It wasn’t easy to get up this morning after the Moschino party at the Delano but after three large coffees and the prospect of visiting Art Miami and Context I set out to the Miami Beach Convention Centre to pick up the free shuttle bus to the Design District and Wynwoods area of Miami. It is hot and humid here in the Beach and looks like rain.
First stop Art Miami: This fair is never to be underestimated. You can find work of the quality of Art Basel at this fair and it is the only other offering where you can discover masterpieces by De Kooning, Morris Louis, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. This seems to be the catch-all fair for an excellent group of dealers that can’t seem to get a stand at the main Art Basel fair. The works on offer here are mostly secondary market works that have been through Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. Nothing groundbreaking but solid and great to see some of these big names. Hans Hoffman, Robert Motherwell and even the odd Frankenthaler are prevalent not to mention Artlyst’s favourite Sean Scully.
The downside of this fair is the shabbiness of the booths which are generally ill-fitted and need updating to compare with Art Basel in Miami Beach. For the price stands cost at this fair there is no excuse for this degree of shoddiness.
A few British dealers are showing at this fair including Waterhouse & Dodd, Gazelli Art House, Omer Tiroche, Cynthia Corbett and Other Criteria. There was also an exhibition by Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin in a Post Pop Art assemblage style.
Stands of note included Yares Art from New York, Casterline/Goodman Gallery, East Hampton and Jerome Zodo, London.
Context is another story. This used to be an offshoot section at Art Miami. It is now housed up the road in a different marquee and much larger. Other than a handful of dealers the fair is pretty much a replication of the Affordable Art Fair brand of event although I suspect with much higher price tags. The work is blingy and derivative with lots of works made from butterfly wings and not by Damien Hirst!
Deserving a special mention is Knight-Web Gallery London with a solo exhibition of works by Juliane Hundertmark whose ghostly figures in a swimming pool theme setting were completed by a hot-tub on the stand.
After running around all day without a chance to recharge at the hotel, we attended the launch of NU Muses calendar at the W Hotel followed by the annual event at the Wolfsonian FIU Museum of decorative arts which is always a pleasure. This year an exhibition of 20th century Dutch modernism is the main attraction featuring graphic works, paintings, ceramics, glass, metalwork and furniture.