10 Must-See Booths at the Miami Fairs

Kate Haveles
Nov 27, 2014 2:31AM

With a combined 400+ exhibitors descending on Miami this week, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with what’s on view. But in the weeks leading up to the fair, Artsy has the opportunity to take an early look. After talking with Artsy’s specialist team, who have picked out the works they know collectors will be after, and the gallery team, who’ve heard first-hand which booths will be standouts, we’ve put together a curated guide to help you sort through the art-overload and track down the very best.

Art Basel in Miami Beach

Lisson Gallery, Booth J01

A standout at Frieze London this fall (with a “playful” booth that featured hand-painted shoes and reworked prison jumpsuits by Ryan Gander), Lisson Gallery returns to Art Basel with a presentation that includes works by Gander, Marina Abromović, Pedro Reyes, and Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg. British conceptual artist Gander’s ebonised oak The Way Things Collide (Hantarex monitor, meet cum) (2013), a continuation of a series first seen in Gander’s 2012 show “The Fallout of Living” at Lisson’s London space, combines two totally unrelated objects, challenging viewers’ understanding of both the objects’ relationship and how the two came to be sculpted from the same material. 

Galerie Gmurzynska

Switzerland-based Galerie Gmurzynska has invited film director Baz Luhrmann, along with production and costume designer Catherine Martin and producer Nellee Hooper, to design its Art Basel booth, showing a mini exhibition cheekily titled “A Kid Could Do It.” Works by Francis Bacon, Joan Miró, Yves Klein, Malevich and other 20th-century masters (often susceptible to the title’s criticism) are present, joined by a reinterpretation by Luhrmann of the 1930s Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production of “Jeux d’Enfants,” for which the backdrop was painted by Miró. Rediscovered lengths of footage from the original performance play beside the Miró painting itself (of the same title as the ballet).

Galerie Urs Meile

For its presentation within Art Basel in Miami Beach’s Kabinett sector, which allows galleries to present specially curated exhibitions in addition to their main booths, Galerie Urs Meile (located in both Beijing and Lucerne, Switzerland) showcases Chinese conceptual artist Yan Xing and his performance work The History of Reception (2012). Following a script based on an academic report written by Yan, the performance follows the process of formulating a value system for a non-existent artist, with a debate over the authenticity of art itself running throughout. 

Design Miami/:

Patrick Parrish, Booth C/04

Participating in Design Miami/’s new Design Curio/ program, New York gallery Patrick Parrish’s booth is fully decked out with RO/LU—the walls, floors, and ceilings are plastered with RO/LU’s black-and-white grid, creating the perfect atmosphere for the Minneapolis-based design firm’s angular, steel “Uncertain Surface”series (2014). Wallpaper Projects produced the printed wallpaper, along with Mitchell Denburg Collection who created the matching rugs; there’s even a line of RO/LU-designed clothing, manufactured by Print All Over Me. 

Gallery ALL, Booth C/03

Also in Design Curio/, Gallery ALL (with locations in L.A. and Beijing) presents a 1/100 scale model of the CCTV center in Beijing (constructed in 2012 by international architecture firm OMA), rendered as a functional wooden cabinet by Chinese designer Naihan Li as part of her “I AM A MONUMENT” series. CCTV Wardrobe mimics not only the original form of the glass tower, but also bears the same striated surface. Inconspicuous drawers and storage areas reveal themselves as the cabinet is opened, transformed as part of this “animated installation.”

Galerie Patrick Seguin, Booth G/01 

Parisian Galerie Patrick Seguin has dedicated its booth to the mid-century dormitory designs of Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier, and Charlotte Perriand. Beds, desks, chairs, shelves, and dressers feature in Seguin’s recreations of the modern, minimal interiors originally conceived for the Cité Universitaire Monbois, the Cité Universitaire Jean Zay, and the “Brazil House” at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. The pieces are pragmatic and clean-lined, in some cases multi-functional, designed with the intent to fulfill students’ needs while still remaining within a reasonable budget and easy to mass-produce. 

NADA Miami Beach:

The Journal Gallery, Booth 410

The Journal Gallery has brought from Brooklyn a collection of powerful and monochromatic, mid- to large-scale paintings from artist to watch Chris Succo (who’s been working out of Brooklyn as of late for the gallery), along with Americans Kika Karadi and Graham Collins. Karadi’s work bears vestiges of its creation, which involves painting black ink onto glass then transferring it onto linen, leaving imperfections and accidental patterns in the process. Collins has created a new series of bronze sculptures, which are presented as a site-specific installation in the booth.

Rod Bianco Gallery, Booth 4.08

Oslo’s Rod Bianco Gallery presents a solo booth of drawings by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard. Done in colored pencil on plain pieces of sketchbook paper or deeply tinted colored sheets, Melgaard’s drawings combine multiple styles, at times appearing vaguely cubist, with faces overlapping and bending, at other times surrealist, with figures extending into unusual forms and disembodied lips and eyes floating on the page. Stickers and scribbled messages also pepper Melgaard’s lively works. 

PULSE Miami Beach:

MA2Gallery, Booth B14

MA2Gallery, from Tokyo, has curated a solo presentation of mixed media work by Ken Matsubara. His “Repetition Book” series (2014) feature slim books propped open on stands, with vintage photographs found in markets pasted onto the left-hand page and ghostly, photo-sized movies playing on the right, like scenes out of someone’s memory. Also incorporating video art are Matsubara’s Winter Dreams - Letters (2011), a mounted metal box with a small display screen cut into its lid and  Sleeping Water - A Storm in a Glass (2012), which appears as an animated photograph, water sloshing over the edges of a glass captured against an inky black background. 

Sienna Patti Contemporary, Booth C15 

Sienna Patti Contemporary’s booth is starkly black and white, with large sculptural works by Lauren Fensterstock and Susie Ganch. Fensterstock transforms glass, resin, paper, charcoal, wood, plexiglass, and other mixed media into inky black pieces exploding with flowers or dripping with boughs of seashells, referencing floral and garden design of 16th–18th-century Europe. Ganch also works in mixed media, piecing together found objects into white wall-hangings and objects; giclée prints of Ganch’s various projects, including an installation of faux hay bales, are also on view in the booth.

Kate Haveles