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For art connoisseurs, Art Basel and Art Miami have to be top of the list. But Miami Art Week blessedly brings a range of experiences for every taste. Here are the ones on the top of our list for 2021:
AMAZING POP-UP MAZE
Early scouting indicates the wow of the week will likely be Chanel’s larger-than-life pop-up maze in a pop-up forest.
Immersion artist Es Devlin — of Superblue’s “Forest of Us” mirrored maze — has designed the circular “Five Echoes” labyrinth measuring 100 feet in diameter and set in a potted forest of 1,000 trees to celebrate the 100th birthday of the original designer fragrance, Chanel No. 5. The free experience — yes, free — opens at noon Nov. 30 in Jungle Plaza at the corner of Northeast 38th Street and Northeast First Avenue. It’s likely to be jammed, which means you’ll want to reserve tickets in advance at chanel.com/us/fiveechoes.
Two bonuses for locals: “Five Echoes” will remain on view through Dec. 21, after the Art Week out-of-towners have gone. When it comes down, we get to keep the trees; they’ll be distributed throughout Miami-Dade parks.
THE MOORE, AND MORE
One of the highlights of pre-pandemic Art Weeks were the shows staged each year by uber-presenter Jeffrey Deitch in the Moore Building, also in the Design District. This year Deitch brings “Shattered Glass,” showcasing new figurative works by emerging artists of color from across the U.S. The show is an expanded iteration of last spring’s highly popular “Shattered Glass” exhibition in Los Angeles; both are curated by Melahn Frierson and A.J. Girard. This will be Deitch’s last presentation in the Moore Building, which is destined for a future as a boutique hotel under the stewardship of Dallas-based Woodhouse. “Shattered Glass” runs Nov. 29-Dec. 5 at 191 NE 40th St., Miami.
Outside, the surrounding Design District will be abuzz with new art and design installations. Site-specific installation “Tomorrow Land,” created by Studio Proba and Enjoy the Weather, incorporates playful sculptures with a virtual presentation. The 13-foot sculpture CLIMAX, by Jean Thierry Besins, is made from one ton of recycled stainless steel as a prototype of a 100-foot-tall heater the artist is planning for Iceland in 2024. Shoes + Art is a new retail experience from entrepreneur Matthew Chevallard and will open with a solo exhibition by Mexican-American artist Eduardo Sarabia.
And fans of Louis Vuitton’s annual Objets Nomades oh-so-stylish portable furniture will find new pieces among this year’s collection survey. You won’t even need to go in to get the vibe: LV’s men’s and women’s stores will be wrapped in specially designed facades, the men’s by Marcel Wander and the women’s by the Campana Brothers.
SKIN IN THE GAME
Touch and skin — two things we missed so desperately over the past two years — are the theme of an exhibition of works by 35 art stars curated by Zoe Lukov (well-known from her days at Faena Art) and presented by Palm Heights, a resort newly opened in Grand Cayman. Included are works by Theaster Gates, Hank Willis Thomas, Juana Valdes, Zhang Huan and Raúl de Nieves — to name but a few. “Having skin in the game is about power, danger, currency, play, joy, indulgence as well as the taboo, the voyeuristic and the hedonistic,” says Lukov. Nov. 29-Dec. 10 at 1620 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.
Culture is part of Miami Beach’s DNA. During Art Week, hotels become galleries as part of the “No Vacancy” juried arts competition hosted by the city and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. For local artists, this is both a high-profile showcase and an opportunity for cash awards; a jury of art experts will award a $20,000 prize, while a second $5,000 prize is determined by public vote.
This year’s lineup will keep visitors moving as they check out works by Monika Bravo at The Betsy, Gianna DiBartolomeo at The Avalon Hotel, Edouard Duval-Carrié at Faena, Chris Friday at the Riviera Hotel, Dana and Ruth Kleinman (KX2) at The Confidante, Brookhart Jonquil at The Plymouth, Amanda Keely at the Croydon Hotel, Nick Mahshie at The International Inn, Lauren Shapiro at the Royal Palm Hotel and Misael Soto at The Riviera Hotel. Don’t forget to stop for a cocktail.
