Every December art lovers and collectors from around the world descend on South Florida for America’s biggest art show, Art Basel Miami. Officially Art Basel takes place over the course of four days, but with independent satellite shows and parties taking place all week long its become part of a larger happening known as Miami Art Week.
There are over 250+ galleries representing over 4000 artists from around the world on display inside Art Basel. It can seem overwhelming, especially when you factor in related exhibitions taking place everywhere from the sandy shores of Miami Beach and trendy hotel lobbies and rooftops, to the Wynwood Art District.
As this was my first visit, I decided to use it as a learning and fact finding expedition. I missed out on quite a bit, I knew this would happen, but my expectations were more than met, and now that I have an idea of how to navigate I’m convinced that a return visit is definitely in order.
Research available events prior to your arrival and plan an itinerary. Many events are free, but for those that aren’t purchasing tickets in advance will help you to avoid waiting in long queues.
There is something for everyone. From paintings, sculpture and drawings to photography, films, video clips, digital art, and installations, you’ll find a feast for the senses that will appeal to all interests.
Pace yourself. Take you time, and enjoy all that art, discover a new artist, pose with something, and don’t worry if you can’t see it all, remember I mentioned there are over 4000 artists represented. Grab a glass of champagne, they have carts that come right to you, or other refreshment of your choosing and take your time.
We spent one full day exploring inside the convention center, another exploring the hotel exhibitions, and yet another in the Wynwood Art District, and still came nowhere near seeing everything on our wish list. Had I just one more day I would have loved to visit the emerging artists exhibition located directly on the sand and only steps from the crashing waves.
Thousands of amazing art pieces were on display at Art Basel Miami. Here are just a few of my favorites:
We Play Endlessly 2018
Artist: Jeffrey Gibson
Stained Glass and Light – 32 inches x 4 inches deep – Edition of 3
White Narcissus in Orange (Colour Wonder 2018)
Artist: Valerie Belin
Archival Pigment Print – 51 5/8 x 41 3/8 – Edition of 25
Before Transparency 2018
Artist: Emil Lucas
Thread over Painted Wooden Frame – with Nails – 60 x 30 x 3
Forest Companions 2017
Artist: Takashi Murakami
Acrylic on Canvas Mounted on Board
Life is A Killer 2018 & Leave It As Is 2018
Artist: John Girono
Acrylic on Canvas – 56 inches x 56 inches
Studies for Lemon Tart 2011
Artist: Kim Dingle
Oil on Polyester – 14 x 11 inches each
Artist: Davide Balliano
Plaster Gesso & varnish on wood – 60 x 60
$#!+/Say No More
Artist: Mel Bochner
Oil on Velvet in Two Parts – 29 1/2 x 89 5/8
Rich Kid Blues
Artist: Jack Pierson
Metal, plastic, wood and Enamel – 62.5 x 64.25 x 4.13 Inches
Womxn – Women 2018
Artist: Andrea Bowers
Lightbox and Neon – 60 1/2 x 79 inches – Edition 1/3
Artist: Ugo Rondinone
Acrylic Airbrush on Cavnas, Silkscreen one Plexiglass Plaque 8 Parts
Artist: Dave Muller
Acrylic on Gessoed Plywood – Three Parts – 58 1/2 x 1 1/4 Overall
Large Fancy Room Filled with Crap
Artist: David Shrigley
Neon – 67 x 37 inches – Edition 1/3
Artist: David Shrigley
Neon – Edition 1 of 3
Not Yet Titled 2018
Artist: Borna Sammak
Heat Applied T-Shirt Graphics on Canvas
Untitled 2007 (rich bastards beware no. 1)
Artist: Rirkrit Tiravanija
Painting 118 x 86 1/2 inches
More Justice More Peace 2018
Artist: Sam Durant
Electric Sign with Vinyl – Text 45 x 80 inches – Edition 2 of 3
Untitled 2018 (black hole) 2018
Black Chalkboard Paint
If you’re interested in modern and contemporary art including both established and emerging artists consider a visit to Miami, Florida during Art Week. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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Kirsty - Worldforagirl
Wow! I want to go! This art exhibition looks amazing… and in a beautiful location too in Florida. I have to admit that We Play Endlessly is my favourite picture in your post by far… It’s just so vivid and colourful. Great choice! #farawayfiles
It really was an amazing collection of art and such a fun weekend! We Play Endlessly was one of my favorites too! ❤️
What a huge event, Art Basel Miami! So much art on such a variety of locations, it sounds nothing short but spectacular. Oh and I like your style, Hilary: great selection of art works in this article! #FarawayFiles
Thank you so much!
