Monday, December 10, 2012

Miami Social Diary - Art Basel week

Monday 5:45 p.m. 12th Street at Ocean Drive. In sharp contrast to Art Basel’s less than aesthetic setting at the cavernous Miami Beach Convention Center, a satellite fair called Untitled opened Monday night to a crowd of more than 1,000 in a windswept oceanfront tent designed by architect Terence Riley, former MoMA curator and director of the Miami Art Museum.
Untitled show opens Art Basel week
By Augustus Mayhew

Walking through sand dunes out to the edge of the beach to look at art works gathered by more than forty galleries located within an air-conditioned tent was a stimulating experience. Earlier in the afternoon, I checked in to the Casablanca Hotel, an adventuresome MiMo hotel located in the North Beach Resort Historic District.

Here is a look at Untitled and the Casablanca Hotel.
Located on Collins Avenue, the Casablanca Hotel has retained much if its 50s ambiance despite being dwarfed by surrounding gigantic condominiums
The port cochere features classic columns.
The lobby maintains its geometric less-is-more integrity.
The oceanfront view from the pool is less inspiring.
North Beach, late Monday afternoon.

I parked at the 12th Street garage, walked down Washington Avenue, then over to Ocean Drive, taking note of some of the Art Deco district’s less recognized hotels.
Ocean Plaza Hotel.
Crescent Hotel.
Penguin Hotel.
The Carlyle Hotel.
Untitled opens
A few steps off Ocean Drive, fairgoers passed through this entrance portal before proceeding towards the fair tent.
With Ocean Drive hotels in the background, guests followed the path to the ocean’s edge.
Once inside, it was all about the business of art.
By 7 p.m., the tent was rapidly filling.
Georgia Scherman Projects. Toronto.
Danielle Lise Desrochers and Lizzz Kritzer.
Claressinka Anderson, Alexandra Solomon, and Dane Johnson. Marine Contemporary, Venice, California.
Cecilia Jurado. Director, Y Gallery, New York. Sculpture by Alberto Boren. $4,500.
JJeffrey M. Lowson. Head of Art Fairs Unlimited, the company that produced Untitled, Lowson selected Omar Lopez-Chahoud to curate the fair rather than a selection committee.
Sky Palma and Pamela Palma.
Patrick McMullan.
Veronique de la Cruz. Director, Des Pacio, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Requiem Aeternam. $20,000. Paco Cao, artist. (Art) AMALGAMATED, New York.
Miriam Possenti and Tiziana Fausti.
Tod Lippy. The Esopus Foundation, Brooklyn.
Satellite art fairs open: Thousands converge on Miami
2901 Collins Avenue. “Ian Schrager presents …” The former MiMo classic Seville Beach Hotel is undergoing a few touch-ups and additions: 26 residences, said to be priced at $3,000 per square foot, 250 hotel rooms, a bowling alley, restaurants, an ice skating rink, and a new 11-story building.
Design Miami’s mid-afternoon Tuesday VIP-Press opening was followed a few hours later by Art Miami-Context, Scope, Red Dot, Overture, and other fairs that precede Wednesday’s center ring event, Art Basel’s Collectors-Press-VIP Vernissage. Thus, after the first 12,000 have a first look, the fair opens to the public. Nonetheless, I quickly became fascinated with the level of ongoing construction on Miami Beach, still at the crossroads of Bogota, Moscow and Buenos Aires. While I try to support the Art Deco and MiMo spirit, there is often a fine line that separates kitsch, nostalgia and funkiness from significant Midcentury Modern buildings, especially when they have lost some of their defining features.
However satisfying the Casablanca Hotel’s sleek interior lobby, there does become a quality of life issue when one steps outside.
The adjacent condominium to the south of the Casablanca Hotel makes for more of a resort urban experience than a pleasurable sense of escape. The fountain at the east entrance to Normandy Village is a noticeable North Beach landmark, donated in 1926 by Normandy Isle developer Henri Levy.
To the north of the Casablanca, the strip of oceanfront hotels and apartments along Ocean Terrace are faced with uncertain futures.
