The highlight of South Beach’s year-end celebrations is no doubt Art Basel Miami 2017. Now in its 16th year, the prominent North American art fair showcases hundreds of galleries inside the Miami Beach Convention Center. Between December 7 and 10, amid a flurry of Miami Art Week Art Basel Miami satellite fairs, Basel parties and events, Basel attendees will have the opportunity to browse works exhibited by big-name artists and influential galleries across sections that include Nova (younger galleries), Survey (historical works) and Positions (made up of emerging artists). The list of participants is extensive, to say the least, but we’ve singled out the following outfits as the year’s must-see.
RECOMMENDED: Your guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2017
Best Art Basel Miami 2017 galleries
Fredric Snitzer Gallery
One of the few Miami-based galleries to participate in the annual art fair, the Fredric Snitzer Gallery commemorates its 40th anniversary this year with an exhibit in Downtown (“Nothing That Is Ours” features new works by Enrique Martínez Celaya) as well as presentations at the fair. The gallery’s main booth within the Galleries sector showcases works by several artists, while its Kabinett booth highlights new photography by María Martínez Cañas, whose conceptual work explores themes of migration and dislocation.
Enrique Martinez Celaya, The Bloom, for the Wilderness, 2017
Photograph: Courtesy Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Representing art that is deeply connected to Mexico’s history and culture, Mexico City’s Kurimanzutto gallery opened in 1999 and has been shaping the city’s contemporary art scene ever since. Owners Monica Manzutto and Jose Kuri have an eye for ambitious pieces and moving installations that challenge the viewer’s perception. This year, the gallery brings South Korean artist Haegue Yang’s paper collages to the fair’s Kabinett section. The salon-style works are set against Grid Bloc A3, a four-year-old publication Yang created in collaboration with illustrator Jeong Hwa Min in 2013.
Photograph: Courtesy Kurimanzutto/Haegue Yang
Vancouver artist Sara Cwynar’s “Rose Gold,” her second solo exhibition for the Soho-based Foxy Productions, will be on display in Nova—a sector that provides galleries a platform to showcase new work. Comprising film and a series of photographs, the exhibit examines people’s relationships with commercial objects (specifically, the ubiquitous rose-gold iPhone).
Sara Cwynar, Tracy (Stepping Forward, Stepping Backward), 2017
Photograph: Courtesy Foxy Production/Sara Cwynar
David Castillo Gallery
Miami’s David Castillo Gallery, which opened its doors in Wynwood in 2005, is one of the few local mainstays at the international fair. This year’s mixed-media showcase is a commentary on current representations of race, sexuality and gender, and includes a live performance by Kalup Linzy, as well as photographs by Lyle Ashton Harris and Xaviera Simmons.
Xaviera Simmons, Overlay (Image Nine), 2017
Photograph: Courtesy David Castillo Gallery/Xaviera Simmons
House of Gaga
Mexico City’s House of Gaga, which recently opened a second outpost in Los Angeles, presents works by Swedish-born, New-York-City-based painter, performance artist and gallery owner Emily Sundblad in the fair’s Positions sector.
Emily Sundblad, Jungle Book, 2016
Photograph: Courtesy House of Gaga/Emily Sundblad
Jasmin Tsou’s New York City gallery, JTT, which grew from a small booth at 2012’s NADA fair to a full-fledged business, returns to Art Basel’s Positions sector for the second time this year with a grouping of sculptures by Dan Herschlein. The evocative pieces are somewhat of a departure for the artist, known for his installation work.
Dan Herschlein, Ignore Him, 2017
Photograph: Courtesy JTT/Dan Herschlein
Another one of Mexico City’s gallery powerhouses, Proyectos Monclova takes its exhibition one step further with a performance piece by Tercerunquinto, a collective project by artists Gabriel Cázares and Rolando Flores. The group will paint Mexican political campaign murals onto the walls while a video plays simultaneously, establishing a connection between Mexican muralism and modernism.
Tercerunquinto, Restoration of a Mural Painting, 2009–today
Photograph: Courtesy Proyectos Monclova/Tercerunquinto
One of nine first-time participants from North and South America, Houston’s Inman Gallery exhibits works by Jamal Cyrus, whose known for exploring the African diaspora and Black identity. For Basel, Cyrus investigates the civil rights movement of the ’60s and ’70s.
Jamal Cyrus, Book sleeve prototype for W. E. B. Du Bois’s Encyclopedia Africana, 2016
Photograph: Courtesy Inman Gallery/Jamal Cyrus
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects’ fall show by Southern-California-based artist Whitney Bedford pops up at Art Basel’s Galleries sector. “The Left Coast,” an exhibition of all new paintings by Bedford, features iterations of landscapes in which flora and fauna take center stage.
Whitney Bedford, The Left Coast (Raptures), 2017
Photograph: Courtesy Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects/Whitney Bedford
Henrique Faria Fine Art
Henrique Faria Fine Art, one of New York’s leading galleries for abstract Latin American Art, participates in this year’s Survey sector (comprising 16 presentations of works created before 2000) with works by Brazilian visual artist Willys de Castro.
Willys de Castro, Cartaz-poema, 1959
Photograph: Courtesy Henrique Faria Fine Art/Willys de Castro