica, Susan Sheehan Gallery, STPI, Two Palms, and ULAE.


Always a popular highlight of the show, Kabinett consisted of 28 carefully curated exhibitions within booths across the fair. This year, the sector once again demonstrated the Miami Beach show’s strong focus on artists and galleries from the Americas. Highlights included a selection of sculptural interventions by Canadian artist Liz Magor showcased by Andrew Kreps Gallery; ceramic and vessel sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Brian Rochefort at Van Doren Waxter; New York-based artist Hilary Harkness’ recent paintings inspired by Winslow Homer’s ‘Prisoners from the Front’ (1866) at P.P.O.W; Jorge Mara - La Ruche’s presentation of a series of experimental photographs titled ‘Fotoformas’ (1946-1951) by Geraldo de Barros, a leading figure of the 20th century Brazilian art scene; works by Brazilian modernist Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato at Bergamin & Gomide; recent works by Brazilian artist Fernanda Gomes presented by Peter Freeman, Inc.; and Rhona Hoffman Gallery’s booth with new works by Chicago-born artist Torkwase Dyson that are inspired by the Red Summer of 1919 in the United States.


Curated by Magalí Arriola, Director of Museo Tamayo, the new sector featured 34 ambitious presentations pushing the boundaries of a traditional art fair layout. Meridians was staged in the MBCC's new Grand Ballroom, directly connected to the exhibition halls. With strong presence of Latin American artists, highlights included presentations by Miguel Calderón, Jose Dávila, Flavio Garciandia, Luciana Lamothe, Artur Lescher, Ana Mendieta, and Tercerunquinto. Candice Lin with Ghebaly Gallery, Pepe Mar with David Castillo Gallery, Woody De Othello with Jessica Silverman Gallery and Karma, and Torey Thornton with Morán Morán were among the younger artists presented in the sector.


Art Basel's renowned talks series brought together leading artists, gallerists, collectors, art historians, curators, museum directors, and critics from across the world. Programmed for the first time by private art dealer and author Edward Winkleman, Conversations featured 12 panels offering perspectives on producing, collecting, and exhibiting art and served as a platform for dialogues and discussions on current topics from ethics of museum funding and climate change to the relationship between art and social media. Conversations was free and open to the public.

The Legacy Purchase Program by the City of Miami Beach

As part of the City of Miami Beach’s new Legacy Purchase Program, the city acquired work by emerging artists Ebony G. Patterson, represented by moniquemeloche, and Amoako Boafo, represented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. This acquisition prize deepens Miami Beach's longstanding partnership with Art Basel building a legacy for the future.

Museums Shows and Private Collections

Visitors to the Miami Beach show had the opportunity to view South Florida’s leading museums and private collections, including the new Rubell Museum, a 100,000-square-foot campus that presents exhibitions drawn from an unparalleled collection built over 54 years, and Espacio 23, a contemporary art space founded by collector and philanthropist Jorge M. Pérez, serving artists, curators, and the general public, with regular exhibitions, residencies, and a variety of special projects drawn from the Pérez Collection.

Art Basel Cities

For the last chapter of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires, Collins Park was host to 'Disruptions', a series of large-scale sculptures by Argentine artists Matías Duville, Graciela Hasper, Marie Orensanz, Pablo Reinoso, Marcela Sinclair, and Agustina Woodgate. Based on the curatorial vision of Diana Wechsler and Florencia Battiti, the exhibition explored the concepts of context and site, and their potential to interfere with everyday life.

Design Miami

Taking place concurrent to the Art Basel fairs in Miami Beach and Basel, Design Miami has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing, and creating collectible design. In its 15th edition this year, Design Miami took place from December 4 to December 8, adjacent to the MBCC (at Meridian Avenue and 19th Street).