It may have begun with Art Basel—and DesignMiami/ might be the most exciting, reasonable and selective show in town—but Miami Art Week continues to expand beyond control. This year, a few emerging platforms stood out, requiring a bit of extra attention. We don’t mean fairs that have already begun to command international acclaim like Pulse, NADA, Art Miami and Untitled (more on those later, of course). We mean different destinations with multiple artists on show, that vary in everything from structure to programming style. It was near impossible to visit the dozens of tangential fairs, programs and pop-ups but the following five captured us. Each, here, added up to more than its parts and should be on the radar for next year or whenever they manifest again.
Brickell might be the last place you’d expect to find yourself during Miami Art Week,
but FAIR. made it worth the tiny trek. This was a non-commercial art fair featuring only the work of women, some emerging and others established. Its goal: to exchange of ideas. Curated by Zoe Lukov (who happens to be the director of exhibitions for Fanea Arts), and Spinello Project founder Anthony Spinello, the raw 5,000 square-foot space transformed into a destination defined by transformative pieces. From Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree” at its entrance to Pia Camil’s “Bara, Bara, Bara” (2017) composed of second-hand T-shirts, the show’s every element asked for careful consideration. It’s an art experience that must happen again.
Since its launch, the Faena Hotel has made a name for itself regarding the extraordinary permanent artworks found on the sprawling, beachside compound. For Miami Art Week, it only got better thanks to the curatorial prowess of Faena Art Artistic Director Ximena Caminos. From the Planet of the Apes-inspired “Sinking of the Taj Mahal” by Peter Tunney to the quietly magnificent “120 Degree Arc East Southeast” by Philip K Smith III, the pieces set in the sand conjure up nothing but wonder. Nearby, sculptor Marc Ange’s “Les Araignées et Le Refuge” was one of the most socially-shared pieces.
Coupling this with a dome filled with art experiences, a 300-drone flying sculpture by Studio Drift for BMW known as “Franchise Freedom,” and numerous pop-ups, the Faena Hotel might as well be called the Faena Art Fair. As it’s a hotel, however, one could easily hop from the opening day preview to an intimate Hennessy Paradis Impérial tasting and back again.
One of the most exciting art fairs in Miami (as well as LA, DC and NYC), Superfine! features independent artists and galleries that offer access to emerging makers. First of all, the venue replaces pretense with vibrance. Secondly, there’s affordable art on site that’s just as captivating as what one could snag at pricier destinations. At this Midtown Miami destination—founded by an entrepreneur and an artist back in 2015—one can actually discover the artists we will be certain to seek out in the future.
Known as an arts, technology and music festival since its 2013 inception, iii Points drew substantial attention this year for its line-up. In fact, the Wynwood-based extravaganza presented a stunning Björk set that was equal parts deejaying and performance—with the Icelandic singer set within lush flora. The festival would close days later with Wu-Tang Clan. The verdant venue contained surprises around every corner and Ketel One cocktails.
With more than 28 participating artists and some of the best musical performances during all of Miami Art Week, No Commission marks a collaboration between Swizz Beatz, Bacardi and the Dean Collection. Across three days, they occupied Soho Studios in Wynwood. Busta Rhymes performed, but what’s most important here is the fact that 100% of the sale of each artwork goes directly to the artist. All artists receive their exhibition space for free. The theme of the experimental platform this year was “Island Might,” which aims to highlight the strength of the Caribbean and its elemental forces: from nature to family. Once again, this was a must-stop spot.
No Commission images courtesy of Getty, iii Points image by Santiago Felipe, all other images by David Graver