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MIAMI HEAT WAVE
by Walter Robinson
 
Back in 2001, when the Art Basel crew scheduled its first art fair in the Miami Beach Convention Center, it was clearly an idea whose time had come (even though the events of 9/11 caused the debut of Art Basel Miami Beach to be postponed until 2002). Miami's balmy weather and party atmosphere, not to mention its role as a gateway to the avid Latin American art market, makes the city a ready destination for contemporary art lovers the world over.

Now, the art world knows a good thing when it sees it, and by 2005 Miami was hosting at least four important art fairs in addition to Art Basel Miami Beach -- the immensely successful NADA Fair of hip young dealers, plus the artist-organized Aqua Art Miami, located in Miami Beach hotels, and the new Pulse Miami and Scope Miami, both in the city's Wynwood Art District.

This time around, however, the Miami lineup is giving pause to even the most energetic art lovers. At least 12 different art fairs are scheduled for early December -- and it wouldn't be a surprise if we've overlooked one or two more. Can the art trade actually support so much activity? Will all the rest of the world's galleries be empty for the week? Only time will tell -- and the time is drawing near.

Herein, a brief rundown of the art fairs scheduled for Miami in December 2006.

Art Basel Miami Beach
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Arguably the best liked contemporary art fair in the U.S., Art Basel Miami Beach features 200 top galleries and approximately 1,500 artists from around the world at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Special features include sections for galleries presenting new works by three of their artists ("Art Nova"), a program of video at the Botanical Garden ("Art Video Lounge") and the notorious "Art Positions," a group of 21 younger dealers housed in shipping containers at the beach. New this year is "Art Kabinett," a selection of 15 small curated exhibitions in separate rooms of exhibitor booths, and "Art Perform," daily performances at "Art Positions." General admission is $24
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The NADA Fair
Dec. 6-10, 2006
The New Art Dealers Alliance brings its popular show of new art to the Ice Palace Film Studios building at 1400 North Miami Avenue in Miami for the third year. 82 galleries from 20 countries are participating, among them more than 25 exhibitors who are at the fair for the first time, including Dicksmith from London, Proyectos Monclova from Mexico and Gallery.sora from Tokyo. Kaikai Kiki, Takashi Murakami's studio of young artists, is also expected to be on hand, with artists making works right in the booth. Admission is free.

The NADA Fair has teamed up with the New Museum to present "a dose of subversive humor" with "Classic Readings in American Schlock," featuring a roster of artists, curators and other art-world personalities reading classic works of low-brow culture. The project is funded by Altoids.
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Pulse Miami
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Helen Allen directs the two-year-old Pulse fair, a branch of Will Ramsey's Affordable Art Show empire that features over 60 smaller contemporary galleries in a 30,000-square-foot custom-built tent at 2700 NW 2nd Avenue in the city's Wynwood District, only a stone's throw away from MOCA @ The Goldman Warehouse.

Exhibitors include Josee Bienvenu (New York), Rena Bransten Gallery (San Francisco), DCKT Contemporary (New York), Galerie Volker Diehl (Berlin), Finesilver (San Antonio and Houston), Richard Heller Gallery (Santa Monica), Ernst Hilger Gallery (Vienna) and many more. Admission is $10.
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Aqua Art Miami
Dec. 7 -10, 2006
Now in its second year, Aqua presents 40 galleries in a show organized by Seattle artists -- the fearless husband-and-wife team of Jaq Chartier and Dirk Park -- in collaboration with Seattle dealers. Pleasantly sited in the Aqua Hotel at 1530 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, a two-story beach motel arranged around a planted central atrium, Aqua was the surprise hit of the 2005 season.

Participating galleries include Acuna-Hansen (Los Angeles), Bank (Los Angeles), Lisa Boyle (Chicago), Cynthia Broan (New York), Bucket Rider (Chicago), Greg Kucera (Seattle) and many more. Admission is free.
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Scope Miami
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Scope Miami 2006 sets up in a custom-designed 40,000-square-foot pavilion in Roberto Clemente Park in Miami's Wynwood Art District, only blocks away from the Rubell Family Art Collection and the Margulies Collection. The new pavilion design is a collaboration between Scope president Alexis Hubshman, architect Charles Mallea, tent designer Alain Perez and engineer Pat Tarrant.

