Having weathered a brutal economic year, the art world heads to Miami this month for some sun, sand and, hopefully, sales. Some fairs are offering premium booths at last year's prices, or have rejiggered fees, downsized or relocated to offset costs, while others, bucking the trend, have expanded. And as usual, the city's cultural institutions are rallying to present a number of noncommercial offerings.

THE MAIN EVENT

Art Basel Miami Beach [Dec. 2-6] has 275 exhibitors-up from last year-showing the work of more than 2,000 artists. Larger booths and a redesigned layout promise to make for a less rat-in-a-maze experience in the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The former beachy component of the fair, Art Positions, for which select young dealers installed works in shipping containers, has been brought indoors this year and given standard booths in a special section. Among the 23 galleries (and artists) are New York's Sara Meltzer (Sarah Cain) and James Fuentes (Agathe Snow), London's Sutton Lane (Reena Spaulings, Marcel Broodthaers) and Tokyo's Mizuma Art Gallery (Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba).
Sun worshippers looking for a professional excuse to leave the convention center can visit the oceanfront environment commissioned by Creative Time and designed by artist Pae White. The pavilion will host daily panel discussions, performances, and film and video programs. In conjunction with ABMB, Miami's top private collectors-Craig Robins, Martin Margulies, Don and Mera Rubell, Ella Cisneros, Debra and Dennis Scholl, and Monica and Javier Mora, among others-are continuing the tradition of offering tours of their homes and viewing spaces.


ALSO IN MIAMI BEACH

NADA [Dec. 3-6] has downsized slightly, with 78 emerging galleries from 33 international cities. The New Art Dealers Alliance fair takes place in ballrooms at the Deauville Beach Resort at 6701 Collins Ave., north of the convention center. Free shuttle buses run between NADA and ABMB.

POOL [Dec. 4-6, opens daily at 3 PM], a small hotel fair dedicated to artists who don't have gallery representation, takes place in rooms at the Cavalier Hotel, 1320 Ocean Dr.

VERGE [Dec. 3-6], the fair formerly known as Bridge, relaunches at the Catalina Hotel on Collins Avenue near 18th Street. A seven-member selection committee that includes dealer Richard Feigen and curator Dan Cameron chose 30 exhibitors of emerging artists.


WYNWOOD ART DISTRICT FAIRS

PULSE [Dec. 3-6] moves to the Ice Palace at 1400 N. Miami Ave. In addition to almost 100 international galleries, the fair has a video series curated by João Ribas, and a lively performance program featuring such acts as Exene Cervenka and the Vivian Girls.

SCOPE [Dec. 2-6], at 2136 NW 1st Ave., boasts some 70 exhibitors, and this year has recruited its first curatorial committee to select galleries and solo projects and to organize special programs. The inaugural committee, headed by David Hunt, includes Franklin Sirmans, Naomi Beckwith, Kate McNamara and Benjamin Godsill. Among the fair highlights is "The Arctic Circle," an exhibition based on a three-week science and art expedition (partially funded by the Scope Foundation)
in which artists Ian Burns, Sarah Anne
Johnson and Andrea Galvani participated.

ART MIAMI [Dec. 2-6], an eclectic fair celebrating its 20th anniversary, features 80 galleries showing modern and contemporary work as well as African, Pre-Columbian and Japanese art, and various crafts. Located at Midtown Boulevard between NE 31st and 32nd Streets, the fair is hosting a panel on art blogging on Dec. 5; speakers include Paddy Johnson, Sharon Butler and Carolina A. Miranda.

ART ASIA [Dec. 2-6] features nearly 30 international galleries showing Asian art and is housed for a second year in tandem with the Scope fair, at 2136 NW 1st Ave. Independent curator Leeza Ahmady was recruited to organize the group show "Truly Truthful."

AQUA ART [Dec. 3-6], which previously set up shop in two locations, has consolidated this year, at 42 NE 25th St. Over 40 galleries are included.

RED DOT [Dec. 2-6] has a roster of 36 exhibitors in its roomier tented space at 3011 NE 1st Ave. at NW 31st St., across the street from last year's location.

FOUNTAIN [Dec. 3-6], the "scrappy" alternative fair admired for its lack of pretension, has grown from eight to 12 exhibitors, half of which are from Brooklyn. See it at 2505 N. Miami Ave.


MUSEUMS AND MORE
[All exhibitions opened prior to ABMB, unless otherwise noted.]

MIAMI ART MUSEUM,
101 W. Flagler St., is presenting "Guillermo Kuitca: Everything, Paintings and Works on Paper, 1980-2008," with a selection of the artist's large-scale works at Miami's Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd. [see article this issue].

BASS MUSEUM OF ART,
2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach, has a show of works by graffiti artist DZine, an installation by Kent Henricksen and an exhibition, opening Dec. 3, of works from the Jumex Collection in Mexico City, the largest private contemporary art collection in Latin America.

NORTON MUSEUM OF ART, 1451 S. Olive Ave, West Palm Beach, presents the major traveling William Kentridge survey, "Five Themes," as well as a show of George Segal's white plaster figures [Segal closes Dec. 6].

MOCA, NORTH MIAMI, 770 NE 125th St., has "The Reach of Realism," including works by Uta Barth, Olaf Breuning, Thomas Demand, Elad Lassry, Wilhelm Sasnal, Xaviera Simmons, Gillian Wearing and Judi Werthein.

MARGULIES COLLECTION
, 591 NW 27th St., features "Miró and Noguchi: Masters of Surrealist Sculpture," George Segal's Depression Bread Line, a 100-year photography survey and new acquisitions by Franz West, Sara Barker, Zilvinas Kempinas, Ivan Navarro and Bill Viola.

RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION, 95 NW 29th St., has organized "Beg Borrow and Steal," 260 works by 74 artists who engage in some form of appropriation, opening Dec. 2.

CIFO Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, 1018 N. Miami Ave., presents "Being in the World: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection," including such artists as Bill Viola, Chantal Akerman, Francesca Woodman and Robin Rhode, opening Dec. 2.

WORLD CLASS BOXING, 170 NW 23rd St., which houses and presents works drawn from the Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection, is featuring new commissions by Raymond Pettibon and Sylvie Fleury.

LOCUST PROJECTS, 155 NE 38th St., has a show by New York-based Francesca DiMattio of large-scale, architecturally informed paintings that create the illusion of collage, and a site-specific mural employing actual collage.

STAGES [Dec. 3-6] is a multicity touring exhibition of work inspired by Lance Armstrong, the proceeds of which will go to his cancer foundation. Artists include Tom Sachs, Cai Guo-Qiang, Ed Ruscha, Andreas Gursky, Catherine Opie, Richard Prince and Raymond Pettibon. It can be seen at Marina Blue, 888 Biscayne Blvd.

YAYOI KUSAMA has installed large-scale flower and pumpkin sculptures as well as a site-specific work in a pond, at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, opening Dec. 5. The garden is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables.

SHEPARD FAIREY
, despite his ongoing legal troubles, soldiers on with two major projects in Miami. His Arab Woman banner will grace the exterior of the Miami Art Museum, and a new mural will be on a wall outside the Fountainhead Residency, 690 NE 56th St., a joint project with MAM and Country Club gallery in L.A. Both projects are on view Dec. 3-6.