Monday, December 5, 2011

The Day Before and the Morning of

"Papa 2011." Ceramic. Segei Isupov, artist. $45,000. Ferrin Gallery at Art Miami.
The Day Before and the Morning of Art Basel Miami Beach
29-30 November 2011
Art Miami - Design Miami - Scope - MoCA Vanity Fair Party – Art Basel
By Augustus Mayhew

By the time The 12,000 entered Art Basel's cathedral for the official Wednesday night Vernissage 6pm opening and the doors were reportedly shut 45 minutes later stranding a score of black-ties and Louboutins out in the parking lot, our small group was far from the frenzy enjoying guacamole at Talaverde, a delicious Mexican restaurant with superb service in Coral Gables. Having already spent seven hours dizzied within the maze of more than 100 galleries, it was good to catch a breath from the crush of the evening's pageant.

As you have heard, the jets are in; the black Town cars, Yukon's, Maybachs, and Escalades are idling and circling; the armored cars are polished. And by the looks of the tailored crowd and the avalanche of acknowledged sales, the art market's annual international spectacle is experiencing yet another out-of-this-world boom.
Constance Collins Margulies, president of Lotus House, greeted guests at the opening of Art Miami. Nick Korniloff, Art Miami fair director. Bryan Tyler, ART MIAMI executive.
For me, Tuesday's main event was ART MIAMI's opening, a benefit for Lotus House Women's Shelter, where Constance Collins Margulies and more than 100 modern and contemporary galleries welcomed more than 7,000 guests, or was it 8,000. Along the way on Tuesday there was a brunch at Pampaloni where a show of Florentine artist Margherita Abbozzo's "Paradise Perfetto" landscapes opened, a look at Christopher Janney's soundscapes, the Scope Miami opening, Design Miami and the 2011 Designer of the Year David Adjaye, and MoCA's Vanity Fair party. On Wednesday morning, there was a 10 am champagne press reception. An hour later, the switch was thrown and the doors opened for several thousand VIPs, a fashionable stampede of Savile Row suits, Swiss watches, Hip-Hop royalty, Billboard #1's, and Naomi Campbell.

Here is Part I of my impressions with some snapshots of the day before AB at satellite shows and pop-ups. Then, the Main Event, Art Basel's first hour on Wednesday. For Part II, I have assembled a selection of portraits of Art Basel's gallery owners and some of my favorite works that only money can buy, ars artis argent, or something like that

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Art Miami VIP opening benefit for Lotus House Women's Shelter
Midtown Miami
Tyler Rollins of Tyler Rollins Gallery, New York.
Claudio Poleschi at Arte Contemporanea, Via San Giustina, Lucca.
Untitled. Fernando Botero, artist. $700,000. Arte Contemporanea, Via San Giustina, Lucca. Hadley Martin Fisher, Kimberly Marrero, and Anthony Perullo.
Leslie Sacks Contemporary gallery, Santa Monica.
Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia.
Ryan Ross at Arcature Fine Art, Palm Beach.
Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, Mass. Again, I was simply charmed by this pair.
Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta. Anna Walker Skillman, owner-director.
Diane Sepler. Anita Perlman.
Valerie Dillon and Alvaro Perez. Dillon Gallery, New York. Dillon Gallery, New York.
Left: I was fascinated by this work inspired by the Empire State Building by Mr. Arrechea seen at Magnan Metz Gallery.

Above: Art News executive editor Robin Cembalest and artist Alexandre Arrechea at Magnan Metz Gallery, New York.
A work by Wouter Deruytter.
"Bill Brandt, 2010." $96,000. Waterhouse & Dodd Fine Art, London. Patrick Hughes, artist.
ART MIAMI Scenes
Hotel Urbano – The Art Hotel at Brickell
2500 Brickell Avenue, Miami
I stayed at the Hotel Urbano on Brickell during Art Basel. Above, the view from Room 323, looking southeast towards the Brickell skyline.
The Hotel Urbano is a three-floor 65-room boutique inn with a superb location. The hotel has a South American ambience and is pet-friendly
"Paradiso Perfetto" opens
Pampaloni, 91 NE 40 Street, Miami Design District

On Tuesday Gianfranco Pampaloni hosted a brunch opening for "Paradiso Perfetto," landscape paintings by Florentine artist Margherita Abbozzo. Since 1902 Pampaloni has been renowned for its silver craftsmanship providing custom pieces for head-of-states and popes. Here is a look around for what was my first visit — I will go most anywhere to garble my once coherent Italian.
Margherita Abbozzo and Gianfranco Pampaloni.
Pampaloni is in the center of Miami's Design District.
Axel Cretinon, vice-president of Pampaloni.
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
4312 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Design District
Between Miami and Mykonos it might be hard to find anywhere comparable to the flavorful menu found at Mandolin, a Greek-Turkish outpost located in a small house with a big backyard in the north end of the Design District. Lunch with Beth Dunlop, author, architecture writer for The Miami Herald, and my former editor at Home magazine, who also wrote the introduction to architect/musician Christopher Janney's new book which was going to be our next stop after lunch.
Architecture of the Air: Sound Environments by Christopher Janney
Moore Building, Miami Design District

Trained as a professional architect and jazz musician, Christopher Janney is an artist whose work combines sound and architecture, transforming most often public spaces into "hyper-reality environments." Based at the Moore Building during Art Basel where he will create a unique site-specific installation "Touch My Building: Miami" that will run during the week, after lunch at Mandolin, Beth and I stopped by the Moore Building where Janney's assistant and crew were prepping the installation.
The Moore Building provides a prominent site for Janney's installation.
At the same time, Janney's work "Harmonic Convergence" has been installed at Miami International Airport.
A glimpse of Janney's previous "Touch my Building" creation.
Christopher Janney's " architecture of sound" is multi-dimensional.
Design Miami VIP & Press Reception
Miami Beach


