By Janet Ekstract
MIAMI – Since its launch in 2002, Art Basel Miami Beach has been a fixture on the artworld’s radar with its eclectic, phantasmagorical exhibitions that reflect a wide range of contemporary art. Art Basel Miami Beach is known for being the cultural art bridge between North and South America and during its 20th anniversary in 2022 with UBS as its primary sponsor, the popular art fair is showcasing its largest exhibition ever with 282 exhibitors from 38 countries and territories, 26 are participating for the first time in one of the world’s largest art fairs that runs from December 1-3. This year, 25 new galleries will be participating along with new and returning exhibitors from Africa, Asia and Europe. New emerging artists will be featured along with a number of solo exhibitions as well.
A major highlight of this year’s exhibition is the Meridians section that encompasses a space for artists to explore their craft with 20 large-scale installations that its Curator Magali Arriola, Director of Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, said provides “new perspectives for art’s activism around gender and race.” Arriola said the installations emit a sense of “optimism and hope to how we might envision our future.” Works included in the exhibition are a statuesque sized hand-crocheted wall-hanging by feminist artist Judy Chicago whose iconic work “The Dinner Party” is on permanent view at the Brooklyn Art Museum. Another major treat is a new bronze sculpture by visual activist Zanele Muholi.
UBS Art Studio, a public booth entitled Reimagining New Perspectives can be immediately accessed at the fair entrance. It features recent acquisitions of the UBS Art Collections with unique views on reimagining the world. Contemporary African art that was created from new and used fabrics from Ghana, explores themes of globalization and migration in a work entitled Peace of Mind (2013-2018) by artist Ibrahim Mahama. Floater 73 (2018) by Derrick Adams explores how African-American contemporary life is viewed. There will be a panel discussion on how art can inspire change with a group of contemporary artists and moderated by curator and art critic Larry Ossei Mensah.
A most unique experience for art lovers is Miami’s wonderful plethora of art museums and galleries showcasing the newest and most exciting exhibitions. There is something for all tastes in art, if exploring the effects of climate change and minerals are of interest, then new works by artist Jamilah Sabur at The Bass might be of interest. Making new discoveries at the fabulous De La Cruz Collection where an exhibition of works by iconic artists awaits. For those armchair art enthusiasts, Art Basel will be livestreaming panel discussions and conversations.