Ah, the power of art and commerce. In spite of lingering pandemic worries and global inflation woes, it appears this year’s Art Week in November will exceed expectations with innovative programming, increased foot traffic, and likely record sales.
For proof, look no further than the main show. Art Basel’s recent June run in Switzerland proved it’s the leading fair of its kind for a reason. Returning to its original dates since 2019, the fair welcomed more than 70,000 guests and hosted displays from 289 international galleries, and organizers, visitors, and participants seemed to agree that the vibe was pre-Covid positive. Business was certainly strong, with Hauser & Wirth’s sale of Louise Bourgeois’ Spider, a giant steel sculpture, for $40 million. Galleries at this year’s upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach (Nov. 29-Dec. 3) are no doubt hoping that fiscal enthusiasm makes its way to the Miami Beach Convention Center. While not many specifics about this year’s gathering had been released as of press time, eyes are peeled to see what Vincenzo de Bellis’ influence on the show will be. In July, the art world veteran was named as director of fairs and exhibition platforms, responsible for new events and initiatives. Also being watched carefully is Basel’s new edition in Paris, set to take place in October and likely to reveal more hints about what can be expected in Miami.
Another showcase poised to make a splash during Art Week is Design Miami (Nov. 30-Dec. 4), the collectible design forum that never fails to impress. Programming for the 2022 edition includes the exhibition “The Golden Age” overseen by Curatorial Director Maria Cristina Didero. At Design Miami’s Basel run (also this past June), said theme explored utopian futures and idealized histories by emphasizing historical objects that celebrate iconic 20th century design. The treatment of the topic at DM’s five-day run in Miami should prove to be just as intriguing.
Of course, Art Week goes far beyond Convention Center Drive thanks to the participation of satellite fairs that set up their pavilions from Ocean Drive to Wynwood. Prime among these is Art Miami (Nov. 29-Dec. 4), which returns for its 32nd year with another array of dynamic projects and installations from more than 150 galleries. Among those are local participants such as Coral Gables’ Cernuda Arte and Miami’s Smith Davidson Gallery. The rest of the agenda was still to be finalized as this issue went to press.
So, while it’s uncertain what memorable moments this year’s Art Week will provide, we do know it will be seven days and nights unlike any other.
Text by Luis R. Rigual