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Art Basel Miami Beach Opens Thursday

The seventeenth edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, featuring 268 galleries from thirty-five countries, kicks off on Thursday, December 6, and runs through December 9. In addition to its usual roster, the fair will welcome twenty-nine galleries that are participating for the first time, including Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Cardi Gallery, Madragoa, and Galerie Jérôme Poggi.

This year’s fair will be hosted in the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, which recently completed a three-year, $615 million expansion that added more than 263,000 square feet of space to the facility. Improvements include the venue’s new façade, which is comprised of more than five hundred fins of aluminum and glass, and is meant to evoke waves; a refurbished west entrance; and a new 60,000-square-foot ballroom. “The renovation allows us to completely reimagine our layout, design, and visitor experience,” said Noah Horowitz, Art Basel’s Americas director.

The upgraded facility will allow the fair to stage large-scale performances, such as a version of the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas’s Autorreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist… The sculpture, which was made using locally found materials that were collected in the weeks preceding the fair and will be suspended from the ceiling, will be activated with performances by choreographer Bárbara Foulkes. The fair has partnered with Tim Griffin, executive director and chief curator at the Kitchen in New York, to present the project.

While the revamped center allows for new possibilities for programming, fairgoers may be surprised to learn that Art Basel has eliminated two popular sections: Public, its presentation of outdoor sculptures in front of the Bass, and Film. Commenting on the decision to cut Public and Film, Marc Spiegler, the global director of Art Basel, said that the organizers want collectors to congregate closer in to the main event, which will be “a more centralized vision of the fair.”

In addition to its Positions, Nova, Survey, and Edition sections, Art Basel’s returning Conversations program, curated by Mari Spirito for the fifth consecutive year, will feature talks on art education, twenty-first-century audiences, blockchain technology, and developing sustainable funding structures in Latin America.

Coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach are a score of other fairs, including DesignMiami/, SCOPE, PULSE, NADA, and UNTITLED, Art. For more coverage, visit Artforum’s Instagram.