Art Basel

Once again we bid a fond farewell to Art Basel, Miami Beach’s—and North America’s—magnificent annual festival of art and design. From December 4 through December 7, all of Miami was awash with artists, designers, curators, architects, PR firms, socialites, decorators, critics, gallery owners, and celebrities for this annual celebration of the best of contemporary design, architecture, and art that’s studded with parties, performances, talks, and nightlife. Whether or not you attended for the scene or the sights, for the art or the architecture, for trend spotting or brand development, to do real estate PR or to scout out the newest in Miami Beach condos, here is a recap of some of the event’s top attractions.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami opened in conjunction with the festival’s launch, highlighting Mexican artist Pedro Reyes’s installation, “Sanatorium.” Reyes, whose works often focus on relational themes, presented a therapeutic “clinic” in which visitors interacted with “therapists” trained by the artist in Gestalt psychology, hypnosis, theater warm-up exercises, conflict-resolution techniques, and more. ICA also presented NYC-based Andra Ursula’s “Soft Power 1 and 2,” enormous quilted fists that seemed especially evocative, as did the Banksy works presented by New York’s Keszler Gallery. Along the same lines, YoungArts and MoMA PS1 presented “Zero Tolerance,” an international collection of work by up-and-comers on themes of protest, artistic freedom, and political control, in the YoungArts Gallery.

Women artists from the 1960s and ’70s were especially well-represented in this year’s art-historical Survey offerings at Art Basel. While New York’s Broadway 1602 showcased French artist Gina Pane, American painter Rosemari Castoro, Japanese-Brazilian Lydia Okamura, and Brazilian Lenora De Barros, Parisian Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois featured Niki de Saint Phalle, and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects presented work by Michelle Stuart. All these were well-attended by the likes of those who enjoyed Wednesday night’s Celebration of Women in Art at the Meatpacking District’s Up & Down club, which benefitted Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and School of Doodle. And hopefully you didn’t miss the exhibit at hotel Dream South Beach of Stevie Nicks’s selfies—yes, that Stevie Nicks—taken between 1975 and 1987.

Another intimate event on the occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach that was of particular interest to supporters of women in the arts was held December 5th at the Standard Spa, Miami. Friday night’s site-specific experiential installation of “Time To Rise” at the Standard Hotel anticipated the New York City premier of the film Time To Rise by artist Paris Kain in spring 2015. The conceptual film is designed to honor Allan Buchman’sCultureproject.org and Eve Ensler’sVDAY.org in order to help shine a light on women’s rights issues. The film stars actress and activist Rosario Dawson, who works to raise awareness and create opportunities for marginalized communities throughout the world. In Kain’s adaptation of the ancient Egyptian resurrection myth of Isis and Osiris in which Isis resurrects her dead husband, Osiris, the goddess resurrects herself as Matriarch.

The Art Basel “Time To Rise” installation was supported by shoe label Melissa, fashion label THEIA, and one of Relevance New York’s clients: Golden Properties, a real estate development company with luxury projects in the South Florida area. President Jacob Abramson of Golden Properties selects and assembles teams of the most unique and modern innovators such as award-winning global architect Chad Oppenheim, also a client of Relevance New York, for the firm’s custom architectural projects.

Another real estate tie-in to 2014 Art Basel Miami involved the launch of the FENDI Château Residencessales gallery with special presentations by Manuel Grosskopf, president of luxury private developer Château Group, and Pietro Beccari, CEO of Italian design house FENDI. An exclusive 12-story waterfront condominium located in Miami two blocks south of Bal Harbour Shops, FENDI Château Residences, another client of Relevance New York, brings together FENDI and Château Group—two leading global brands that are synonymous with style—and marks FENDI’s first branded real estate project. FENDI Château Residences will feature 58 expansive waterfront homes, each with a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean along with 300 linear feet of unadulterated beachfront.

But back to the art. After opening during Art Basel, one popular exhibit will continue through May 3 at the Bass Museum of Art, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. “One Way: Peter Marino” includes selections from the American architect’s personal art collection, his recent series of cast-bronze boxes, and a recreation of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice as originally staged in his home in New York with self-designed sets. Marino, who has created store environments and commissioned site-specific designs for such retail luminaries as Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, is also this year’s Design/Miami inaugural Visionary Award recipient.

Of course, since it wouldn’t be Miami without some time at the beach, Miami Beach’s beaches were populated during Art Basel with Theo Jansen’s “Strandbeests” (“beach animals”), enormous and awe-inspiring wind-powered mechanical sculptures. Jansen gave a talk on Friday in conjunction with the festival, but he was also on the beach every day last week, seeing to his Strandbeests.

Photo courtesy of: ©iStock.com/ Lorraine Boogich

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