The Ocean Terrace Hotel remains severely threatened by inappropriate façade improvements and nearby skyscrapers.
The Ocean Surf is one of the exceptions that clearly reflects the period it was built and might survive a test of economic obsolescence.
To the south along Collins Avenue, the once charming Seville Beach Hotel is receiving a makeover, dedicated to “the art of living,” by well-known developer Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott Hotels. Mark your calendar, opening in 2014.
The picturesque Triton Tower is across the street from the former Seville Hotel.
Could it ever get better than this?
Another view of Faena where there is a plan.
Located to the north of the Schrager project, the Versailles Hotel has seen better days, also undergoing a makeover. Why are Europeans able to comfortably update hotels built in 1850 but Americans struggle with ones built in 1950?
The colorful tile mural at the Versailles Hotel was designed in 1955.
Versailles Hotel, mural detail.
Versailles Hotel, tile mural. South wall panel.
Tuesday, 3 p.m.
Design Miami
Press and invitees, though not the VIPs who were invited for an earlier hour, wait beneath a work of Snarkitecture, adding some significance to the Convention Center parking lot.
A view inside Snarkitecture.
Darlene Pérez and her husband Jorge Pérez, co-founder of The Related Companies, arrive. The Miami Art Museum is now called the Jorge Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Galerie Downtown, Paris. Each two-panel set of Jean Prouve’s is priced at $150,000. Simply sensational presentation.
Galerie Downtown, Paris.
Art dealer and gallerist Patrick Seguin and Peter Brant.
Galerie Vivid, Rotterdam. The Reitveld chair is $150,000.
Abby Rosen.
The Audi chair.
The café menu from Michael’s Genuine.
Where once South Beach streets were filled with fashion photographers from Tokyo to Frankfurt, this photo shoot in the Design Miami parking lot was the only one I have seen in months. Instead, Miami Beach has become the setting for telenovelas and currency transfers, as starchitects transform the once unique skyline into Rio, Caracas and Kiev.
Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.
Art Miami-Context @ Midtown Miami
I stopped in at Sugarcane for bacon wrapped dates and a beet salad, so by the time I arrived at Art Miami there was a crush at the entrance. The push and shove felt like much more than last year. This year’s event benefits the Perez Art Museum Miami.
Once again, a sensational show. And with the addition of Context, there are even more opportunities for artists to showcase their work.
Britta Hanson.
Osborne Samuel Gallery, London.
A sculptural view.
Claire Oliver of Claire Oliver Gallery in New York.
A perfect piece for an entrance hall.
The Art Miami lounge.
London. Tom Leighton, artist. $30,000. Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London.
The Context fair tent was connected to Art Miami.
The History of Art. Ignacio Iturria, artist. $65,000. Praxis International Art, Buenos Aires-Miami-New York. This caught my eye.
Kavachnina Gallery, Miami.
Gering & Lopez Gallery, New York.
Robert Mann. Robert Mann Gallery, New York. My choice for Best-in-Show at Context.
Robert Mann Gallery, New York. A series of works by Jeff Brouws. Top left, High Dive, an archival pigment print. $5,300.
Robert Mann Gallery, New York. Olive and Market Street. Julie Blackmon, artist. $8,000.

A block north of Art Miami-Context, another new satellite fair named Overture Miami opened. Several pieces interested me.
The list-checkers were at the door.
Most everyone was busy with their Smartphones.
Julian Lennon.
Overture attracted an eclectic crowd, a few less business suits.
Pilgrimage. $95,000. YY Gallery, Chicago. Some wonderful paintings.
Overture’s lounge wasn’t as swank as some of the other fairs but as long as everyone could text and tweet, what else matters.
The scene at Overture.
Quadriptych, “Ya Beirut Ya Setadouniah, 1,2,3,4. Zena Assi, artist. Art Sawa, Dubai. Several works by this artist were captivating.
Art Basel: Show of Shows

