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Art Basel Miami Beach, 2017. Photo: Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach Opens Thursday

The sixteenth edition of Art Basel Miami Beach featuring 268 galleries from thirty-eight countries will kick off on Thursday, December 7, with a preview day on Wednesday. The fair has arranged an entirely new floorplan and show design as a result of the Miami Beach Convention Center’s ongoing renovation. Now in the second phase of a major overhaul, the center will eventually have 10 percent more exhibition space, allowing for larger booths and expanded public spaces.

The 2017 edition of the fair welcomes twenty new galleries who are participating for the first time, including Anat Ebgi from Los Angeles; Chapter NY, David Lewis Gallery, and Tyler Rollins Fine Art from New York; Galeria Jaqueline Martins and Ricardo Camargo Galeria from São Paulo; Isla Flotante from Buenos Aires; A arte Invernizzi from Milan; Dépendance from Brussels; Múrias Centeno with spaces in Porto and Lisbon; and Takuro Someya Contemporary Art and Taro Nasu from Tokyo.

The Galleries sector will feature presentations by 198 galleries. Positions, which invites exhibitors to present one major project by a single artist, will have fourteen solo booths. It will showcase Xu Qu at Antenna Space, where a new series of ceramic pot sculptures and typographic prints that examine how religious activities have influenced Chinese society will be on display, and Jamal Cyrus, who will explore the cultural politics of Black American music and the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s at Inman Gallery.

For Nova, twenty-nine galleries will stage exhibitions of three artists, including a number that address social and political issues such as David Castillo Gallery’s presentation of works questioning representations of race, sexuality, and gender through a live performance by Kalup Linzy and photographs by Lyle Ashton Harris and Xaviera Simmons. Proyectos Monclova’s booth will be transformed by Tercerunquinto, who will stage a performative work in which they’ll paint Mexican political campaign murals directly onto the walls. Further highlights include: Dara Friedman at Supportico Lopez, whose presence at Art Basel Miami Beach will coincide with the artist’s retrospective at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); Torey Thornton at Essex Street; Alex Hubbard and Emily Sundblad at House of Gaga; and Ishmael Randall Weeks and Andrea Galvani at Revolver Galería.

Returning for its fourth year, Survey will show sixteen focused presentations of work created before 2000. Artists in the sector include: Sérvulo Esmeraldo at Galeria Raquel Arnaud; Judith Bernstein at The Box; and Willys de Castro at Henrique Faria Fine Art. Curated for the first time by independent curator and critic Philipp Kaiser, the Publics sector will be framed around the theme of “Territorial.” Using Collins Park as an outdoor exhibition space, this area will include eleven site-specific works created by emerging artists. Among the new works on view will be a notable exception: Les Guirlandes by Daniel Buren. The historic piece, which originally debuted at Documenta 7 in 1982, will feature decorative striped flag garlands strung across the park and loudspeakers playing musical samples ranging from the baroque operas of Jean-Baptiste Lully to the ragtime of Scott Joplin that will be systematically interrupted by the recitation of words for colors in fourteen different languages. Among the other artists featured in this section are Brenna Youngblood, Frida Baranek, and Philippe Decrauzat.

Programmed by Mari Spirito, the founding director of Protocinema, this year’s Conversations will present nineteen talks by Yto Barrada, Stefania Bortolami, José Carlos Diaz, Teju Cole, Pamela Joyner, Isaac Julien, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne Pasternak, and Thaddaeus Ropac among many others. The program will begin on Thursday, December 7, with an artist talk by Charles Gaines, followed by several more over the course of the event. The talks will cover topics ranging from trends in the art market, the relationship of digital innovation and new technology to the museum world, and current threats to art and culture in the midst of a major conservative shift in politics and changes in economies. All Conversations panels will also be live streamed on Art Basel’s YouTube channel.

A program of films, selected from the show’s participating galleries by David Gryn, the director of Daata Editions and Artprojx, will also begin on Thursday. For this year’s screenings in SoundScape Park on the seven thousand-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the New World Center, Art Basel will show recent works by Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Jen DeNike; Free Jazz Vein, 2017, by Tin Ojeda, which builds on the artist’s ongoing fascination with 1970s jazz; and a series of shorts exploring life in Chicago from the 1930s to the present, titled “The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine.” For more coverage of Art Basel Miami Beach, follow Artforum on Instagram.

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