Some wonderful pictures there. 250 galleries wow, that’s some walking! I used to go to Miami regularly as I had a number of cruise line clients based there and elsewhere in Florida. I loved the place, especially the Art Deco district. G&Ts in Delanos by the pool or beers in Clevelanders by the pool are some special memories for me. Wilbur. #farawayfiles
Thank you! I hadn’t been to Miami in years and didn’t think I’d like it, but surprised myself by loving it!
Art Basel is something I’ve wantes to attend for a long time – looks like such a well organised event #farawayfilea
It’s definitely worth attending! I hope to get back next December!
‘Large fancy room filled with crap’? Oh, I love that! What a massive event for art lovers. I think you would have to pace yourself really well here. Sounds like you did just that. #FarawayFiles
I loved that one too! It truly was massive, somewhat overwhelming if I’m honest, but I loved it.
Goodness me, I’d need the whole day to take in all of these pieces! Quite a few are very eye catching! #FarawayFiles
Yes, I think that even with multiple days it would be hard to see it all! It was definitely a feast for the senses.
passion fruit, paws and peonies
What a great event! It would be so nice to be introduced to types of art I wouldn’t usually look out for. I tend to go to galleries with historical scenes or of historical places (or flowers). I really enjoyed pondering over your picks – they really grab attention! xx Maria
I’m an equal opportunity art lover, but I do tend toward modern and contemporary art. That said, I also loved wandering through the National Gallery, The Louvre, and the Rijksmuseum to name a just a few. There’s something about the old masters and the history behind the paintings.
That sounds intense! By no means in a ad way though. I agree that the trick is not to be too pressurized to see everything, but I agree that the exhibition on the actual beach would have been fun.
It was a bit overwhelming, but so worth it. Yes, I wished for more time to see the exhibit on the beach. I traded that for a walk outside with toes in the sand…
What a wonderful event, and what a collection, I would need a long time to be able to see all the lovely art work. Thank you so much for this post.
Thank you, It was a perfect weekend getaway!
I love the photos of your faves, especially ‘Large Fancy Room Filled With Crap’.
That is a lot of art in one place. I’m not surprised you only got to see a small part of it. I think it was a great idea for you to explore now so you could return in the future.
Absolutely! Next time I might have an idea of how to manage, but I may need to go repeatedly to really get the hang of it. 😘
I would lose hours in this place, it looks fantastic. #farawayfiles
It was and I did!
Whoa, 4000 artists. That is a lot! You’ve showcased the diversity nicely.
It sounds as though you’d need a week to do the place justice! I like the David Shrigleys. He’s always good value. #FarawayFiles
Yes, one full day wasn’t nearly enough, but I do feel like I got a nice taste. I like them too!
What a great variety of art! My favorite is the black chalkboard paint that you have chosen as your feature photo. I could stare at that for a long time. This is an amazing art show!
I loved that one as well. What really struck me was that one person used something red to leave their mark, lipstick maybe?
You love art, or have the nose for the really cool places! I’d go with you on art outings 🙂 #farawayfiles
Thank you! I’d happily have you along on an art outing anytime!
Are We Adults Yet
Wow, this does indeed seem like it could be overwhelming! You’ve put together a great guide, though, nice!
I am not interested in art in general, but your post filled with all that modern art makes me wonder if I am not missing anything. Thanks for it! #farawayfiles
So glad to see that you might be open to discovering art… it comes in so many forms, I truly think there is something for everyone!
Caity Pfohl | The Pamplemousse Papers
I love the “we play endlessly” piece! This looks like such a fun event to attend and this post is such a great reference for it. Thank you for sharing! #farawayfiles
That was my favorite too!
Bryna - Dotted Line Travels
I’ve never heard of Art Basel but it seems like a great event! There are quite a few pieces that you shared that I’d love to see in person!
Maybe you can if you find yourself in either of the other Art Basel locations! Switzerland and I think Hong Kong?
Kathleen (Kat) (@katpegimana)
Amazing art works there! Love the ones that you have selected for the blog. I enjoy going to art festivals/exhibitions and there are quite a few in Kuala Lumpur and smaller cities like Penang especially during the Georgetown Arts Festival but am always late for the events (usually on the last day) 🙁 I’m trying my very best to be on top of these events, hope to get there early and blog about them 🙂 #FarawayFiles
Thank you! I know what you mean, we have a lot to see here in LA, but it’s impossible to get to them all.
Trish @ Mum's Gone To
I’d love to come to Miami to see this but I think I’m more likely to see the Art Basel in Basel itself, especially as we loved visiting the city last year. I love the work you’ve highlighted here – so bold in colour and expression. #farawayfiles
Yes! I’d love to visit Basel!