Design Miami 2011's Tuesday afternoon VIP and Press opening attracted more than 600 designistas. Located in a voluminous tent in the Convention Center parking lot directly across from Art Basel, the venue assures ample exposure as well to its 2011 Designer of the Year architect David Adjaye who designed a high-concept structure at the entrance. Along with Adjaye's alluring triangular prism, there was a showcase of galleries from Paris to LA. DM 2011 is also presenting salon-style conversations led by W magazine's editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi, among others, as well as lectures by architect Lord Norman Foster (Modern Utopia), David Adjaye, and artist Teresita Fernández whose work is being shown at MoCA during Art Basel.
An aesthetic structural element from a building in North France designed by Jean Prouve. $700,000. Galerie DOWNTOWN, rue de Seine, Paris.
A 5-kilo silver luggage piece. Atelier Ted Noten. $25,500. Ornamentum Gallery, Hudson, New York.
Francois Laffanour, Galerie DOWNTOWN, Paris. April Magen. Magen H Gallery, New York.
Magen H Gallery, New York.
Cristina Grajales, Cristina Grajales Gallery, New York.
Maria Wettergren. Galerie Wettergren, Paris. The silver chair is $66,000.
Alexandra Cunningham, Design Miami's director of exhibitions. Todd Merrill. Todd Merrill & Associates, New York.
Zesty Meyers. R-20th Century, New York. "Cleome Elegans" cabinet. $40,000. Alesandro Mendini, artist. Galerie Kreo, Paris.
Stew pan, $95,000. Galerie Vivid, Rotterdam.
Audi, Design Miami's exclusive automobile.
David Adjaye: 2011 Design Miami's Designer of the Year

The 2011 Designer of the Year David Adjaye is a London-based architect Tanzanian-born of Ghanaian-descent who is the world's architect of the moment, having designed the Moscow School of Management, Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, and New Orleans houses for Brad Pitts' Make it Right Foundation.
I happened by while Mr. Adjaye was speaking to a small group about his work. Mr. Adjaye speaks from within about his "architectural furniture."
Mr. Adjaye speaks passionately about his work.
"Gene Is," David Adjaye's work at the entrance to Design Miami.
Adjaye's structure affords a view across the parking lot of the site for Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Alexandra Cunningham with Beth Dunlop. Beth has begun her own architecture-design-culture web site www.editor-miami.com.
Scope Miami VIP & Press open
Midtown Miami
At Scope I found some work I enjoyed including this work by an Argentine artist. "Let's take a walk." $6,500. Paula Otegui, artist. Pabellon Contemporary Art, Palermo, Buenos Aires.
A work by Dominic Rubio.
MoCA Vanity Fair party & Double Acts show open
770 NE 125th Street, North Miami


For Art Basel's 10th anniversary and MoCA's upcoming 15th, curator Bonnie Clearwater is featuring "Double Acts" celebrating Sandra Brant and Ingrid Ischy as well as the opening of Mark Handforth/ Rollling Stop and the Knight Exhibition Series Pivot Point V: Teresita Fernandez.
While the art is always the main attraction at the Museum of Contemporary Art, its annual pre-Art Basel party draws an equally aesthetic crowd, at least 3,000 on Tuesday night.
A touch of expressive Abstract Scooterism can be seen in one of the galleries.
At MoCA, it is about the Art.
Mark Handforth. Bonnie Clearwater, curator and director of MoCA.
.Julian Schnabel. Patrick McMullan clearing the list table.
RHNYC reality star Ramona Singer gaining her composure. It appeared as if she had a photographer with her or there was a photographer directing her. Ramona and Mario Singer. As so happens with TV personalities, the couple live seemed a bit smaller than I expected. Apparently, Ramona looks as if she has undergone some spiritual anti-aging meditations, no?
Ramona and Mario may not be on the same page for this photo.
Bruce Weber.
A flash in the crowd at MoCA
The scene within one of MoCA's main galleries.
Wednesday, 30 November
The Main Event - ART BASEL

10 am: Press reception at The Collector's Lounge
The press reception was convened in the Collector's Lounge.
Gary Pini, Paper magazine, and Susan Grant Lewin.
11:00 am: Art Basel VIP opening
The annual exposition begins!
Stefano Tonchi. Bill Acquavella and Aby Rosen.
Aby Rosen at work.
Michael Chow. Eva Chow.
Kimberly Marrero and Hadley Martin Fisher.
Janet Lehr and Vered.
Larry Gagosian. Art connoisseur P. Diddy studying a work of art. P was the only one looking without wanting to be seen within a swarm of intimidating security guards.
Certainly, Art Basel must have been aware P's bodyguards were going to be aggressive with anyone attempting to take a photograph of him. I suppose it is part of the ambience one expects at an international art show of this caliber.
Norman Braman. I was entranced by Janet Lehr's necklace, a work by Ibram Lassaw (1913-2003). "This has always meant so much to me," Janet said.
I joined Janet, standing, in the midst of a wonderful story; to her left, Vered, Joe Carroll, and NYC art consultant Lacy Doyle for lunch at one of the Art Basel cafes overlooking the majestic Boulevard of Arte. It was great fun.
Next: Art Basel, Part II
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.
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