"Art fairs are the new disco," writer Anthony Haden-Guest declared after a particularly raucous session of partying at Art Basel Miami Beach. This same sentiment comes to mind when going over our list of parties, exhibitions, satellite fairs, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, all occurring simultaneously over the five days that Art Basel occupies South Beach this year. But not to worry, we've pared down the list of must-sees, so you don't have to.
Dec. 1–4, 2011
Collins Avenue & 67th St
For the third year in a row, this satellite fair will inhabit the Deauville Beach Resort, the somewhat run-down hotel on North Beach where The Beatles played in 1964. The space will host over 100 emerging and established galleries spread out over two banquet rooms, with the bar in the middle creating what feels like an art world clubhouse. Additional activities include a "lecture" by Hennessy Youngman and a first-time collaboration with Paddle8 that will give collectors an online preview of the fair from November 25 - 30, complete with "white glove" VIP service.
"Mark Handforth: Rolling Stop"
Nov. 30, 2011–Feb. 19, 2012
770 Northeast 125th St, North Miami
In keeping with its tradition of showcasing local talent, Miami's MOCA will premiere an exhibition by English-born Mark Handforth, who was the first artist and Miami resident to receive a solo show at the institution when it opened in 1996. For further incentive to view Handforth's epic sculptures, which reimagine everyday objects like lampposts, scooters and fluorescent lights in inventive new forms, the museum's annual Vanity Fair party, this year honoring Sandra Brant and Ingrid Sischy, kicks off the week.
Art Basel Miami Beach's Art Nova
Dec. 1–4, 2011
Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach
With a select roster of emerging international galleries showing a modest two to three artists each, Art Nova provides a more intimate art viewing experience than the average fair. New work by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson (i8 Gallery), who just premiered a 12-hour "endurance" opera in New York; Omer Fast (Arratia, Beer), whose video works address historical trauma and memory; and Eileen Quinlan (Overduin and Kite), whose striking photo abstractions are created using smoke and mirrors, will be just a few of Nova's standouts.
"It Ain't Fair 2011: Materialism"
December 1–4, 2011
81 NE 40 Street, Design District
In the fourth installment of its group exhibition "It Ain't Fair," L.A.'s OHWOW gallery will take on the theme of materialism, with artists such as Peter Coffin and David Benjamin Sherry investigating the idea of intangibility. Michael David Quattlebaum, Jr., will perform during the opening on Thursday, Dec. 1, 6–9pm.
Nov. 30–Dec. 4
2637 N. Miami Ave. at NE 27th St
An alternative to the already alternative fairs, Seven was started last year by a small group of New York and London galleries (Postmasters, P.P.O.W., Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Pierogi Gallery, BravinLee programs, Hales Gallery and Winkleman Gallery) in reaction to "art fair exhaustion." This mini-fair takes a more egalitarian approach to selling work by shedding the constraints of traditional three-walled booths. In this open-air format, each gallery is in dialogue with the others throughout its sprawling 15,000-square-foot location. In a further gesture of openness, admission is free.
Art Basel Miami Beach's Art Public
This year Art Basel has partnered up with Miami's Bass Museum to present a series of outdoor works in Collins Park. Highlights include a double feature from New York's Team Gallery: Gardar Eide Einarsson and Banks Violette. For Einarsson's part, he fabricated a gridlike structure that takes its inspiration from pull-up bars and exercise equipment found within American prisons. Equally dark, Violette's work will be his first public sculpture: a 24-foot-wide painted steel abstraction that calls to mind a crashed-into roadside barrier, nearly reduced to wreckage.
"American Exuberance" at The Rubell Family Collection
Nov. 30–July 27, 2012
95 NW 29th St. at NW 1st Ave.
One of the annual traditions of Art Basel Miami Beach is an ambitious group exhibition at The Rubell Family Collection. This year's show, "American Exuberance," consists of 190 artworks by 64 artists, all residing in, or citizens of, America. Maurizio Cattelan, Sterling Ruby, Dana Schutz, Barbara Kruger and Ryan Trecartin are among the artists who will take over this private museum, in a commentary on the country's culture, economy and politics. The Rubells will open up the exhibition, like they do every year, with a breakfast "installation" by their daughter, artist Jennifer Rubell.