Some 85 exhibitors are expected at the fair, ranging from 31 Grand (Brooklyn), ADA Gallery (Richmond) and Andrea Meislin Gallery (New York) to Wendy Cooper Gallery (Chicago), White Trash Contemporary (Hamburg) and Yossi Milo Gallery (New York).
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Flow
Dec. 6-10, 2006
The Flow Miami Invitational Art Fair is "dedicated to an environment where one can experience the purity of art." Held at the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club at 1756 Collins Avenue in South Beach -- rather, in the Catalina annex known as the "spylounge" (the Bridge Art Fair is in the Catalina proper, see below) -- Flow features 18 exhibitors from all over the U.S. The fair is directed by Matthew Garson.

Participants include Arthur Roger Gallery (New Orleans), Catherine Edelman Gallery (Chicago), Claire Oliver Gallery (New York), David Lusk (Memphis), J G Contemporary (New York) and many more.
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INK Miami 2006
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Sponsored by the International Fine Print Dealers Association, the fair features 15 leading print publishers and dealers at the Suites of Dorcester hotel -- which means two rooms for each exhibitor -- at 1850 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Participants range from Arion Press and Crown Point Press (both San Francisco) to Diane Villani Editions (New York) and Charles M. Young Fine Prints & Drawings (Portland, Conn.).
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Photo Miami 2006
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Approximately 50 photo galleries come together in SOHO Building, located at 2136 NW 1st Avenue at NW 21st in Miami's Wynwood Arts District for Photo Miami, the latest in the series of photo fairs organized by L.A. dealer Stephen Cohen. The fair includes curated projects by Paco Barragán (Madrid) and Nina Arias (Miami) as well as a video lounge and a series of lectures by artists. The opening-night reception benefits Miami's nonprofit Legal Art organization.
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Bridge Art Fair Miami 2006
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Located at the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club at 1732 Collins Avenue, the Chicago-based art fair (formerly known as the Nova Art Fair) promises, in its sophomore outing, "the pursuit of interplanetary travel, murder mystery scenarios, karmic conversion, stunt professionals, inductive reasoning, golems" and much more.
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Design Miami
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Specializing in furniture, design and the applied arts, Design Miami was launched last year and featured 15 top galleries. It returns to the Moore Building in the Miami Design District for 2006. This year, storied designer Marc Newson receives the special "Designer of the Year" award.
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DiVA Miami
Dec. 7-10, 2006
The peripatetic Digital and Video Art Fair, organized by Thierry Alet and Frére Independent, plans a manifestation in Miami Beach in its own container village, on Ocean Drive across from the Hotel Victor. 
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Pool Art Fair
Dec. 8-10, 2006
Also known on its website as "Boomerang," or "Pool Boomerang," or "PooL Boomerang Miami Beach," this is described less as a fair and more as a "meeting ground." Pool focuses primarily on unrepresented artists and, like Diva, it is produced by the not-for-profit Frère Independent group (which does not charge participants, and supposedly takes no cut of sales). An undisclosed number of artists will converge on the Cavalier Hotel at 1320 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach for Pool, each occupying their own room. Admission is $10.
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Fountain
Dec. 7-11, 2006
The mini-fair with a guerilla spirit started by a league of Williamsburg galleries sets up at 2825 NW 2nd Ave in the Wynwood Arts District. Participants include Capla Kesting, Glowlab, McCaig-Welles and others.
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Zones Contemporary Art Fair
Dec. 7-10, 2006
Billed as Miami’s only homegrown contemporary art fair, the Zones Contemporary Art Fair sets up in the World Arts Building at 2214 N. Miami Avenue in the Wynwood Arts District. Projects by local artists are emphasized in the fair, which is run by Edge Zones, a ten-year-old Miami nonprofit exhibition space and publisher.
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WALTER ROBINSON is editor of Artnet Magazine. He can be reached at Send Email



 





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