ART OF THE BETSY
Throughout the year, The Betsy highlights emerging and established artists along with poetry readings, music and other arts performances. Come December, hotel owner/curator Lesley Goldwasser’s passion for visual arts takes over. This year you’ll find sensual photographs by Bunny Yeager, an early female Playboy photographer; arresting African portraits by the late Seydou Keïta and emerging artist Tamary Kudita; historic images of The Beatles by Paul Saltzman and photos of a disappearing West by Jim Krantz. Look closely at the Bahamas images by Alessandro Sarno in the bar; you might spot someone you know. Surreal drawings by Ray Tenorio deserve special attention; by day, he serves in the hotel restaurant. Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Drive; thebetsyhotel.com.
In normal months, Faena Hotel and the surrounding arts district are a paean to imagination. During Art Week, its art program pushes all boundaries. This year Faena inaugurates its new Project Room with Barcelona-based artist Andrés Reisinger, who will collaborate with the digital marketplace Aorist to meld the boundaries between corporeal and ethereal. Faena also will unveil a monumental immersive artwork by Argentinean Pilar Zeta that nods at Miami Beach’s Art Deco heritage as it flows into the multidimensional Metaverse. (If none of that makes sense to you, it’s worth stopping by.) 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; faena.com.
GRAFFITI AT THE BEACH
The Confident is bringing street art to the sand with the latest iteration in its ongoing partnership with the Museum of Graffiti. The Art Week project brings together Few & Far Women, a global collaborative of graffiti writers and skaters, and BABE Rosé to create a giant skate ramp in the hotel’s Backyard between its two pools. Demonstrations will feature the Skate Nymphs, an inclusive group of skaters supporting women, men and the LGBTQAI+ community, and others. A show of 30 works celebrating Few & Far’s 10th anniversary will be displayed throughout the hotel. Kickoff begins at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30 with DJ sets and skating demos.
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Music and immersive art join in a singular presentation of Maurice Ravel’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” accompanied by projected images of leading contemporary artists, including Doug Argue, Omar Ba, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Claudia DeMonte, Juan Roberto Diago, Michele Oka Doner, Carlos Estévez, Karen LaMonte, Yassi Mazandi, Ed McGowin, Gladys Nilsson, Virgil Ortiz, Carlos Quintana, Alexis Rockman, Arthur Simms, and Agnieszka Traczewska. The Dec. 4 concert is co-presented by the Arsht Center, Frost School of Music and Lowe Art Museum and features the Frost Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gerard Schwartz. It takes place at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Tickets at arshtcenter.org.
IN THE GARDEN
British/Australian artist Bruce Munro is best known for his massive site installations, often comprising thousands of lights to underscore the fleeting nature of existence and experience. His installation, “Bruce Munro: Forest and Field of Light,” opens Dec. 4 and features more than 6,000 fiber-optic glass spheres spread across two acres in Pinecrest Gardens. Best news: If you don’t make it out during Art Week, you’ve got until June 26 to capture the moment. Information and tickets at pinecrestgardens.org.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK
Miami art-goers know Argentinian artist Alfredo Jaar from his 2019 LED “This is not America” billboards floating in front of the Faena Hotel, his 2013 exhibition at the de la Cruz Collection and presentations within various Art Week fairs. This year they can hear from the artist himself about the installations, photographs, films and community-based projects exploring humanitarian crises and the relationships between developed and developing nations. Jaar will be the featured speaker at the 17th annual Breakfast in the Park on Dec. 5, sponsored by FIU’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. Given COVID protocols, in-person capacity will be limited this year and tickets are required. The talk will be streamed on Facebook Live. Information at frost.fiu.edu.
Samuel Levi Jones is known for installations challenging conventional notions of authority and the past that are widely accepted — but often inaccurate. To make his works, he literally rips out the pages of textbooks, encyclopedias and other authoritative texts, then reshapes them in new configurations. Jones and Miami art expert Dennis Scholl will discuss Jones’ work at this year’s Lowe Art Museum artist talk on Dec. 4. Information and tickets at 305-284-3603.