The Art Miami-Context opening on Tuesday night with more than 10,000 attending was only the beginning for what has become the art world’s international flash mob convening in Miami Beach this week for the 11th Art Basel, now joined by 25 satellite art fairs. The several thousand VIP VIPs who opened Art Basel were to be joined Wednesday night with perhaps another 10,000 for the official Vernissage. And even with so many new galleries and new fairs, Art Basel is still the show of shows.
Untitled, 1979. Sam Francis, artist. $2.8 million. Edward Tyler Nahem Gallery, New York.
On my walk over to the Convention Center, I took note of the irreverent James Hotel, reveling in its non-conformity with the customary design guidelines in the Art Deco Historic District.
Only a block away from the architectural burlesque of the James Hotel, the acclaimed New World Symphony campus by Frank Gehry.
The Media Center moments before the 10:00 a.m. press reception in the Collector’s Lounge.
Sean Drakes, photographer.
10:00 a.m. Wednesday
Press reception, Collector’s Lounge
The Collector’s Lounge is open to the press only for the hour before Art Basel opens for its VIPs at 11:00 a.m.
The press, reportedly numbering about 1,000, begin to gather.
Keeping up with news of the art world before the press conference began.
Miroir, the Ruinart exhibit in the Collector’s Lounge. Ruinart is the fair’s official champagne.
Coming into Fashion is an exhibit staged by Conde Nast presented on tablets in the Collectors Lounge.
The Conde Nast exhibit.
Unfortunately, the speeches went on for 35 minutes. Afterwards, and only after we had the opportunity to hear everyone, was the press able to have coffee, water or champagne.
The speakers stirred up a lot of excitement.
11:00 a.m., Wednesday
11th Art Basel opens
By early afternoon, several thousand VIPs will have already arrived, so there are only a few moments to enjoy the fair’s design. I went up the SkyWalk to take some overhead shots and found all the blinds closed (above, you can see them next to signage). I was told, due to security, Art Basel does not permit photography from the SkyWalk.
There are more than 250 galleries represented.
There was a constant swarm at the Gagosian Gallery.
At Gagosian, the sculpture of Buster Keaton (Jeff Koons, artist, polychrome wood, 1988) was sold to Eli Broad at an asking price of $5-$5.5 million during the early moments of Wednesday’s VIP opening, according to the Art Market Monitor.
The Gagosian has more commas than any other gallery.
At the Gagosian exhibit, I thought I noticed uniformed security guards standing about. That is Larry Gagosian on the telephone with his back turned.
Mary-Anne Martin, New York, and Joan Washburn, New York.
Washburn Gallery, New York.
Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.
Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York. Greyhounds,1913. Wilhelm Diederich, artist/sculptor. $750,000.
Neugerriemschneider Gallery, Berlin.
Neugerriemschneider Gallery, Berlin. Chandelier lights.
Sean Combs.
Former Miami Herald art critic Helen Cohen. Patrick Seguin, Galerie Patrick Seguin.
There were fashion statements.
A touch of elegance.
Stefano Tonchi.
Bill Acquavella,. Acquavella Galleries, New York.
Acquavella Galleries, New York.
New York gallerist Howard Greenberg and a client. Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.
Big Shot. $150,000. Mary Boone Gallery, New York.
Mary Boone at work.
Tidal Magnetism, Flight and the Endless Immeasurable, detail. Jacob Hashimoto, artist. Mary Boone Gallery. Sensational!
Untitled, 2012. Barry McGee, artist. Cheim and Read Gallery, New York. $95,000. SOLD.
Provocacion. Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid.
Landau Fine Art, New York.
Location Vacation. William Wegman, artist. $100,000. Sperone Westwater, New York.
Self Portrait, Variation #1, 2012. Evan Penny, artist. Sperone Westwater, New York.
Gallery Bernier Eliades, Athens.
Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York.
Architecture for Dogs exhibit
Buena Vista Building, Miami Design District

After a full day in the temple of art, I drove over to the Design District for a glimpse at Arfitecture, the Architecture for Dogs exhibit. Amid the high-fashion furniture and shops, along with uniformed guards on the street, Dior Homme appears to have introduced tailored doormen, I found the exhibit a great change of pace. Yes, arfitecture.
The exhibit displayed several examples for different breeds and sizes.
Arfitecture is designed to make a dog’s life much more compatible with his “people partner.”
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.
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