In addition to hundreds of the world’s best galleries, which set up shop at Art Basel Miami Beach every December, you can catch a wealth of unforgettable exhibitions, live music and other performances, assembled and executed by some of the finest curators and artists from Miami and across the globe. During Art Basel Miami 2015, the creative stars will be shining extra bright in the Magic City at these five art museums and art spaces.
RECOMMENDED: See our full guide to Art Basel Miami Beach
Best Art Basel Miami 2015 events
Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian’s “Unrealism”
Every year during Art Basel Miami Beach, hotshot curator, gallerist and former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Jeffrey Deitch puts on a raucous private party at the Raleigh. Past soirees have featured performances by understated hip acts like the Gossip and Lykke Li. Last year, he tore the place down with Miley Cyrus covering the Beatles. But 2015 is going to be different for the famed curator. He’s partnering with his former foe, international art dealer Larry Gagosian, on an exhibition of figurative painting from the 1980s and ’90s, entitled “Unrealism,” at the classic Moore Building in Miami’s Design District. Work by John Currin, Urs Fischer, Elizabeth Peyton and David Salle, among others will be on display. The duo plans to re-popularize this style of art, and if anyone can make or break a trend, it’s these bigwigs. Moore Building, 3481 NE Second Ave at NE 41st St, Miami. Dec 3–6; 11am–8pm. Preview Dec 1; 5–8pm.
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Knight Foundation
“Dimensions” at Pérez Art Museum Miami
British rocker-songwriter Devonté Hynes, a.k.a. Blood Orange, hit the indie circuit with lightning speed in 2007 when he worked with the folky Bright Eyes. As Blood Orange, he mixes R&B and electronic elements into his addictive music. This Miami Art Week, he partners with performance artist Ryan McNamara to create an outrageous spectacle on Biscayne Bay at Pérez Art Museum Miami. Drawing inspiration from some of the city’s most magical settings, like surreal roadside attraction Coral Castle, this local-centric fusion of music and art will be a defining moment of Art Basel 2015. To get in, you’ll need to be a PAMM sustaining member or above (memberships available for purchase), Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami or Art Miami VIP cardholder. Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. Dec 3; 9–11pm.
Photograph: Imogene Strauss
Alex Bag and Shannon Ebner at ICA Miami
With curator Alex Gartenfeld—co-organizer of the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s 2018 triennial in NYC—bringing some of the most relevant artists and works to town, ICA Miami is certainly the newest “it” spot. The museum just broke ground on its future (and first real) home, set to open in 2017. Despite its currently modest abode, ICA has taken cool to new levels in this city by doing things like having Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon host its inaugural gala. Sticking with the musical theme, rapper Shamir and Miami’s Tumblr artist poorgrrrl will launch Tuesday’s opening night for the exhibitions of two female artists, Alex Bag and Shannon Ebner. ICA members and Miami Art Week VIP pass-holders can attend, and memberships are available for purchase. Bag, who appears as male characters in her video, “The Van (Redux),” has created an accompanying site-specific dramatic installation (Dec 1–Jan 31). In addition to her exhibition (through January 17), Ebner will appear in a performance by Erika Vogt with Dylan Mira, Artist Theater Program, on December 3. Stretching the very definition of theater, Jersey Boys this ain’t. ICA Miami, 4040 NE 2nd Ave, Miami. Dec 1; 7pm–midnight.
“No Man’s Land” at the Rubell Family Collection
In the heart of the Wynwood Arts District, a 45,000-square-foot repurposed DEA-confiscated-goods facility houses work from the Rubell Family Collection, one of the largest private collections of contemporary art in America. Hundreds of lucky art hounds will gather for champagne and food at the preview party on Tuesday night to see the impressive exhibition “No Man’s Land,” which features, well, no men. Pieces by more than 100 female artists from the collection will be on view through May. If you can drag yourself out of bed, on Thursday from 9am to 11am, the public is welcome to check out Jennifer Rubell’s food-based installation "Devotion.” We’re all curious how she’ll fabricate a performance that includes an engaged couple and loads of bread and butter. Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St, Miami. Dec 2–May 28; hours during Art Basel Wed–Sun 9am–6pm.
“Exhuming Obsolescence” at Miami Center for Architecture and Design
If you need a break from the chaos of Miami Art Week, the very new Miami Center for Architecture & Design, in downtown Miami’s Old U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, features “Exhuming Obsolescence” by longtime Miami artist and Dimensions Variable co-founder Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova. Curated by Ricardo Mor, the site-specific installation offers an antidote to the “banal design in today’s commodity culture,” composed of salvaged furniture and found objects amidst wall-like structures. The organization already made headlines with its “Listen to this Building” collab with Exile Books, which aimed to show those with visual impairments how 10 Miami buildings “look” through multimedia tableaux. Miami Center for Architecture and Design, 100 NE 1st Ave at NE 1st St, Miami. Through Jan 15; 10am–5pm.