Basel. For nine years, the word has signaled a sudden explosion of art in Miami, an event that encompasses much more than the official exhibition at the Miami Beach Convention Center. With so much to see in so little time, without guidance one could easily be overwhelmed or even disappointed as Art Basel attracts the fantastic and the mediocre. This list will help make sure you have an incredible experience during Art Basel 2010 (Dec. 2 – 5). It includes the essentials, a few often-overlooked gems, and a dark horse or two.
1. NADA Art Fair @ the Deauville Beach Resort
NADA is essential and, better yet, FREE. Last year it moved from the Ice Palace to the Deauville, where it garnered more attention than previous years, even stealing some of the main fair’s sales thunder. NADA has been on a roll and will certainly be worth the trip north up the beach. Stop by Friday after sundown and catch “Manual Transmission Miami”, analog projections around the Deauville’s pool, including contributions from Ben Alper, Matthew Gamber, Rachel Herman, Jeff McLane, and David Smith. Learn more HERE.
2. Art Basel Miami Beach @ the Miami Beach Convention Center
Sure, the official Art Basel exhibition can be pretentious and expensive (see ticket prices HERE). But for every Warhol-lined gallery, you will find a gallery that spent its money on a cutting-edge installation or performance. Try to get into the Vernissage on Wednesday. There are passes up for grabs all over the city. Now would be a good time to call up that friend who works at the Bass or interns at Bernice Steinbaum. Learn more HERE.
3. Aqua @ the Aqua Hotel
After an impressive year in Wynwood, Aqua returns to the hotel that made it the most reputable of the hotel fairs. Last year, it provided quite the eclectic mix of West Coast artwork and managed to compete with NADA and Pulse for consistency. This year, expect more of the same. The reduction in space should only boost the quality of the art on the walls. Learn more HERE.