Art Basel Miami Beach” by Pamela Beck

ArtDart by Pamela Beck: Everybody knows that you can’t see everything when you go to Art Basel Miami Beach. It’s not that you don’t want to, you do. You really do.

ARTdart: There are as many ways to think about art as there are to create it. Join Pamela Beck in her column, ARTdart, as she explores and considers the different perspectives that define the art world.

Everybody knows that you can’t see everything when you go to Art Basel Miami Beach. It’s not that you don’t want to, you do. You really do. But there are more than 20 fairs, more than 75,000 visitors, and your mind stops working after several hours of concentrated art viewing and the constant jostling of well-dressed strangers.

Even if you have the stamina to make it to all of the fairs, there’s the not insignificant problem of finding a taxi to actually get you to them. It’s enough to make you stand on a street corner swearing that you’ll never return to Art Basel again… until you remember that the fabulous Design District will be completed about this time, 2014.

I saw many things that delighted me this year. Like this:

“Seer Bonnet XXI [Eliza] and Seer Bonnett XX [Emily]” Bonnets encrusted with thousands of pearl-headed corsage pins Lisa Sette Gallery
“Seer Bonnet XXI [Eliza] and Seer Bonnett XX [Emily]”
Bonnets encrusted with thousands of pearl-headed corsage pins
Lisa Sette Gallery
This is Angela Ellsworth’s strong statement about traditional Mormonism, her own background. (The points of the pins face inward, while the beautiful pearls reflect another message. Sister wives takes on a whole new meaning…]

And this:

“Tiny Landscape Painting, Antigua: Hurricane Sky, Black Jagged Hill” Oil on Polaroid card 1O x 8 cm Ingleby Gallery
“Tiny Landscape Painting, Antigua:
Hurricane Sky, Black Jagged Hill”
Oil on Polaroid card
1O x 8 cm
Ingleby Gallery

Frank Walter lived in an isolated shack in Antigua for 25 years. He suffered from delusions of aristocratic grandeur but produced these simple, powerful works.

And this:

“Ceyx” Graphite and Ink on paper 5O x 38 inches Dillon Gallery
“Ceyx”
Graphite and Ink on paper
5O x 38 inches
Dillon Gallery

Leah Yerpe’s perfectly rendered figures are riveting as they evoke the beauty and mystery of both human and celestial bodies.

And no trip to Miami will ever again be without a stop at the inspiring Perez Art Museum [PAMM], dramatically set against Biscayne Bay.

Photo:  Perez Art Museum Miami Partial View of Ai Weiwei's "Forever" installation of Chinese bicycles
Photo:
Perez Art Museum Miami
Partial View of Ai Weiwei’s “Forever” installation of Chinese bicycles

Herzog & de Meuron designed this jawdroppingly, elegant structure, both contemporary and organic with its use of concrete, wood and pervasive garden and water features. In a distinct “today’s-museum” style, PAMM compellingly combines art, nature, entertainment, leisure and respect for local culture/climate.

Photo: Perez Art Museum Miami Outside view
Photo: Perez Art Museum Miami
Outside view

The beautiful, sprawling entrance immediately stops you in your tracks with its latticed roof, abundant terraces, and plant infused columns hanging from the roof like tropical stalactites.

Inside, the airy exhibition rooms currently display diverse shows including: “Ai Weiwei: According to What,” the powerful political and personal installations of this outspoken critic of the Chinese government. [Ai was prohibited from traveling to see this exhibition.]

And, in contrast, another exhibit, “A Human Document: Selections from the Sackner Collection of Concrete and Visual Poetry,” is private and quiet, where words and images fuse to create fantastic works that span centuries and styles.

A friend asked me if the museum overpowered the art on exhibit. It’s a fair question. Being inside such a beautifully designed and constructed building is undeniably exciting and uplifting, particularly with the pervasive window views of lush gardens and the bay; not to mention the inviting seating areas, both inside and out, that are already crowd-pleasers.

In the end, my friend’s question will be answered by the art on display. Either it will encourage a visitor’s full involvement or it will be overwhelmed by the particulars of this pleasurable museum experience. Interestingly, this built-in competition is a provocative test for the art itself.

The same challenge can be given to the art presented at the Miami art fairs. The works that engaged me in that supercharged, distracting atmosphere are the ones I’ll remember; and the search for them and what they evoked in me, are the reasons I’ll return.

Now all I need is a car and driver.

Pamela Beck
Pamela Beck

Pamela is Public relations director for Season of Sculpture and a private art consultant. She co-owned Pannonia Galleries in NYC. There she was also an art appraiser, private art dealer, art fair exhibitor and catalogued paintings at Sotheby’s. She was Communications Director of The Essential Element. Pamela has a keen intrest in the arts and supporting Sarasota’s future as a lively, diverse and forward thinking city for young and old. Pamela is a member of The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, Curatorial & Acquisitions Committee and Institute for the Ages Volunteer.

    To read more about Pamela, view these links:

9 thoughts on “Art Basel Miami Beach” by Pamela Beck”

  1. It seems one has to be a cultural warrior to enjoy and withstand the rigors of Art Basel. Still, it
    is a special art fair exhibiting its unique wares for all of those who can manage to navigate it.
    I hope next time a compassionate sponsor or patron offers Ms. Beck a ride!!

  2. I enjoyed your choices of artwork sampled from the hours of walking/viewing… because they evoke a wide range of reactions of style and content. Some day I would love to walk with you at Art Basel to compare reactions as well as share in the costly cabs fares. Thank you !

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